Donetsk, Oct 2 – DAN. DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko cast his vote today in the DPR preliminary public voting. He and First Lady Natalya Zakharchenko voted at the polling station No.34 in Voroshilovskiy central Donetsk district.

The Republic’s leader urged everyone to participate in the vote that is to determine opinion leaders who deserve to become candidates in foreseen Donbass local elections. Zakharchenko stated that primaries are to prove DPR is developing as a rule-of-law state capable of holding transparent and fair elections.

DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko at a Voroshilovskiy district polling station, Donetsk, Oct. 2, 2016

"Only those self-nominees who are in position to restore infrastructure, towns, economy and social services should participate and win. Today we have an opportunity to parlay such leaders. The only thing to be avoided is standing aside indifferent to our own future," Zakharchenko statement reads.

Over two hundred polling stations opened at 8 a.m. today in all districts of Donetsk and suburban towns and villages including Aleksandrovka, Andreyevka, Yelenovka, Larino, Lyubovka, Staromikhailovka and Mospino. The vote is monitored by 1043 candidates observers and 22 international observers from Finland, Greece, Germany, Italy, South Ossetia, France, Czech Republic, Serbia and other countries.

A record of more than one thousand candidates are vying for the seats in local authorities bodies. Five of them are running for Donetsk mayor, 141 – for city council, and the rest for local offices. The voting is to continue until 8 p.m.

The primaries, that are preliminary in nature, are aimed solely at exploring public opinion. They are held before anticipated local elections in Donbass in compliance with Minsk Agreements. The vote is being organized in line with OSCE standards.