Donetsk, Oct 2 – DAN. More than 290 thousand registered voters cast their ballots during the first seven hours of the DPR primaries, according to the Interim Vote Commission press officer Oleg Balykin.

"291,284 voters cast their ballots at this time," he said at a 15 a.m. briefing.

Earlier he informed that by 12 a.m. over 124 thousand people had voted. Polling stations in Donetsk and its suburbs close at 8 a.m. 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.