DONETSK, July 4 /TASS/. Alexander Zakharchenko, the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, has announced the start of preliminary public voting in the republic’s territory in a statement, which the Donetsk News Agency published on its website.
"The conflict’s political settlement, which is the key objective of the Minsk agreements, has come to a deadlock through the Ukrainian side’s fault. Kiev has not got down to implementing the political part of the Minsk-2 package of measures ever since the Minsk-2 came into being. A separate law on elections in Donbass has never been agreed with us and has not been adopted by Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian parliament]. So far we have been listening to talk that it exists in the form of a bill, which, by the way, no one has seen," Zakharchenko said.
The DPR leader added the republic was becoming more and more convinced that the Kiev government did not want to create conditions for holding the elections in Donbass according to the rules adopted in Minsk.
"The Ukrainian side is inventing new and new reservations. With an aim to resolve our own tasks of building our state system, on the one hand, and to show that the Ukrainian side’s claims are pitiful, on the other hand, we are giving a start to public primaries [preliminary vote] in the DPR," Zakharchenko said.
"Preliminary public voting will take place in Donetsk in the first stage. These primaries will become a preliminary stage to holding the elections in our territories, a ‘political exercise’ so to speak ahead of possible elections," the DPR head stressed.
Zakharchenko explained that an updated register of voters would be used during the primaries. Polling stations as well as district and territorial electoral commissions will be set up.
"In fact, we are going to use the entire system and procedures, which are usually used during elections. But since we still have a tiny hope that Kiev is going to meet its commitments under the [Minsk-2] package of measures, we are going to refrain from holding proper elections and will confine ourselves to the preliminary stage," the DPR chief stressed.
The public primaries will give DPR citizens an opportunity to nominate people who command the respect of the republic’s population as their candidates.
"I would like to note specially that the public primaries are in no way contradicting the Minsk agreements. It’s just a preliminary vote and its aim is to reveal the general mood and preferences of our people," Zakharchenko concluded.