The internationally unrecognized “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republics” (“DPR”/”LPR”) held so-called “primaries” on October 2, 2016. “Primaries” are meant to pre-select possible candidates for the local elections in the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions. By conducting primaries, “LPR” and “DPR” intend to prepare candidates for the local elections scheduled in the both entities on November 6, 2016.
The announcement of these local elections is not agreed within the ongoing international Minsk negotiations and holding them on November 6, 2016 would be a clear breach of the Minsk agreement. According to the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), these primaries are „a bit pointless at a time when future electoral modalities are still under negotiation and it remains unclear what type of election political entities and candidates will even stand for“. IFES assesses “…these primaries widely as a political provocation or protest in relation to the peace process”. (IFES Ukraine Info email 3.10.2016).
On this background it is remarkable that approx. 30 international observers made public statements on the high quality of the “primaries” in the Luhansk and Doneck regions to the local and Russian newspapers. Among them were five members of right and left wing factions of the following national and regional European parliaments:
- Jaroslav Borka (Czech Republic, MP, Communist Party)
- Maurizio Marrone (Italy, Member of Regional Council, Fratelli d'Italia/Alleanza Nazionale)
- Zdeněk Ondráček (Czech Republic, MP, Communist Party)
- Thomas Rudy (Germany, Member of regional Parliament Thüringen, Alternative für Deutschland)
- Udo Stein (Germany, Member of regional Parliament Baden Württemberg, Alternative für Deutschland)
Having entered the self-declared republics via the Russian Federation would mean a breach of Ukrainian law and an illegal crossing of the Ukrainian boarder. EPDE considers it unacceptable for European lawmakers.
EPDE calls on the Czech Parliament, the regional council of Torino, Italy and the regional Parliaments of Thüringen and Baden Württemberg, Germany, to investigate whether the deputies have informed the parliaments in due way about their plans, whether they were officialy deployed by the respective parliaments, to clarify whether the parliaments have covered the costs of the monitoring missions and to assess whether the deputies have followed the Code of Conduct for Parliamentarians by participating at observation mission to the internationally non-recognised "LPR" and "DPR".