Wednesday, May 18 2016 00:20 EEST
Elections in the Donbass, Ukraine: Statements, terms and problems
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According to experts, the main problem here is a police mission of the OSCE and the establishment of a special electoral commission. The matter of elections in the Donbass is getting more and more actual. The authorities don’t exclude that they can be held this year. However, each side of the negotiations has its own demands.

ELECTIONS. While visiting Donetsk Ukraine’s President Poroshenko noted that it’s possible to hold the elections before the end of this year, although there are a number of demands: safety, stable ceasefire and the presence of the OSCE police mission. The elections were the main topic of discussion during the last meeting of foreign ministers of Normandy format, but the talks finished with nothing - Russian and Ukrainian sides reached no consensus. There were several stumbling blocks for that: the terms of police work from the OSCE and the matter of an individual electoral commission on the occupied territories.

'Neither Russia nor the rebels want to see the Ukrainian Central Election Commission during these elections. It comes to a new body that will include representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the local residents,' the source said, adding that this was a requirement of the so-called DPR and Ukraine was not ready for such a step. Moreover, he says that representatives of the so-called DPR insist on majority system, we are ready only for the proportional one.

At the same time, Ukrainian requirements include the police mission that has to act before, during and after the elections. The opponents have no wish to see the OSCE after the elections. But the importance of the mission was mentioned by the US Vice-President Joe Biden and Poroshenko stressed that the majority of the the OSCE members approved its introduction. However, the actions of the 'cops' are still in question. Firstly, they agree to let the police officers in after two months of full ceasefire only. And secondly, one needs the consent of all the 57 members. 

'But Russia and its allies aren’t ready for this,' political analyst Andrei Buzarov says, adding that the head of the so-called DPR Zakharchenko noted that he was ready to shoot armed observers from the OSCE.

TERMS. Political analyst Vladimir Fesenko thinks that it’s too early to talk about some special dates. 

'Now we are discussing the holding of elections before the end of the summer. Anyway, our Western partners’d like it to be so. However if they don’t vote for the law on elections and solve the problem of the OSCE police mission by the end of June – mid-July, the Donbass won’t hold any elections during another 6 months.'

MONEY. Poroshenko announced creation of a trust fund for the restoration of the Donbass, with the support of the United Nations. Western partners are ready to invest some € 900 million there. Economist Alexander Okhrimenko believes that this sum is not enough: "If we mean the restoration of roads, infrastructure, factories, housing, we mean $ 50-60 billion, but everyone can understand that they won’t provide these money!"

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