Donetsk, Oct 2 – DAN. The Interim Vote Commission has announced preliminary turnout figures for DPR primaries.

"Preliminary data from polling station commissions shows the turnout was 369,617 voters at the time of station closing," IVC press officer Oleg Balykin said.

He informed that the IVC did not register any violations or incidents, no complaints were filed.

"Safety at all polling stations was provided in the best possible way," added Internal Affairs Directorate for Donetsk deputy head Alexey Dmitruk.

The vote count started at 8 p.m. as soon as polling stations closed. The ballots are counted openly on the premises of polling stations by members of polling commissions. Official final vote count is expected to be announced tomorrow, October 3.

Primaries were held in Donetsk and its suburbs including those in close proximity to the front. People at polling stations often told DAN news agency they voted for a peaceful future.

“We’ve been waiting for this day as we all want peace. We hope primaries get us closer to the long-awaited quiet and a new life without war,” said Tatiana Zosimova, a voter in frontline Petrovskiy district that suffered greatly through the conflict and undergoes frequent shelling by Ukrainian army up to this day.

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 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 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.