Donetsk, Oct 2 – DAN. Today’s primaries in DPR were held in accordance with democratic standards and should bolster Republic’s image, said international observers who monitored the vote.
'I assume what we have seen today is an exemplary democratic process. Primaries reinforce DPR international position," said a polytologist from Finland Johan Backman.
Czech MP Zdeněk Ondráček told DAN that he was impressed with DPR people commitment to participate in the primaries and their organization level.
"There were even queues to ballot boxes, and no mistakes on organizers’ side. Turnout was up to almost 50 percent by mid-day. We are looking at you with admiring envy because in our country voters do not turn out in such numbers," Ondráček said.
Italian journalist and social activist Giullietto Chiesa also cross-referenced political situations in DPR and western countries, noting that western democratic institutions should not be considered as a guide as they have long degraded.
"Don’t look to Europe, build your own democracy," he told voters in Donetsk.
His compatriot, member of Italy-Russia (Bergamo) Association Eliseo Bertolasi shared his colleagues’ opinion and highly praised the voting: "This is a paragon of freedom and democracy for many countries of the world."
Polling stations in Donetsk and its suburbs closed at 8 a.m. The vote was monitored by 1043 candidates observers and 22 international observers from Finland, Greece, Germany, Italy, South Ossetia, France, Czech Republic, Serbia and other countries.
The Interim Voting Commission registered 1098 self-nominated candidates, among them politicians, medics, cultural leaders, militiamen, miners, scientists and teachers known across Donbass and Ukraine. Five of the candidates are running for Donetsk mayor, 141 – for city council, and the rest for local offices.
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.
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.