three extra candidates withdraw from Ukraine’s presidential election

KIEV, March 7 (Xinhua) — Three more candidates have announced their withdrawal from Ukraine’s presidential race, local media reported on Thursday.

Sergiy Kryvonos, deputy commander of the Special Operations Forces at the Ukrainian army, quit the election in favor of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, according to Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

Parliament member Eugene Muraev withdrew his candidacy to back up former Deputy Prime Minister Olexandr Vilkul, while another lawmaker Dmytro Dobrodomov dropped out of the race to endorse former Defence Minister Anatoly Hrytsenko.

Last week, Hrytsenko was supported by two other candidates who voiced their intention to withdraw from the elections. They are journalist Dmytro Gnap and Andriy Sadovyy, mayor of Ukraine’s western city of Lviv.

Initially, 44 candidates registered to compete in the election scheduled for March 31. Contenders are permitted to withdraw their candidacy from the race by the end of Thursday.