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Ukrainian presidential ballot to have 39 names

Published
Oleh Lyashko, leader of Ukraine's Radical Party and a candidate for the President position in this month vote, shakes people's hands during his election campaign trip to the Kirovograd region, the village of Blagoveshchenkse, Ukraine, Thursday, March 7, 2019. The country's presidential vote will be on March 31. (AP Photo/Osman Karimov)

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — The ballot for Ukraine's presidential election will include 39 candidates, a marginally slimmer field after five contenders dropped out in recent days.

The final candidates' list for the March 31 vote was announced Friday by the central elections commission.

Opinion polls suggest that no candidate is likely to get anywhere close to the 50 percent of the votes needed to win in a first round.

Television comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy leads the pre-election surveys with support of around 25 percent. Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and incumbent Petro Poroshenko are in the second and third places, although polls differ on who is in the stronger position.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko speaks during her press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, March. 7, 2019. Tymoshenko is running in the president election scheduled for March 31. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko speaks during her press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, March. 7, 2019. Tymoshenko is running in the president election scheduled for March 31. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko speaks during her press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, March. 7, 2019. Tymoshenko is running in the president election scheduled for March 31. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Oleh Lyashko, leader of Ukraine's Radical Party and a candidate for the President position in this month vote, shakes people's hands during his election campaign trip to the Kirovograd region, the village of Blagoveshchenkse, Ukraine, Thursday, March 7, 2019. The country's presidential vote will be on March 31. (AP Photo/Osman Karimov)
Oleh Lyashko, leader of Ukraine's Radical Party and a candidate for the President position in this month vote, shakes people's hands during his election campaign trip to the Kirovograd region, the village of Blagoveshchenkse, Ukraine, Thursday, March 7, 2019. The country's presidential vote will be on March 31. (AP Photo/Osman Karimov)