Klitschko Re-elected Kyiv Mayor
Former boxer and Maidan leader defeats ex-Right Sector spokesman by wide margin.
17 November 2015Vitali KlitschkoIncumbent Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, a former world heavyweight boxing champion, has defeated his opponent in a runoff, garnering 66.5 percent of the vote, Interfax reports. The first round was held on 25 October.
Klitschko was first elected in May 2014 as part of a political overhaul following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych amid the Maidan mass street demonstrations, Bloomberg reports.
Klitschko’s opponent, Boryslav Bereza, an independent member of parliament and a former spokesperson for the far-right party Right Sector, garnered 33.5 percent of the vote in the second round of local elections, which followed October’s parliamentary voting.
As Klitschko was casting his ballot on 15 November, an activist from the feminist protest group Femen bared her chest, which was marked in English with the words “Stop Klitschko the Pimp,” The Moscow Times reported.
Femen activists allege that Klitschko has campaigned to legalize prostitution in Ukraine, and accuse him of running a “protection racket” for illegal sex industries, according to the Femen website.
Elsewhere in Ukraine, talks continue on how to organize polls in the conflict zone as part of the Minsk peace accord. Elections were not held in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk controlled by pro-Russian forces.
Second rounds of mayoral elections were held 15 November in 29 cities. A ballot in the cities of Mariupol and Krasnoarmiysk, both in the Donetsk region, has been delayed until 29 November, according to an initial report by the OSCE’s election monitoring team.
- In the city of Lviv near the Polish border, Andriy Sadovy, the leader of the Samopomich party, was re-elected with over 60 percent of the vote and in Dnipropetrovsk, near the conflict zone, Borys Filatov, an ally of Ukrainian billionaire Igor Kolomoisky, garnered over 55 percent of the vote, Bloomberg said.
- Klitschko, an ally of Poroshenko, was a leader of the Maidan protests as the head of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party, which later joined the Petro Poroshenko Bloc.
- During the disputed 2004 Ukrainian presidential election and the following Orange Revolution, Klitschko openly supported the candidacy of Viktor Yushchenko, and the following year was appointed an adviser to the president.