Yulia Tymoshenko, the Original Pretty Woman of Ukraine, Plans to Run for President; Boxer Vitali Klitschko Backs Out of Race in Favour of Billionaire Petro Poroshenko

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By Vittorio Hernandez | March 31, 2014 10:54 AM EST

All eyes in Russia and Ukraine are on Natalia Poklonskaya, the very pretty new attorney-general  of Crimea. However, she may be upstaged soon by Ukraine's original pretty woman who has made a political comeback from jail.

Reuters
Yulia Tymoshenko, the jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister, has gone on a hunger strike after refusing medical treatment for an undisclosed issue at a Kharkiv clinic.

Yulia Tymoshenko, former prime minister of Ukraine, said over the weekend that she would run for the presidency. Fresh from her release from prison a few weeks back, the 53-year-old blonde beauty promised to bring Ukraine out of economic and political problems and bring back Crimea, recently annexed by Russia, to Ukraine.

Ms Tymoshenko, who was jailed for over two years on corruption charges linked to signing a natural gas agreement with Russia in 2009, said, quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald, "I think I can create a powerful defence system for the country, create a modern and efficient army and make all necessary steps ... to re-arm our army with the most modern weapons."

She ran in 2010 against former President Viktor Yanukovych who fled the country in February.

The former PM is backed by key members of the Batkivshchyna party such as Oleksandr Tucrchynoc, the parliamentary chairman, and Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the acting prime minister.

Besides Ms Tymoshenko, other Ukrainian politicians interested in the same post are ex-world heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko and 48-year-old billionaire Petro Poroshenko.

Mr Poroshenko was the head of the foreign and economic ministries and funded the public revolution that caused the former president to flee Ukraine.

The latest report, however, said that Mr Klitschko has withdrawn from the race in favour of the billionaire.  He will instead run for mayor of Kiev.

Explaining his decision, the boxer said, quoted by Bleacher Report, "We have to nominate a single candidate representing the democratic forces ... This has to be a candidate who enjoys the strongest public support. Today, this candidate in my opinion is Petro Poroshenko."

Mr Poroshenko is leading in pre-election surveys. The election is scheduled on May 25.

The future president of Ukraine, however, has a lot of challenges to face because the country was on the brink of a default were it not for the timely extension by the International Monetary Fund on Thursday of a $14 billion-$18 billion financial amount. The exact amount of assistance depends on a determination of all bilateral and multilateral support being accounted for.

A poll victory by Ms Tymoshenko would be interesting because she would likely cross paths with Ms Poklonskaya as Ukraine attempts to return Crimea to the country. That would then be a battle of beauty and brains which the world would certainly want to witness.

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(Photo: Reuters / Gleb Garanich)
Yulia Tymoshenko, the jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister, has gone on a hunger strike after refusing medical treatment for an undisclosed issue at a Kharkiv clinic.
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