KIEV – Yulia Tymoshenko, the ex-prime minister of Ukraine has announced her presidential bid. She has been an important politician of Ukraine’s politicians. Yulia had served the Prime Minister of Ukraine for two times. Now, in recent opinion polls results, she has been placed as the front-runner in the presidential election which is scheduled to take place on March 31. The opinion polls results also placed him ahead of incumbent Petro Poroshenko.
While addressing the enthusiastic audience at her party congress in Kiev on Tuesday, Tymoshenko promised to regain control of the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula and the separatist-held areas in the east. Also, she criticized the present President, Poroshenko and the other officials for making the ongoing separatist conflict in the east a profitable business. Not only this, but she also promised not to take the benefit of the separatist conflict in the east on coming to power.
Tymoshenko has had an interesting history in Ukraine’s politics. She was first elected as a member of parliament in 1996 and also carried out massive protests in 2004 together with the then-presidential candidate, Viktor Yushchenko. After Yushchenko’s win, she was appointed as the Prime Minister. However, she only held the position for a period of 9 months and was dismissed following disputes with Yushchenko. Also, she again served as prime minister between 2007 and 2010.
Tymoshenko had also spent two-and-a-half year in prison for signing a gas deal with Russia. She faced the sentence because of the retribution from her political rival, then president Viktor Yanukovych. In the years 2010 and 2014, she had lost the presidential votes to Yanukovych and Poroshenko respectively. Until now, Poroshenko has not formally announced his bid for re-election yet. She has been positioning herself as a pro-NATO, pro-European Union candidate and a supporter of the troops who are fighting Russia-backed separatist in the industrial Donbass region. This is so because she originally belongs to the Russian-speaking east of Ukraine.