DONETSK/LUGANSK, November 11. /TASS/. International observers at the elections of heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and MPs have stated that the voting is in line with European standards and the voter turnout is unprecedented.
As of 2 p.m. Moscow Time, the voter turnout reached 56.5% and 65.9% in the LPR and DPR, respectively, local election officials said.
"The elections in the DPR do not run counter to the Minsk process and are in line with all democratic standards of European countries," Greek observer Costas Isihos was quoted by the Donetsk News Agency as saying. The elections prove that the republic is democratic, he noted.
An observer from Russia, an MP from the State Duma (lower house) Andrei Kozenko said "the ballot stations opened on time, free access for observers was ensured, and the members of local election commissions are working as normal." An observer from Germany, an MP from Berlin’s regional parliament Gunnar Lindemann echoed the stance. "No one is influencing the voters, they decide themselves on their choice. I see that the elections are in line with European standards," he said, noting that the EU should recognize the results.
"The elections currently held in the DPR meet the key principles of democracy, this is absolutely evident, and the turnout has once again confirmed this," member of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house) Olga Kovitidi said. "The elections, which are now held in Donetsk, are in line with the Minsk agreements. It’s very important that by this time we have not recorded any significant violations."
Belgium’s MP and observer Jan Petris also praised the high level of organizing the voting. "The elections that you hold with the unprecedented turnout are a democratic process, which shows that the republic is self-sufficient."
"The Ukrainian side is not implementing the Minsk agreements and this cannot continue indefinitely for Europe and the people of Donbass," French observer and a member of France’s National Assembly Thierry Mariani said. "I hope that these elections will become a step toward an accord. However, I don’t see that Kiev has the will to achieve it."
Kiev and a number of Western countries have refused to recognize the right of the self-proclaimed Donbass republics to hold elections, saying that this runs counter to the Minsk deal. Lugansk, Donetsk and Moscow have stated on many occasions that holding the elections in Donbass is in the framework of the Minsk agreements, which mention only municipal polls.