"After the local elections, Donetsk and Luhansk will be represented only by those who win in the elections, instead of those who proclaimed themselves as leaders of Donetsk and Luhansk regions", stressed Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk at a briefing following the meeting with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday, October 23.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk stressed that the elections in Donetsk and Luhansk regions should take place, however these territories were now temporarily uncontrolled by the Ukrainian authorities. There are certain conditions for these elections to be held.
"For these elections to be legitimate, it is necessary to adopt a separate law", stressed Arseniy Yatsenyuk, calling the criteria that they must meet.
To begin with, "the elections in the Ukrainian territory – after all, Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea are part of Ukraine – should be conducted in strict accordance with the Ukrainian legislation": "It is written in the Minsk deal and there's no double interpretation".
The ballot in these regions must take place only basing on the OSCE and ODIHR standards: "The ODIHR and the OSCE should reaffirm compliance of the criteria for a fair and transparent election in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk with those determined by the respective organizations".
"Free and fair elections mean no Russian soldiers standing with Russian automatic weapon outside the polling station. This means that to conduct fair and transparent elections one of the key points of the Minsk agreement should be fulfilled, which is the withdrawal of Russian troops", accentuated Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
He also stressed that one-and-half million internally displaced persons who had been residing in Donetsk and Luhansk but then forced to flee escaping from war "must be free to choose those who will represent Donetsk and Luhansk".
"A political campaign must ensure political competition, registration of all candidates and equal access forall media. These are basic provisions of the law. And following such provisions of the law and such approaches, we will have to hold elections in Donetsk and Luhansk as soon as possible", emphasized Arseniy Yatsenyuk.