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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at a briefing after the early elections for deputies of Ukraine's Parliament

    Local Elections Law Comes Into Force in Ukraine

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    A law on local elections scheduled for October 25, signed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko earlier this week, is coming into force on Saturday.

    KIEV (Sputnik) – According to Ukrainian Presidential Administration Deputy Head Vitaliy Kovalchuk, a new electoral system, which has never been used in Ukraine before, will be used in the October elections.

    The current overall number of 220,000 Ukrainian lawmakers will be reduced by at least 30 percent after the vote, according to the Ukrainian Presidential Administration.

    The October 25 elections will not cover the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) in Ukraine’s southeast.

    Local elections in LPR are slated for November 1, according to LPR leader Igor Plotnitsky. In DPR, the elections will be held on October 18.

    According to the Minsk peace agreement, reached between LPR, DPR and Kiev in February, Ukraine’s southeast must be granted broader autonomy and local elections in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions are to take place before the end of 2015.

    In March, Poroshenko signed a law stating that DPR and LPR will be eligible for special administrative status only if local elections are held in line with Ukrainian laws and under the supervision of international observers.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the law is a gross violation of the peace agreements reached in Minsk.

    Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk announced their independence from Ukraine in early April as local residents refused to recognize the new coup-installed government. In response, Kiev launched a military operation in the region.

    A law granting special status and broader autonomy to parts of the breakaway regions was introduced by Kiev last fall but was abolished shortly afterward.

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    Crisis in Ukraine (116)

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    local elections, Minsk protocol, Lugansk People's Republic, Donetsk People’s Republic, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
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