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Eastern Ukraine Independence Leaders Win the Elections

teleSUR | November 3, 2014

The incumbent prime ministers of the eastern Ukrainian People’s Republic of Donetsk and the Republic of Lugansk, Alexander Zakharchenko, and Igor Plotinitski, respectively, won the elections, according to preliminary results revealed by the Ruptly news agency.

The preliminary results show that Zakharchenko received over 70 percent of the votes, while Plotnitski received 63 percent. Zakharchenko’s closest rival, the vice president of the joint parliament of Donetsk and Lugansk, Alexander Kofman, received about 10 percent of the votes.

The initial results also indicate Zakharchenko’s separatist party has swept up an easy majority in the DPR’s parliament, with over 60 percent of the vote, Russian media outlets have reported.

“The fact that we have a right to carry out our own elections was written,” Zacharchenko said. He stated that the elections don’t contravene the Minsk agreements, which were signed with Kiev in order to reestablish peace in Eastern Ukraine. “We are ready to carry out conversations with whomever is willing to listen to us.”

This Sunday the people of the Donetsk and Lugansk went to the polling stations to elect new leaders and parliaments. Voting began at 8:00 a.m. local time (05:00 GMT) and continued to do so until 22:00 p.m. (19:00 GMT). All residents over 16 years of age were eligible to vote in Donetsk and Lugansk.

“The elections, which were prepared under difficult conditions, very quickly, were nonetheless carried out in an organized way,” Russian electoral observer Leonid Slutsky told Reuters.

Sunday’s vote in the DPR and neighboring Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) has been condemned by officials in Kiev, but backed by Moscow.

Ahead of the vote, German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the elections as “illegitimate,” though at the time of writing there were no reports from international observers of serious misconduct. Merkel had already warned Russia that the European Union would not accept the results of the elections. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had also warned Russia against recognizing the rebel held elections in the region.

“I believe the elections followed international standards of democratic elections. I was very impressed with the enthusiasm and the vigor with which the people went to the polls to express their opinion,” electoral observer and U.S. Senior Attorney Frank Abernathy told RT in Lugansk.

A DPR official told Russia’s Itar-Tass the most serious incident was a bomb threat, which later turned out to be a false alarm.

On the frontlines, however, clashes continued between DPR fighters and Ukrainian government forces. The fierce combat has left a death toll of over 300 people dead in the last 10 days, in spite of a bilateral cease-fire that was put into effect September 5.

Last Sunday, Ukraine also held parliamentary elections, which were won by the right wing party of Petro Poroshenko. The results were recognized by Russia.

November 3, 2014 - Posted by | Aletho News | , ,

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