A total of 44 candidates to vie for Ukrainian president

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KIEV, February 8. /TASS/. As many as 44 candidates, a record-breaking number in Ukraine’s entire independent history, will vie for president’s office at the March 31 elections.

“The Central Election Commission has registered 44 candidates for president,” a spokesman for the commission told TASS on Friday.

In all, 91 contenders, also a record-breaking number, filed documents to be registered as presidential candidates.

At the previous, extraordinary presidential polls in 2014 after toppling the then president, Viktor Yanukovich, the Central Election Commission (CEC) registered 23 candidates from among 26 those who submitted registration documents.

The CEC stopped to receive registration documents last Sunday and, under the current law, it had five days to decide who of them was to be registered.

Among those registered as presidential candidates are both popular politicians, state figures and petty people little known to general public. But only five candidates have real chances to win the presidential office. According to the latest polls, these five include incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko, leader of the Batkivshchina party Yulia Timoshenko, leader of the Opposition Platform For Life party Yuri Boiko, leader of the Civil Position party Anatoly Gritsenko, and showman Vladimir Zelensky, who unexpectedly outstripped the rest in January.

Nevertheless, it is next to impossible to speak seriously about chances of each of them, as the popularity even of the current frontrunner barely reaches 23% while experts believe that only a candidate having support from at least 35-40% of voters can be taken seriously.

Political analysts says that as a matter of fact most of these candidates are not actually after the presidential office, using the presidential race as a step to get prepared for parliamentary elections in the autumn.

After being registered, the candidates have slightly less than two months fir canvassing.

Voting is scheduled for March 31. If neither of the candidates manages to win a simple majority of votes (50% plus one vote), which highly improbable given so many of them, the runoff election will be held on April 21.

Read the original article in full at TASS

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