Donetsk, Sep 10 - DAN. Acting Heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik, will most likely win the upcoming Head of Republic elections on November 11, Director of the Centre for Current Politics Alexey Chesnakov said in an interview to Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency.

“Terror has not split or frightened the Donbass people. On the contrary, it consolidated it. I can predict the victory of Denis Pushilin in the DPR and Leonid Pasechnik in the LPR with a 99-percent probability. Their supporters will win a majority in the Republics’ parliaments,” the expert said.

He made it clear that the chanсes of their potential rivals were very slim. Separately, Chesnakov commented on the situation around Natalia Zakharchenko, the widow of DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko who died a tragic death.

“As for Natalia Zakharchenko, this situation needs separate comments as an example of limitless cynicism on the part of certain associates of the late DPR Head. Having won his trust, they engaged in theft and property takeovers when he was alive. Now they have scattered, fearing punishment. Exploiting the critical emotional state of Alexander Zakharchenko’s widow, they are trying to drag her into political squabbles, in order to use her name as a cover-up of their discreditable practices. It is disgusting and will avail them nothing,” Chesnakov said.

The DPR elections which have been a subject of discussions are necessitated by the letter of law and the public opinion.

“Indeed, there were doubts, they didn’t want it to be a new irritant to Angela Merkel,” the political scientist said. “However, after the murder of Alexander Zakharchenko, Western states practically kept silent. Donetsk took this silence as the West’s consent to the Kiev regime’s terrorist methods. Of course, Donbass residents were indignant. Nobody now wants to hear the arguments like “let’s not irritate our western partners.”

Chesnakov added that the planned parliamentary and head of Republic elections in the DPR and LPR do not violate the Minsk Agreements.

“The Package of Measures signed in Minsk only regulates municipal elections in Donbass. Neither the DPR or the LPR has ever held municipal elections nor do they plan to,” the political scientist said. “It’s not good for local democracy, but they have to put up with it, because the Republics have taken commitments before the “Normandy Four” and the OSCE to hold municipal elections under the rules agreed upon at the Contact Group. The parliamentary and Head of Republic elections in the DPR and LPR are not municipal, so they have nothing to do with the Minsk process and formally do not violate it.

DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko was killed in an explosion in central Donetsk on August 31. The DPR said that it was a terrorist attack carried out by Ukraine. On September 7, the DPR parliament appointed its speaker Denis Pushilin as acting head of Republic. DPR residents will elect the new head and parliament on November 11.

The LPR will hold the parliamentary and Head of Republic elections on the same day. The LPR parliament approved Leonid Pasechnik as acting LPR Head on November 25, 2017, on the next day after the resignation of his predecessor Igor Plotnitskiy.*jk