Donetsk, Oct 2 - DAN. The first preliminary public voting (primaries) in Donbass history is to kick off today in the capital of Donetsk People's Republic. The residents of Donetsk city will vote for candidates for local authorities posts.

DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko underlined that the primaries, that are preliminary in nature and comply with Minsk Agreements, are aimed solely at exploring public opinion to determine the opinion leaders.

The Interim Voting Commission (IVC) registered 1098 self-nominated candidates, among them politicians, medics, cultural leaders, militiamen, miners, scientists and teachers known across Donbass and Ukraine.

Any Donetsk resident of 18 years of age and older is eligible to vote. Early voting and any forms of remote voting are prohibited. IVC was to print about six hundred thousand ballot papers for the primaries, according to the Commission press officer Oleg Balykin.

The total of 208 polling stations will open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

According to the IVC, about 150 journalists from Donbass, Russia, CIS and EU countries will report on the primaries.

The vote will be monitored by 1043 candidates observers and 22 international observers from Finland, Greece, Germany, Italy, South Ossetia, France, Czech Republic, Serbia and other countries.

Donetsk politologists expect the most intense face off to unfold between the candidates for the city administration head position.

Local elections in Donbass are one of the key points of a peace deal. They were supposed to be held back in 2015 as stipulated in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements. To accomplish the task Ukraine assumed obligation to pass the election legislation coordinated with Donbass Republics.

The law has not still been passed, and a draft bill has not been worked out. This has triggered criticism towards Kiev, even from Ukraine’s western allies.