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MOSCOW, September 18. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) is ready to hold elections due on October 18 in line with all international standards, chairman of the DPR’s Central Election Commission Roman Lyagin said on Friday.
"Our elections comply with European and world standards, and it is applicable to all stages of the election process, starting from the law," the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying.
Apart from that, he said people living in those districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are controlled by Ukraine’s army would have a possibility to cast their votes at the elections. "They will have such a possibility, we have practiced this at the previous elections," Lyagin said.
He said more than 300 polling stations would be open on the voting day. However, in his words, more polling stations could be opened.
Local elections in certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are among the provisions of the of the February 12 comprehensive action plan to fulfil the Minsk accords worked out by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France in the search for peace in the embattled eastern Donbas region.
The Package of Measures, known as Minsk-2, envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and people’s militias in the self-proclaimed republic in Donetsk and Lugansk starting from February 15 and subsequent withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of engagement. The deal also laid out a roadmap for a lasting settlement in Ukraine, including local elections and constitutional reform to give more autonomy to the war-torn eastern regions.
To spur up the work of the Contact Group, four working subgroups were set up within it on four key aspects of the Minsk agreements, namely on issues of security; on political issues; on issues of prisoner exchange and refuges; and on social, humanitarian and economic aspects.
Until now, Kiev has been upholding a dead-end position: Donbas should be granted a special status only after the elections while the elections will take place after the region stops resisting although the aim of resistance is actually legislative confirmation of the special status.
Along with this, in spite of the Minsk agreements prescribing to enter a dialogue on the modality of the elections with the republics’ representatives immediately after the withdrawal of heavy weapons and to hold these elections until the end of the year 2015, Kiev rejects both options.
Moreover, elections in the parts of Donbass, which are not under Kiev’s control, are not envisaged by the law on local elections approved by the Ukrainian parliament Verkhovna Rada in the summer. In these conditions the self-proclaimed republics announced they would hold the elections on their own and determined the dates for these elections. As Ukraine scheduled local elections for October 25, the DPR would vote on October 18 and the LPR — on November 1.