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DONETSK/LUHANSK, October 31. /TASS/. Friday is the final day of pre-election campaigning in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. On Sunday, November 2, the residents of the two entities will go to the polls to elect the heads of the republics and deputies of republican legislatures.
Local broadcasting media can put the candidates’ political promotions on the air through to 12am on Friday and candidates have an opportunity to take part in canvassing and public actions to attract the voters’ attention.
“As of 12am November 1, any political advertising is prohibited and ‘silence day’ will last through the end of voting on Sunday,” Roman Lyagin, the head of the DPR Central Electoral Commission told TASS. “However, the Commission reserves the right to urge the voters to come to the polling stations.”
Big billboards, calling on the population to vote on Sunday, have been installed in Luhansk and large populated localities in the LNR. “All Friends Will Be There,” says the motto on the billboards that show friendly-looking self-defense fighters and ordinary residents from students to pensioners.
Elections in the DPR and LPR will be held November 2. Three candidates — Alexander Zakharchenko, Yury Sivokonenko and Alexander Kofman — will be on the ballots in the election. The list of candidates in the LNR includes the incumbent acting president, Igor Plotnitsky, trade unions leader Oleg Akimov, public health minister Larissa Airapetian, and businessmen Viktor Penner.
In the meantime, the candidates themselves do not think that campaigning is the most important thing during the pre-election period. For instance, Larissa Airapetian told TASS by telephone she believed actions spoke louder than words for each person.
“There are so many problems in healthcare and in our country in general that indulging in self-promotion would be totally unscrupulous because there’s so much work to be done,” she said. “That’s why there’s simply no time for video clips, posters or billboards.”
If she wins the election she will put all her endeavors into building a state ruled by law that would take into account interests of all groups. “The way I see the situation, the Luhansk People’s Republic should be oriented toward Russia,” Airapetian said.
Viktor Penner, who was the first to submit his documents for registration as a candidate, said he views the essence of his mission in the social and economic rehabilitation and in the further development of the republic in all spheres.
“It’s vital for us to hold elections on November 2 so as to resolve our problems related to banking and the customs system and we need international recognition,” Oleg Akimov told TASS. He indicated that of crucial significance for the LNR is recognition by the Customs Union countries, as more than 80% of the republic’s economy is oriented at Russia and other countries of the CIS.