Communist leader: Prospects for elections in Lugansk People’s Republic

June 23: Local elections in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) could be held on November 27, 2016, if the parties to the Minsk process reach an agreement in the near future. This opinion was expressed by the leader of the Lugansk Communists, Maxim Chalenko.

Maxim Chalenko
According to him, everything necessary for a full-fledged election campaign, ranging from changes in the legal framework to security at polling stations, can be completed within three months, and the vote held on November 27.

“According to my information, there are no compelling reasons why there should be no elections this year,” said Chalenko.

He also added that the issue of admission of Ukrainian political forces to the election race is not a matter of principle.

“The voters understand perfectly who is on the side of peace, who is on the side of war, and who is on their side. Do not underestimate the people who passed through the horrors of war and the difficulties of the blockade. 

“As for us, the communists, we are not afraid of political competition. We are prepared to participate in the elections. We have all the necessary organization, program, vision of the future, experience and willingness to take responsibility,” the politician said.


Chalenko: It is necessary to create a legal framework for elections

July 12: “We have to decide — what do we have? We have martial law and suspension of parties, and therefore, suspension of the opposition, freedom of speech and political competition. If achieving peace requires such measures — that is one situation. But if we’re talking about elections, primaries, competition of ideas and programs — that is another situation. You can’t have one foot there and another here, and arbitrarily mix elements of different systems.”

This was the comment of Maxim Chalenko, deputy of the Lugansk Regional Council VI convocation, on the possible political prospects of the republic.

“If the people are the source of the power, then how can you single-handedly decide that local council elections will take place under the majority system? If some of the non-governmental organizations, nominated to the Parliament of the Republic, have a program that prescribes this point, can you now say that, yes, the voters endorsed just such a system? And if not, then you need a broad discussion. Maybe even a referendum. The experience of conducting elections in different systems is rather ambiguous. Anyone who has studied it says each system has its drawbacks. 

“It is necessary to clearly determine: Is the republic ready for political competition? If so, it is important to realize that it’s not enough just to declare the formation of a socio-political field, elections or ‘primaries.’ It is necessary to create a legal framework which will regulate this area of civil legal relations. We’ll have to make changes in a number of already adopted regulations and laws. After all, social movements and single-issue organizations differ from political parties that unite like-minded people, they do not aim to struggle for political power, its implementation and retention. And therefore, creating high-quality, long-term political ‘product’ using them will not work.

“Thus, to date, any statements on the topic of formation of the socio-political field and elections in the Republic are of a purely political nature and still very far from being put into practice.”


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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