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Presidential Campaign Kicks Off In Ukraine


The main challenger appears to be Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister who announced her candidacy in June. 

Three months before votes are due to be cast, the Ukrainian presidential campaign has officially kicked off.

President Petro Poroshenko has not officially announced he will seek a second five-year term but is widely expected to.

Billboards of Poroshenko dot cities across Ukraine, highlighting his position as commander of the country's armed forces and his role in securing Ukraine an Orthodox Church independent of Moscow.

After taking 54 percent of the vote in the 2014 election, Poroshenko's public approval ratings have plummeted, namely amid ongoing economic woes and a lack of progress on reforms and cracking down on corruption.

More than 10,300 people have died in the war in eastern Ukraine, where Russia-backed separatists who hold parts of two provinces have been fighting against government forces since April 2014.

As of now, Poroshenko's main rival appears to be Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister who announced her candidacy in June.

Recent opinion polls show Tymoshenko ahead of Poroshenko.

The nomination of candidates with the Central Election Commission will last until February 3, 2019, and the commission should announce a final list of presidential candidates by February 8.

The election campaign is due to last until midnight on March 29, and the vote will be held on March 31.

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