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 Local elections kicked off in Ukraine

выборы янукович донецк

Elections to choose mayors and local council deputies started in Ukraine, as polling stations opened their doors to voters.

As reported by Censor.NET citing 112 Ukraine TV channel, all stations will be open until 8 p.m.

According to Andrii Mahera, Central Election Commission deputy head,10,778 deputies of local councils are to be elected, including 9,127 deputies of village councils.

The polls will be observed by 134 official monitors from other countries as well as 1,420 representatives of foreign organizations.

The Central Election Commission of Ukraine has asked the government to allocate UAH 1.2 bln (about $49.9 mln) for the country's scheduled elections which, according to article 141 of the Constitution of Ukraine, should be held "on the last Sunday of October of the fifth year of office of the relevant council or head elected at the scheduled elections." The previous local polls were held in 2010.

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In accordance with the law passed July 14, 2015, the elections will not be held in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol, and in separate parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which are not actually controlled by Ukraine, as well as in 91 villages of the Donetsk region and in 31 villages of the Luhansk region in Ukrainian-controlled territory close to the demarcation line. No voting will take place to elect deputies of the Donetsk and Luhansk regional councils. Elections of deputies of the regional councils in Kyiv will be held on March 27, 2016.

The new law on local elections has introduced a three-tier system of regional polls. Local council deputies as well as the heads of villages, towns, and cities with less than 90,000 voters registered are elected via the relative majority voting in one round. The mayors of the cities with more than 90,000 voters are elected through the absolute majority voting in two rounds. The law provides for independent candidates to be able to run only in elections at the level of towns and villages, while it is prohibited at the level of cities, districts and regions.

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Regional, district, city, and city regional council elections are held in multi-mandate constituencies under proportional system that Ukrainian lawmakers have called an "open list system." The whole area, where a local council is being elected, is divided into constituencies equal to the number of deputies of the council. Political parties put forward a list of candidates to be elected in this territory and may decide to appoint one candidate in each constituency. A vote is given for the list of party candidates, and if the party has appointed a candidate in the constituency, this vote is counted for that candidate. Those political parties having received more than five percent of valid votes take part in the distribution of mandates. OSCE ODIHR believes this kind of electoral system can not be called an "open list system," since voters do not get the right to choose among several candidates of one party.

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As for the number of ballots, the residents of cities will be given three of them (to elect mayor, city council deputies, and regional council deputies). Villagers will get four ballots: to elect mayor, village council deputies, district council deputies, and regional council deputies.

The first results of the polls will appear as soon as this night, with the official ones to be announced in about 10 days.
 
 
 
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