DONETSK (Sputnik) – Local elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic will take place on October 18, DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko announced on Thursday.
“Mayoral and regional head elections will take place on October 18,” Zakharchenko said in a statement, published by Donetsk news agency.
The news comes as Ukraine’s Constitutional Commission approved amendments on decentralization last week, which the country's president, Petro Poroshenko, is due to submit to the parliament on Wednesday. He dismissed a special status designation for the turbulent Donbass region in eastern Ukraine in the amendments as "rumors."
Decentralization is one of the key provisions under the Minsk deal on Ukrainian reconciliation, in addition to an all-out ceasefire, heavy arms withdrawals and prisoner exchanges.
Moscow argues that Kiev’s proposed bill lacks measures to end the ongoing violence in Donbass and does not comply with the Minsk agreements.