KIEV, April 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s Central Election Commission (CEC) has pledged it can organize a national referendum on extending the rights of Ukrainian regions on June 15, if the Verkhovna Rada (national parliament) passes a relevant decision.
“If the Rada passes a decision to this effect, it will be implemented by the Central Election Commission without fail,” local media quoted deputy chairman of the Ukrainian Central Election Commission Andrei Magera as saying on Tuesday.
At the same time, he said that a referendum was unlikely to be organized on May 25, or the day of presidential elections in Ukraine. The most probably date for such referendum could be June 15. The legal base for this referendum, he noted, was the laws on all-Ukraine referendums, on the Central Election Commission, and on state register of voters.
According to media reports, additional funding and amendments to the 2014 budget will be needed to organize the referendum.
Developments in south-eastern Ukraine
In Luhansk, federalization supporters at a meeting on Sunday proclaimed the establishment of the Luhansk People's Republic. In particular, the protesters demand amnesty for all participants in the protest movement in Ukraine's east, recognition of Russian as a state language, and to hold a referendum on matters concerning self-determination of the region.
Kiev-appointed Governor of the eastern Donetsk Region Sergei Taruta and Donetsk Mayor Alexander Lukyanchenko have proposed holding a nationwide referendum on broader powers for regions on May 25.
Taruta also suggested holding a nationwide referendum on the status of the Russian language.
Lukyanchenko said a referendum would help to ease the socio-political tensions in the South-East of Ukraine.
At an extraordinary congress of the Party of Regions in Donetsk on April 16, its delegates demanded that the Kiev authorities hold a referendum on a broader range of issues. They insisted that Russian be given the status of official language, the powers of the central government and the local authorities be separated, direct general elections to local bodies be held, regional administrations be dissolved, the budget powers of the central government and the local authorities be clearly delimited, and regions be given autonomy in addressing humanitarian issues and in the field of education.