Friday, October 24, 2014

Washington Hopes Crimea Will Participate in Ukrainian Elections: US State Department

Washington Hopes Crimea Will Participate in Ukrainian Elections: US State Department

US hopes that people from Crimea will vote in the upcoming snap parliamentary elections in Ukraine, a spokesperson for the US Department of State said
23:59 23/10/2014


WASHINGTON, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – The United States hopes that people from Crimea will vote in the upcoming snap parliamentary elections in Ukraine, a spokesperson for the US Department of State said Thursday.

"We hope to see wide participations in the elections by all Ukrainians including Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk," Jen Psaki said during a press briefing, adding that Washington would strongly condemn any interference in this legitimate democratic process and the ability of the people of Ukraine to peacefully choose their own leaders.

"We commend the Ukrainian government on its continuing preparations for free, fair and inclusive elections and look to authorities and all political parties to ensure the vote is in line with international democratic norms," she added.

The early elections to the Ukrainian parliament, known as the Verkhovna Rada, will take place on October 26. Ukrainians will vote for the parliament's 424 members: 225 of them are to be elected by party lists, with the election threshold set at five percent, and 199 by single-seat constituencies.
Authorities in Ukraine’s breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk said they would not go to polls on October 26 or on December 7, which is a separate election day stipulated by President Poroshenko’s law that also granted them a special status. Instead, the regions are set to vote on November 2.

"The only legitimate elections in Ukraine are the Rada elections on October 26, and the December 7 elections of local leaders in the Donbas special status zones," the spokesperson said.
"The United States sits ready to work with the parliament to fight corruption, promote reforms, and pursue peaceful resolutions for conflict in the east of the country," Psaki concluded.
Russia will recognize the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said Thursday.

Crimea, a former Ukrainian republic, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new authorities in Kiev after the February coup and signed a reunification deal with Russia on March 18, two days after an independence referendum. It is therefore not expected to participate.

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