KIEV, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Billionaire businessman and lawmaker Petro Poroshenko became the fifth president of Ukraine Thursday amid high expectations for change from voters, who hope for an end to the country's six-month turmoil and a return to growth for the economy.
Poroshenko's election win is no surprise. He led the poll from the beginning of the vote in the capital city of Kiev and all 24 Ukrainian regions and never faced much of a challenge from his closest rivals -- ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Radical Party leader Oleg Lyashko.
Local analysts attribute Poroshenko's triumph to Ukrainians' desire to avoid a run-off and end the country's worst crisis since its independence.
"People who voted for Poroshenko were seeking a speedy end to the war. He has a very high ranking in Donbass, where people under (threat of) bullets went to the polls," said Sergey Vlaschenko, a political analyst at the Center of Political Forecasting.
Vadym Karasev, Director of the Institute of Global Strategies, said Ukrainians had been waiting for a legitimate president who would be recognized by the international community and could make crucial decisions.
"People are tired of temporal power: interim president, acting ministers, in particular the defense minister. People are in urgent need of a new supreme commander," Karasev said.
Poroshenko's victory speech made it clear he would be a strong president and try to justify the hopes of Ukrainians.
"The first thing we must do is bring peace to all the citizens of Ukraine," Poroshenko said, declaring his first visit after the inauguration would be to two rebel-held regions in the east.
Poroshenko's success can also be attributed to an old formula, which involves choosing the most pragmatic and flexible candidate, who regardless of his personal preferences, will build profitable relationships with all partners.
"Voting for Poroshenko, people primarily pay attention to his international experience, communication skills and the ability to stay the course," independent political analyst Volodymyr Tsybulko said.
Poroshenko's decision to keep the current Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, an old ally of Tymoshenko, was seen by experts as evidence of the new president's ability to compromise.
The 48-year-old Ukrainian leader, who promised during his campaign to move the country closer to economic integration with Europe, also vowed to hold talks with the Russian leadership, signaling he would continue Ukraine's traditional "multi-vector" foreign policy.
Poroshenko, who is not affiliated with any other political party or oligarch clans, financed his election campaign from his own pocket. He is widely seen an independent politician who makes his own decisions.
"The leader of the presidential race has not only the legal but also social right to become the head of the state. For Ukrainians, it is very important to realize this matter, to realize that such a choice will benefit everybody," said Andrey Yermolaev, the head of the Institute for Strategic Studies "New Ukraine".