DONETSK/LUHANSK, November 2. /TASS/. The self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics are voting in Sunday’s elections of heads and parliamentarians in a calm atmosphere, a source in the Luhansk People’s Republic militia headquarters said on Sunday.
“No data on any shelling and provocations is available,” the source told TASS.
Chief of the DPR Defense Ministry’s political department Eduard Basurin also said the voting was being held calmly.
“On the whole the adversary is not taking active actions to wreck the elections,” Basurin said.
CANDIDATES AND MOVEMENTS
Incumbent Donetsk republican leader, Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of parliament of Novorossia, a federative state formed by the self-proclaimed republics, Alexander Kofman and lawmaker of the Supreme Council of the self-proclaimed republic and veteran of special police force Berkut Yuri Sivokonenko are running for the post of Donetsk republican head.
All of them call for soonest attainment of peace in Donbass, restoration of infrastructure and residential houses destroyed in military actions and settlement of social problems.
The Donetsk republican prime minister said repeatedly in pre-election and working trips that social payments to teachers, pensioners, students should be started and regional infrastructure should be restored first of all. Meanwhile, in his words, Donetsk republican cities of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and other cities occupied by Ukrainian law enforcers should be brought back to the self-proclaimed republic.
Sivokonenko insists on Donetsk People’s Republic’s accession to the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. “We are strongly linked with Ukraine, but I call with all my soul and heart for integration, including Donetsk People’s Republic’s entry in the Customs Union,” he told TASS. Economy can be restored only through economic co-operation with Belarus and Russia, he said.
Alexander Kofman comes out for establishment of a common state with the Luhansk People’s Republic called Novorossia. However, settlement of humanitarian problems in Donbass is among his priority tasks.
Movement Donetsk Republic with Zakharchenko on the top of its election list and Free Donbass led by public figure Yevgeny Orlov well-known in the Donetsk People’s Republic will vie for seats in the People’s Council, local parliament in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
First Deputy Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic and chairman of Donetsk Republic movement presidium Andrei Purgin and former chairman of Donetsk republican Supreme Council Presidium Denis Pushilin are in the top trio of Donetsk Republic election list along with Zakharchenko. “Election campaign of the Donetsk Republic movement is a programme of people’s economy, people’s Donbass without oligarchs,” Purgin said in his visual.
Free Donbass movement intends to fight for power of people, openness and social justice for Donetsk republican residents of all nationalities and build-up of inter-ethnic peace and accord in the country.
According to sociological surveys, 51.3% of voters want to vote for Donetsk Republic and 31.6% prefer to vote for Free Donbass.
FACTBOX ABOUT THE SELF-PROCLAIMED DONETSK AND LUHANSK PEOPLE’S REPUBLICS
The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics were formed in spring 2014 on the territory of Donbass (Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine’s southeastern industrial area) after referendums.
In response, Kiev started a military operation. Active hostilities stopped only after peace deals stipulating a special status for Donbass were signed on September 5 in Minsk. In September, the self-proclaimed republics adopted laws on elections of the republics’ heads and deputies of people’s councils.
On the whole, 2.2 million people live in the Luhansk Region, and 4.3 million people reside in the Donetsk Region. The share of Russians in the population reaches 39-40% Both territories are centers of the coal, metallurgical and mechanical engineering industries.