A total of 47,800 people have so far voted via internet and mail in the ongoing elections of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Head of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Roman Lyagin said Sunday.
“A total of 47,857 people have voted in absentee, with 42,000 voting via the Internet and another 5,000 by mail,” Lyagin said during a press conference in the DPR.
The remote voting was organized for people living outside the DPR. Three polling stations were also opened in refugee camps in Russia.
According to Lyagin, 350 polling stations out of the 364 are now open.
“All the members of the commission are at their designated stations. The turnout is significant; people have queued at the polling stations,” Lyagin added.
Meanwhile, polling stations in the cities of Zhdanivka and Kirov could not be opened due to the continuing military operation by pro-Kiev armed forces.
“We will take the voters to the nearest polling stations [in safe areas],” the CEC head said.
Voting will take place until 8 p.m. local time (17:00 GMT). According to Lyagin, there are almost 1.5 million voters in the Donetsk region. Anyone over the age of 16 is eligible to vote.
Three candidates are running for presidency in the Donetsk election: the acting prime minister, Alexander Zakharchenko, security official Yuri Sivokonenko and parliamentary deputy speaker Alexander Kofman. Parties to vie for legislative seats are called the Donetsk Republic and Free Donbas.
Russia said earlier it is going to recognize the results of the polls since they would help to give legitimacy to the power in the region, but the United States, the European Union and the United Nations have condemned the elections.