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Vitali Klitschko announces run for Ukrainian presidency

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Feb 25, 2014 | 3:13pm EST

Actress Hayden Panettiere's future brother-in-law Vitali Klitschko has officially announced plans to run for president in his native Ukraine following the ousting of leader Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych went into hiding last week (ends21Feb14) following days of violence on the streets of the nation's capital Kiev, where more than 80 people were killed following violent clashes between protesters and police officials. Members of parliament voted to replace him at the weekend (22-23Feb14) and named speaker Alexander Turchinov as acting president, with plans to bring forward the 2015 elections to 25 May (14) in a bid to put an end to the political unrest in the country. Now former boxing champion Klitschko has become the first candidate to enter his name into the race for his country's highest office, stating, "I will be on the ballot." The ex-sportsman, who previously unveiled plans to run for president in 2015, tells the BBC, "We don't have much time (until the election). I want to make Ukraine a modern European country. If I can do that through the president's position, I will do my best." Candidates have until 4 April (14) to register for the presidential election. Actress Panettiere is engaged to wed Vitali's brother, boxer Vladimir Klitschko. The celebrity couple has previously voiced its support for oppressed Ukrainians fighting for political change.

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