LUGANSK, November 9. /TASS/. The preliminary voting for the head and the parliament of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) has started on Friday. The voting stations opened at 08:00 local time (GMT +3).
A regular election of the head of the LPR and members of its People’s Council (parliament) enshrined in the LPR constitution are held based on the decree adopted by the parliamentary members this past September. They also increased then the term of office for the LPR head and the members of the supreme legislative body from four to five years. The LPR head and the People’s Council members are elected by direct secret voting.
The election campaign can be carried out through November 9, and November 10 will be a day of "pre-election silence." A preliminary election for those who will not be able to visit the voting stations on November 11 will be held on November 9 and 10.
The major voting will start on Sunday at 08:00 and will last until 20:00.
The LPR’s Central Election Commission (CEC) organized and is carrying out the election, and 14 territorial election commissions and 316 district election commissions were established. Foreign observers will work to ensure the transparency of the electoral process in the LPR. Today the CEC confirmed the arrival of 45 observers from 22 countries, including Abkhazia, Belgium, Brazil, Hungary, Germany, Greece, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Ireland, Yemen, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Syria, the US, Turkey, Finland and South Ossetia. Ukraine did request to participate in the election as an observer.
Kiev and some Western countries refused to recognize the right of the republics to hold elections, saying that it contradicts the Minsk accords. Lugansk, Donetsk and Moscow repeatedly explained that the organization of elections in the LPR and DPR does not contradict the Minsk accords, which concern municipal elections only.
Four self-nominated candidates are running for the LPR leadership, who duly submitted the necessary number of signatures in their support with the CEC.
The main candidate for the post of the LPR leader is acting head of the LPR Leonid Pasechnik. The other candidates are Chairman of the Republican Committee of the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers Oleg Koval, research scientist at the Perevalsk District Historical Museum Lyudmila Rusnak and Chairman of the Republican Trade Union of Railroad Transport Workers Natalya Sergun.
According to a poll carried out ahead of the voting, 63.3% of those polled stated their readiness to support Pasechnik, 11.1% backed Koval, 3.9% of respondents voted for Sergun and 1.8%, for Rusnak. As many as 19.9% did not choose a candidate to support. That said, 72% of respondents stated their intention to take part in the voting.