Make Way For The Chocolate King: Ukraine’s New Billionaire President

Ukraine’s citizens comprising about 90 percent of the nation’s eligible voters went to the polls on Sunday and gave the presidency to Petro Poroshenkoa, 48, a billionaire candy man known widely as the Chocolate King.

As of nightfall in the Ukraine, about 56 percent of the vote went to Poroshenkoa, In a distant second place was Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister from the Batkivshchyna party, who had about 13 percent of the vote.

When the polls opened, Ukraine’s current prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said the election proves “to the whole world, and first of all to ourselves, that it is not possible to intimidate us, that we are going to decide ourselves how to rebuild our home and how to work in it.”

Money, a powerful motivator anywhere, seems to often play a role in the political climate, and it seems to have been a major factor in why Poroshenkoa chose to run for president in the first place.

Last year, in the buildup of tensions between Ukraine and Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin imposed high import fees on any candy coming from Ukraine, as well as glass and coal. Russian trade is clearly an important chunk of Poroshenkoa’s empire, and if you look further back, the chocolate war began, according to Radio Free Europe, when Ukraine started imposing special duties on Russian car imports.

According to Reuters, Poroshenkoa ran on the promise of establishing closer relationships in the West, but he will also have to smooth things over with Putin, whose government “provides most of [Ukraine’s] natural gas and is the major market for its exports.”

In East Ukraine, according to an Inquisitr report, the same overwhelming majority of voters (90 percent) voted just a few weeks ago for autonomy from both Ukraine and Russia, so that’s waiting for Poroshenkoa, as well.

Concerning the battles currently raging in Eastern Ukraine, and the many complaints that pro-separatist forces were forcibly keeping people from voting, Yatsenyuk wanted “to assure… our compatriots in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, who will be prevented from coming to the polling stations by the war waged against Ukraine: The criminals don’t have much time left to terrorize your land.”

Even some of the soldiers sent from places like Kiev to Eastern Ukraine to protect polling places found out they wouldn’t be able to vote while they were there.

“Our superiors promised we would be able to vote here but it turns out that is not so,” soldier Ivan Satsuk told Reuters. “This is a violation of my rights. It’s ridiculous. I am here to safeguard an election in which I cannot vote.”

All of this is now in Poroshenkoa’s hands.

[Image courtesy of Radio Free Europe]