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No Ukrainian presidential elections in Donetsk Region - Donetsk Republic official

Today self-proclaimed republic controls all 22 district election commissions

DONETSK, May 15 /ITAR-TASS/. Early presidential elections in Ukraine scheduled for May 25 will not be held on the territory of the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk Region, the chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Roman Lyagin, said Wednesday.

“Today the DPR CEC controls all 22 district election commissions, so Ukrainian presidential elections on DPR territory are impossible both from the technical and security viewpoints,” Lyagin told Itar-Tass.

He also said Kiev-appointed Donetsk Region governor Sergey Taruta “today rules an imaginary region.”

“We had a formal governor, Taruta. We don’t see him, don’t even know where he is,” Lyagin said.

He did not rule out that referendums on self-determination similar to those held in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions could be held in other parts of Ukraine’s southeast - in the Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Kherson, Nikolayev and Odessa regions.

Earlier Wednesday, co-chairman of the presidium of the DPR Miroslav Rudenko said Taruta “has no real power” in the region.

“Kiev-appointed Taruta may call himself a governor for as long as he wants to, but he has no real power. Our republic has not elected a head of state yet, but we don’t have a head of the regional administration anymore either,” Rudenko said.

The eastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.

The DPR’s press service said Wednesday it has formed the Supreme Council, which will perform the functions of the supreme body of legislative power, and the Security Council. The Supreme Council is expected to comprise 140-150 deputies, the DPR told Itar-Tass. A draft constitution of the DPR was discussed at today’s meeting, it said.

Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities, who were propelled to power in Kiev amid riots during a coup in the country in February, erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern territories after the secession of the Crimean Peninsula, which declared independence on March 11 and joined Russia on March 18 following a referendum.