'Ukraine’s Willy Wonka' Leads in Presidential Election

Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire candy company owner, leads the polls and is expected to become the next president of the Ukraine

U.S. Consulate General Munich/Wiki Commons

Poroshenko (center left) with Secretary of State John Kerry and Ukrainian opposition leaders at the Munich Security Conference 2014.

As of Monday, May 25, Ukrainian businessman Petro Poroshenko has won more than 50 percent of the vote for the presidency. Although he has yet to be officially installed in office, his exit poll results indicate that there will not be a secondary election. Earlier this week, The New York Times reported the news as an "overwhelming victory."

Poroshenko, also known as “Ukraine’s Willy Wonka” is a billionaire who owns Roshen, the country’s largest candy company, along with 5 Kanal, an opposition television network.

According to The New York Times, the wealthy confectioner had a reputation as a mild-mannered centrist with ties to both pro-Russian and pro-Western governments. Russia then imposed a ban on Poroshenko’s chocolates to discourage a trade deal between the Ukraine and the European Union, costing him millions.

Poroshenko, who had only recently introduced a line of classic candy bars that “revived Soviet brands,” was soured by the ban, and began advocating strongly for integration with Europe and provided financial support for the opposition. He went on to run successfully in the recent election on a pro-European platform.

For his part, Poroshenko has pledged to “build zero tolerance to corruption,” and has promised to create an “absolutely new page of Ukrainian history.” 

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.

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