March 29 - Ukrainian boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko pulls out of the presidential race backing confectionary magnate Petro Poroshenko who says he can secure victory in the first round. Nathan Frandino reports.
The Ukrainian boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko is out and the "Chocolate King" Petro Poroshenko is in. At a political convention Saturday Klitschko announces he will not run in the upcoming presidential race and instead... (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) UKRAINIAN DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE FOR REFORM (UDAR) PARTY LEADER, VITALY KLITSCHKO, SAYING: "In the interests of Ukraine, to save her unity, I offer to support, as a unity candidate of democratic forces for the presidential election, the candidacy of Petro Poroshenko." Poroshenko is a businessman who made his billions in the chocolate industry. He was an early and influential supporter of the 'Maidan' revolt. At the convention, Poroshenko signs an agreement, accepting the nomination by Klitschko's Udar Party. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND INDUSTRIALIST, PETRO POROSHENKO, SAYING: "Our country is not only at war, our country is not only partially under occupation, our country is facing gigantic risks and challenges that require very quick and efficient decisions to be taken. Our country needs unity." Poroshenko will run against the recently freed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Kharkiv Mayor Mykhailo Dobkin in the May 25 election.