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Published: Thursday October 24, 2013 MYT 11:22:00 PM
Updated: Thursday October 24, 2013 MYT 11:22:58 PM

Ukraine's Klitschko says will run for president

Vitaly Klitschko (R), head of the parliamentary faction of the UDAR (Punch) Party, speaks from the parliamentary tribune in Kiev December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Anatolii Stepanov

Vitaly Klitschko (R), head of the parliamentary faction of the UDAR (Punch) Party, speaks from the parliamentary tribune in Kiev December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Anatolii Stepanov

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian heavyweight boxer and opposition politician Vitaly Klitschko said on Thursday he would run for president in a 2015 election.

Klitshcko, 42, made his declaration angrily to parliament after the assembly, dominated by deputies from the ruling Party of Regions and its allies, passed a law amending tax legislation that could be used to prevent him from running for head of state.

Striking the rostrum with his hand, the two-metre (6ft 7in) tall Klitschko said: "Everything that has taken place in parliament today with texts of laws, directly backed by ruling party deputies, does not intimidate me and will not stop me.

"To head off these various schemes and attempts at getting even with me as a possible candidate, I want to declare this: I will run for President."

The move makes him the first declared contender against incumbent Viktor Yanukovich, who is widely expected to seek a second term.

(Writing By Richard Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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