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DPR leader says republic to set election date if Ukraine fails to do it

June 21, 2016, 19:43 UTC+3

The DPR head says date of local elections will be set in case Ukraine’s parliament fails to pass a DPR-agreed law by July 14

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MOSCOW, June 21. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) will appoint local elections by its own in case Ukraine’s parliament fails to pass a DPR-agreed law on elections in Donbass by July 14, DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko said on Tuesday.

"Ukraine either adopts a law on local elections agreed with us by July 14 or not. If it doesn’t, we will take a decision on local elections ourselves," the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying. "I doubt Ukraine will be able to pass the law on local elections in Donbass by July 14."

He said he doesn’t rule out local elections in the republic could be held this year.

According to earlier reports, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) plans to unilaterally consider the law on elections in Donbass on July 14, the final day of the parliament’s current session before a break till September.

At the end of the last year, the Normandy Four leaders set a new timeframe for elections in Donbass - the first half of 2016. Ukraine however is still refusing to discuss that matter citing the security situation in the region as a reason and demanding full control of the border section with Russia although it should be done after the elections, as follows from the Minsk package.

DPR, LPR demand Kiev agree law on elections with them

DPR and LPR chief negotiators, Denis Pushilin and Vladislav Deinego, said the republics demand that Kiev agrees the law on local elections in Donbass with them.

"We don’t recognize Ukraine’s laws non-agreed with Donbass. The more so, we will not hold elections under such laws," the message says. "The passage of the law on local elections without agreement with the self-proclaimed republics is violation of the Minsk agreements."

Pushilin and Deinego noted that Ukrainian lawmakers "once again have raised the issue of possible passage of a law on elections, with a concrete date - July 14, 2016 - being cited."

"Indulging in wishful thinking, Ukraine is seeking to pass this law for the implementation of certain provisions of the Minsk package," they said, adding that the latter document puts it clear that all legal and normative acts are to be agreed with representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics.

"Over the past 18 months, we have offered a lot of editions of constitutional amendments and draft laws on elections but there has been no response from the Ukrainian side," the Donetsk News Agency quoted the message.

"Peace in Donbass and in Ukraine is achievable only upon agreement of all provisions with representatives of the people’s republics, only through complete and implementations of the all the provisions of the Minsk agreements by both parties," Pushilin and Deinego said in the message.

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