Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gestures while speaking at a meeting with supporters in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. Poroshenko declared his intention to run for re-election in March's presidential vote. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Ukraine's incumbent president announces re-election bid

January 29, 2019 - 8:11 am

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he will run for re-election in March's presidential vote.

Poroshenko declared Tuesday that he will seek another five-year term in office on March 31. Long before the formal announcement, the president has sought to bolster his sagging public support by spearheading efforts to secure the independence of the Ukrainian church from the Russian Orthodox Church.

His main rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, entered the race last week, promising to regain control of the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula and the separatist-held areas in the east. She accused Poroshenko and his officials of profiting from the ongoing separatist conflict there.

Opinion surveys have shown Poroshenko trailing behind Tymoshenko and in dead heat with comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who plays the president in a popular TV series.

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