Ukraine's Central Election Commission (CEC) has asked Ukrainian-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk Regional Civil and Military Administrations to provide conclusions no later than noon on January 15, 2021, on the possibility of preparing and holding the first local elections on March 28, 2021, in certain territorial communities in those regions.
This was reported by the CEC's press service.
The list of the communities includes 10 village, town, urban territorial groups in Bakhmut, Volnovakha, Mariupol, and Pokrovske districts in Donetsk region, as well as eight communities in Severodonetsk and Schastia districts in Luhansk region.
"On August 8, 2020, the Commission, being guided by the relevant conclusions of Donetsk and Luhansk Regional Civil and Military Administrations, established that it was impossible to hold the first elections of members of certain village, town, city councils in Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the corresponding village, town, city heads. Their lists were drawn up [by the Commission]. Therefore, local elections were not held in the indicated territorial communities on October 25, 2020, and therefore [local] citizens' electoral rights were not implemented. In this regard, the Commission noted that if it is possible to prepare and conduct local elections under the Electoral Code of Ukraine in certain territories in those regions on the last Sunday in March 2021, the Commission must decide no later than January 17, 2021, on scheduling the first local elections for March 28, 2021," the CEC noted.
However, the CEC explains that under the laws of Ukraine, it is not authorized to independently determine the possibility of ensuring adequate security and avoiding a terrorist threat during the organization and holding of local elections in certain territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Yet, given the need to ensure that citizens of Ukraine exercise their right to form local self-government agencies by participating in the relevant local elections, there is a need to obtain information about the security situation in certain territories of those regions located near the contact line with Russia-occupied parts of Donbas.
"Therefore, to ensure the implementation and protection of the constitutional electoral rights of citizens of Ukraine, the Commission adopted an appropriate request to Donetsk and Luhansk Regional Civil and Military Administrations," the Commission said.