Europe Polling ends in Ukraine’s historic elections

Polling ends in Ukraine’s historic elections

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

(AA) – Polling in Ukraine’s historic parliamentary and presidential elections has come to an end in Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine.

Polls opened in the volatile country at 8 a.m. local time and ended at 8 p.m.

Some polling stations, however, remained opened until 10 p.m.

Luhansk election commission chief Sergei Kozyakov said that 628,138 people voted in the region as of 8 p.m.

Pro-Russian separatists went to the polls on Sunday in eastern Ukraine in a controversial election that attempted to install separate regional leaderships in defiance of the Kiev government.

The elections organized by the separatists in eastern Ukraine come only a week after the Ukrainian government in Kiev organized its own official general elections on October 26. 

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that no civilized country in the world or any international organizations have recognized the so-called elections.

On Sunday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the controversial elections for new parliaments in eastern Ukraine “brutally violate the Minsk agreements” which were agreed on September 5 between pro-Russian separatists and the government.

A statement, released via Poroshenko’s official website on Sunday, said “the so-called elections in the occupied regions of Donetsk and Luhansk have nothing in common with the expression of people’s will and brutally violate the Minsk agreements.”

The U.S. had said on Friday that it would not recognize the elections. 

On the other hand, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a statement last week that Russia would recognize the elections’ results.

The crisis was triggered in November 2013 when ousted former president Viktor Yanukovych announced the abandonment of a trade agreement with the EU and chose to pursue closer ties with Russia.

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