Фото: Луганский Информационный Центр/Марина Сулименко

The Lugansk People’s Republic on Friday has begun its first ever parliamentary and municipal elections after accession to Russia.   Polling stations opened at 08:00; early voting was held at 329 exterritorial venues in 81 Russian regions for residents staying outside the LPR, while on September 2 through September 7, ballot casting was arranged for residents living in remote areas or in locations where setting up a polling station is not possible. Voter turnout at exterritorial polling stations reached 26.47 percent.   THREE DAYS OF VOTING   The parliamentary and municipal elections in the LPR will be held on party lists on September 8 through September 10. Voters will elect 50 deputies to the Republic’s People’s Council (parliament) and 565 deputies to government bodies in 28 municipalities.   All the five parties represented at the State Duma (lower house of the Russian parliament) are taking part in the election: United Russia, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Just Russia - Patriots - for Truth and New People. A political party has to gather at least 5 percent of votes to be represented in the LPR parliament.   Taking part in the election race are 324 candidates for the People’s Council and 3,241 candidates for local government bodies.   ELECTION MONITORING   Sixty-four observers appointed by the participating political parties and 23 observers from the LPR Public Chamber are monitoring the elections.   RESIDENTS’ COURAGE   Russian Election Commission Chairwoman Ella Pamfilova said ahead of general voting that residents, voters and election commission members showed their courage amid pressure and intimidation attempts.      “We have women among commission members who have three generations of men at the front: the husband in 2014, then the son and now grandsons,” Pamfilova said. “They cannot be defeated.”   The Republic’s 461 polling stations are open from 8:00 to 20:00 on September 8 and 9 and from 8:00 to 16:00 on September 10.    Any influencing of voters is prohibited during polling hours.   The regional law provides for early voting, organization of plebiscite in public spaces and ballot casting options for certain groups of the population.*i*ie