Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Donetsk Mayor Says Planned Referendum Illegal

By Novosti Donbassa

The referendum planned for May 11 [on support for a “Donetsk People’s Republic] is illegal, Donetsk city mayor Alexander Lukyanchenko said on May 7.

“For me, this referendum raises many questions. First, people don’t understand what the legal basis for conducting it is. Second, there’s the question on the ballot paper. The calls heard at rallies on squares were about federalisation, an autonomous tax system, and the status of Russian – but not about the status of a separate state, as on the ballot papers,” Lukyanchenko said.

“There’s another issue – security. These people have a lot of unregistered weapons, and weapons have a tendency to go off.”

Lukyanchenko said he was concerned about the lack of any legal foundation [for this ballot], about who was going to count the votes, how voting would be monitored, and how the ballot papers would be protected.

“So the organisers will simply announce the figures on May 12 – and we are supposed to believe that?” he asked.

The mayor added that a referendum was needed and overdue, but not in this form and not with the current question.

This article republished from Novosti Donbassa with kind permission. Original article in Russian.