DONETSK, November 2 (RIA Novosti) – Elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic were held without any incidents and in compliance with European standards, a Russian elections observer said Sunday.
“The elections were held without any incidents and in full compliance with European practices,” said Leonid Slutsky, who heads Russia’s Duma committee on CIS issues and Eurasian integration.
The elections were monitored by foreign observers from a number of countries, including the Czech Republic, Greece, Slovakia, Serbia, France, Germany, Israel and Russia.
Earlier on Sunday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said in a statement that Kiev was planning to declare persona non grata international observers at the elections in the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk people's republics (DPR and LPR).
According to the head of Donetsk People's Republic's Central Election Commission Roman Lyagin, the next contenders to lead the republic are Alexander Kofman with 9.7 percent and Yuri Sivokonenko with 9 percent.
In parliamentary elections, Zakharchenko's party, Donetsk Republic, is also leading with 65.11 percent, according to the latest exit polls, followed by the Free Donbas party with 34.89 percent.
Earlier, Donetsk Region was granted special status under a law signed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The local elections were scheduled for December 7 according to the same law, but the regional governments defied Kiev's plans for them and slated their polls for November 2.
Meanwhile, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations have condemned the elections, claiming they undermined the peace agreement reached in Minsk, Belarus. However, Russia said earlier it was going to recognize the results of the polls since they would help legitimize the leadership in the region.