Primaries voter turnout higher than expected, more than 54 thousand cast ballots


Over 54 thousand voters cast ballots in the LPR primaries as of 8 p.m. when polling stations closed, said the Interim Vote Commission (IVC) chairman, Justice Minister Sergey Kozyakov.

"The turnout is 54,426 voters as of 8 p.m. 50,579 came to cast ballots in Lugansk, 2,018 in Yubileiniy, 1,829 in Aleksandrovsk," he specified.

"That’s a comfortable turnout, it is higher than we expected," Kozyakov noted.

"No complaints were filed with the IVC," he said.

In the first LPR primaries voters cast their ballots for 234 candidates at a total of 80 polling stations in 54 wards in Lugansk, Aleksandrovsk and Yubileiniy. The residents were choosing candidates to local authorities positions, with 720 volunteers facilitating the work of polling stations commissions (PSC).

The primaries were monitored by about 30 international observers from over 15 countries.

No violations or incidents concerning voting procedures or public order were reported.

LPR Head Igor Plotnitskiy earlier in the day urged people to actively participate in primaries to determine opinion leaders. He cast his vote, saying he was choosing peace and future.

LPR Head on July, 4th announced the preliminary public voting (primaries) for the candidates to local authorities. Earlier he declared that the Republic would hold local elections if Kiev, even pressured by the West, refused to fulfill the political part of the Minsk agreements, which stipulates holding local elections in Donbass.

"Today our society shows an explicit intention to hold local elections. We can not wait forever for Kiev to hear the demands of our people. I have decided to support this initiative that will give us an opportunity to test candidates and see the public opinion," Plotnitskiy said.

He guaranteed to all the participants transparent and fair procedures fully compliant with democratic, moral principles and OSCE standards.

"Ukraine election law does not permit self-nomination for party members, while in the Republic it is possible to nominate oneself, it is not prohibited. Time will show whom our people choose. But we shall never welcome those political forces that supported "anti-terrorst operation" (ATO) directly or indirectly, or by omission or powerlessness," LPR head stated.

The representatives of LPR major civil movements, Mir Luganshchine (Peace to Lugansk) and Lugansk Economic Union, have declared full support to the voting.

The public assemblies were held in 14 LPR towns, each to elect 7 delegates to the General meeting. The General meeting on July, 24th appointed 15 members to the Interim Vote Commission (IVC) that defines voting districts, members of local territorial and district commissions, work out candidate nomination procedure, etc. LPR's justice minister Sergey Kozjakov was elected to head the IVC. The vote steering committee on July, 26th decided to hold the primaries in Lugansk, town of Aleksandrovsk and Yubileyniy settlement on October, 2nd.

IVC registered 234 candidates for the primaries, the campaigning finished on 30 September. All candidates were guaranteed free access to mass media, while some entities and persons, for instance, public authorities, military units, charities, foreigners and foreign legal entities were not allowed to campaign. The Commission imposed some limitations as well: Nazi symbols, race discrimination, inciting violence, etc. were banned.

Foreign journalists and international observers are welcomed in LPR to report the vote, their safety is guaranteed by Head of LPR Igor Plotnitskiy.

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