As hundreds of people flocked to the polls on Sunday the East and West were squaring up for a battle over the legitimacy of such elections and today EU leaders would discuss the election of heads. Though the peoples republics have their own ideas who should be elected.
‘ Donetsk citizens queuing outside one of the polling stations during the elections ‘
Atlantic Council said that the Russian-backed, miniature, “people’s republics” declared in south-eastern Ukraine are preparing to elect parliaments and heads of state on Sunday, a step backed by Moscow the BBC reported.
‘Donetsk militia commander and prime minister of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ Alexander Zakharchenko, center, visits a coal mine October 29 as he campaigns to be elected head of state. (Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev) ‘
On Sunday, the DPR and LPR held elections of the self-proclaimed republic’s heads and parliament members. In DPR its incumbent head Aleksandr Zakharchenko won the polls, and in the LPR – incumbent leader of the republic Igor Plotnitsky.
The self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk took to polling stations to vote for their leaders and MPs on Sunday.
Over 360 polling stations were open in Donetsk for three million potential voters. Meanwhile, 102 polling stations for approximately 1.5 million voters were open in Luhansk.
EU countries are ready to discuss the elections of heads and parliamentarians in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics this week, the EU foreign policy chief’s spokesperson, Maja Kocijancic, said on Monday Tass reported.
This was following a previous comment by EU’s new foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, earlier who called these elections illegitimate and said the EU will not recognize their results.
Those elections promise to further undermine the already wobbly political deal that underpins the half-effective ceasefire in the war some have said, though Moscow says they will recognise the election results reported Tass.
Does that increase the risk of a new surge in fighting?
The ceasefire is part of the Minsk Protocol, a Sept. 5 agreement signed by Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE and representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.
The protocol is written as a roadmap for restoring Ukrainian control over the south-east. It provides for the removal of “illegal military formations,” the re-establishment of Ukraine’s control over its territory and its border—and (Ukraine’s concession) a special status, with extra local government powers, for the region the Atlantic Council reported.
It also calls for “the holding of early local elections in accordance with the Ukrainian law” to establish that special status.
The ceasefire already is in trouble. Gun battles, mortar shelling and other combat continues on a daily basis, and killed more than 330 people in the truce’s first month, the UN human rights agency said in early October.
Western journalists have met Russian troops deployed in Lugansk, despite Moscow’s denial it has sent its forces in. Disparate Militias continue to rule the Russian-controlled zone (Donetsk’s prime minister and leading candidate to become head of state is the commander of one such militia, called Oplot.)
Either way the people voted in their hundreds and the outcome will affect both the Ukrainian people’s of Donestsk and Luhansk and will very likely open up another debate between East and West Governments.
Ian Draper: Ace News Room