No grounds to hold free elections in occupied Donbas – OSCE chair

No grounds to hold free elections in occupied Donbas – OSCE chair

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Slovakia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajcak has said he is convinced that local elections in non-government controlled areas in Donbas should be free and be held according to the Ukrainian legislation, but for now, there is no such possibility.

"The parties have to agree on specific details, and since the Donbas is the territory of Ukraine, I think it is legitimate that elections can be organized only in the conditions when the Ukrainian authorities, the Ukrainian government say that there is an atmosphere, preconditions for free elections. There is no such situation today," Lajcak said in an interview with BBC News Ukrainian.

He emphasized that free elections in Donbas can be held only under free conditions and according to Ukrainian laws. He also said that international observers, the OSCE, other international organizations should ensure election monitoring, that is, "within the system of Ukrainian jurisdiction."

Lajcak said that only after such a situation is achieved, elections can be organized and called free.

"I said that today I do not see any prerequisites for holding free elections under Ukrainian law in non-government controlled areas," Lajcak added.


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