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Donetsk Republic’s new parliament to hold first meeting

November 14, 2014, 3:11 UTC+3 DONETSK

The Council will start its solemn meeting in the House of Government at 14:00 Moscow Time

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DONETSK, November 14. /TASS/. The new first-convocation parliament, the People’s Council, of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) will hold its first meeting Friday, with lawmakers electing the speaker of the legislature.

The Council will start its solemn meeting in the House of Government at 14:00 Moscow Time (11:00 a.m. UTC). After the first meeting, there are plans to lay flowers to the monument to “comrade Artyom” - Fyodor Sergeyev, the founder of the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic, which existed in 1918.

Denis Pushilin, a leader of the “Donetsk Republic” movement, told TASS Thursday that deputies will have to choose from three or four candidates. The key contender is Andrey Purgin, who also represents the movement.

Besides, the People’s Council should vote on the issue of new appointments to the Council of Ministers (government) of the republic, but it is not clear by now whether the issue will be put on today’s agenda.

During further work, the new parliament will have to solve a wide range of issues. Lawmakers will have to adopt a number of important laws, including on citizenship, on state service, on the basics of the domestic and foreign policy, on Interior Ministry troops, on defense lawyers and notarial system.

Elections of the DPR head and lawmakers took place November 2. The republic’s prime minister, Alexander Zakharchenko, won the election with 75.6% of the vote (765,000 voters). He officially took office as DPR head on November 4.

The “Donetsk Republic” movement led by Zakharchenko won the parliamentary election gaining 662,725 votes. The Free Donbass movement received the support of 306,892 people.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry earlier said it “respects the will expression of the residents of [Ukraine’s] southeast”.

The election list of the “Donetsk Republic” movement was topped by Zakharchenko, Purgin and Pushilin. The political goal of the movement includes the establishment of an independent Donetsk People’s Republic that will maintain good-neighborly and mutually beneficial relations with all peoples and states on the basis of equality, friendship, cooperation, particularly with the Russian Federation and the Eurasian Union.

Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway southeastern territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics, have killed over 4,000 people.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum on September 19 in Minsk, which outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.

The nine-point document in particular stipulates a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.

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