MOSCOW, April 29 (RIA Novosti) – Oleh Tsarev, a Ukrainian presidential candidate and an active pro-federalization supporter, announced Tuesday he is withdrawing from the upcoming May 25 presidential election in the country.
“I made a decision to withdraw from the election as I think the status of a candidate is not efficient under the current conditions. We will search for other information sources and ways to get our thoughts and messages across to the citizens of Central and Western Ukraine,” a statement on his Facebook page reads.
His press secretary Svetlana Kolesnikova told RIA Novosti that she could not yet confirm the information.
Tsarev also urged all other candidates to follow his example and boycott the upcoming election.
“I urge all other candidates – Petro Symonenko, Mykhailo Dobkin, Serhiy Tihipko, Renat Kuzmin and all other candidates, whose main voters are located in the Southeast, to withdraw from the election! We must boycott the election that is taking place amid civil war,” Tsarev stressed.
Tsarev was brutally beaten by radicals in Kiev following his appearance on the Ukrainian talk show “Svoboda Slova” (“Freedom of Speech”) earlier this month.
Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, condemned the attack as violating a free and democratic election and also criticized the West’s “shy silence” towards the reports.
Tsarev, a former People's Deputy of Ukraine for the Party of Regions, has chaired the Anti-Fascist Forum of Ukraine since 2011. He formerly served as an adviser to Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, who was ousted in February as a result of a coup.
Ukraine underwent a regime change on February 22. The country’s parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, changed the constitution and scheduled early presidential elections for May 25.
At least two dozen candidates have announced their intention to run in the upcoming race.