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LUHANSK, November 2. /TASS/. Some polling stations in the Luhansk People’s Republic will remain open until 10 pm amid a high voter turnout, the head of the republic’s Central Election Commission (CEC), Sergey Kozyakov, said.
“The CEC convened for an emergency session, and a decision was made that those polling stations that so far fail to cope with the flow of people, will remain open until 10 pm,” he said.
Incumbent Donetsk republican leader, Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of parliament of Novorossia, a federative state formed by the self-proclaimed republics, Alexander Kofman and lawmaker of the Supreme Council of the self-proclaimed republic and veteran of special police force Berkut Yuri Sivokonenko are running for the post of Donetsk republican head.
All of them call for soonest attainment of peace in Donbass, restoration of infrastructure and residential houses destroyed in military actions and settlement of social problems.
The Donetsk republican prime minister said repeatedly in pre-election and working trips that social payments to teachers, pensioners, students should be started and regional infrastructure should be restored first of all. Meanwhile, in his words, Donetsk republican cities of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and other cities occupied by Ukrainian law enforcers should be brought back to the self-proclaimed republic.
Sivokonenko insists on Donetsk People’s Republic’s accession to the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. “We are strongly linked with Ukraine, but I call with all my soul and heart for integration, including Donetsk People’s Republic’s entry in the Customs Union,” he told TASS. Economy can be restored only through economic co-operation with Belarus and Russia, he said.
Alexander Kofman comes out for establishment of a common state with the Luhansk People’s Republic called Novorossia. However, settlement of humanitarian problems in Donbass is among his priority tasks.
Movement Donetsk Republic with Zakharchenko on the top of its election list and Free Donbass led by public figure Yevgeny Orlov well-known in the Donetsk People’s Republic will vie for seats in the People’s Council, local parliament in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
First Deputy Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic and chairman of Donetsk Republic movement presidium Andrei Purgin and former chairman of Donetsk republican Supreme Council Presidium Denis Pushilin are in the top trio of Donetsk Republic election list along with Zakharchenko. “Election campaign of the Donetsk Republic movement is a programme of people’s economy, people’s Donbass without oligarchs,” Purgin said in his visual.
Free Donbass movement intends to fight for power of people, openness and social justice for Donetsk republican residents of all nationalities and build-up of inter-ethnic peace and accord in the country.
According to sociological surveys, 51.3% of voters want to vote for Donetsk Republic and 31.6% prefer to vote for Free Donbass.
The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics were formed in spring 2014 on the territory of Donbass (Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine’s southeastern industrial area) after referendums.
In response, Kiev started a military operation. Active hostilities stopped only after peace deals stipulating a special status for Donbass were signed on September 5 in Minsk. In September, the self-proclaimed republics adopted laws on elections of the republics’ heads and deputies of people’s councils.
On the whole, 2.2 million people live in the Luhansk Region, and 4.3 million people reside in the Donetsk Region. The share of Russians in the population reaches 39-40% Both territories are centers of the coal, metallurgical and mechanical engineering industries.