May 20, 2014 / 1:17 PM / in 3 years

Ukraine 'chocolate king' will win May 25 vote in first round: poll

2 Min Read

KIEV (Reuters) - Confectionary tycoon Petro Poroshenko remains on track to win Ukraine's presidential election in the first round of voting due on Sunday, according to a poll published on Tuesday.

Poroshenko, who backed the pro-European uprising that ousted Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich in February, would get support from 53.2 percent of voters, according to the survey, the second in a row to show him winning an absolute majority.

Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko remained in distant second place on 10.1 percent, the poll found.

Kiev's interim authorities hope the election of a new president will bring political stability after five months of upheaval that has included violent street protests, Russia's annexation of Crimea and pro-Russian separatist rebellions in the east of the former Soviet republic.

Poroshenko, 48, known as the "chocolate king" because of his string of confectionery retail outlets, has promised to make restoring law and order a priority if he wins.

He served as foreign minister and economy minister in previous administrations, including under Yanukovich.

The new poll of 6,200 people, jointly conducted on May 8-13 by three agencies, showed banker Serhiy Tigipko in third place on 8.8 percent. Tigipko is strongest in the mainly Russian-speaking east of Ukraine, where the election faces probable disruption from the separatists.

If no candidate obtains more than 50 percent in the first round of voting on May 25, there will be a run-off vote between the two leading contenders on June 15.

Reporting by Gareth Jones; Editing by Richard Balmforth/Mark Heinrich

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