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Poroshenko appears set to join race for Kyiv mayor

2013/2/12 10:57:54

One of Ukraine’s best-known politicians appears set to enter the Kyiv mayor’s race


News and commentary from Ukraine Business Online

 

KYIV, Feb 12, 2013 (UBO) – Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire businessman serving currently as an independent member of the Verkhovna Rada, appears on the verge of throwing his hat into the ring for the upcoming race for mayor of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital and largest city.

 

Responding to a question posed during an on-air interview on Kyiv’s ICTV channel, Poroshenko said, “My chances are very high,” UkrInform reported today.

 

Poroshenko pointed out that it is not an issue of looking for a post. “But if a decision is taken and the political forces unite in order to demonstrate a convincing victory in Kyiv and the fundamental change of the situation, I will be ready to accept this proposal. Yes, I will be ready,” Poroshenko was quoted as saying by LB.ua.

 

Young, wealthy and hands-on in business and politics

 

After building a fortune in cacao trading during the early days of Ukraine’s independence, Poroshenko went on build Ukraine’s largest confectionary empire while at the same time serving in a wide range of top-level political positions.

 

For over a decade, Poroshenko has held positions ranging from chair of the Council of Ukraine's National Bank to secretary of the National Security and Defense Council and more recently as foreign minister and later minister of trade and economic development.

 

When not engaged in ministerial-level government jobs, Poroshenko has served long periods as chair of the parliament’s powerful budget committee.

 

During his relatively short tenure as foreign minister, Poroshenko was noted for his foreign travels, probably as much or more than any foreign minister in Ukraine’s history. However, to avoid criticism of his intensive travel schedule, Poroshenko paid his own expenses, something that he, as probably the wealthiest man ever to hold the post, could easily do.

 

Many political observers believe that the Kyiv mayor’s race is likely to play an important role as a warm-up for a number of politicians who might see the post as a launching pad for a bid for a presidential run in 2015. Whether Poroshenko might fit in this category is uncertain, but the position carries with it a profile that is among the highest in the country.

 

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Photo courtesy of RFE/RL

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