Eastern Ukraine rebels announce their poll results
Kiev: The independence-seeking insurgents in Lugansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine Monday announced the final results of their contentious "presidential and parliamentary elections".
In the poll, rejected by Kiev as "illegal", Alexander Zakharchenko, the top rebel leader in eastern Ukraine, won the presidential election in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic with 78.9 percent of the vote, Xinhua quoted Roman Lyagin, the self-styled head of the Central Election Commission, as saying.
In the parliamentary race, the Donetsk Republic party, led by Zakharchenko, won with 68.35 percent of the vote, Lyagin added.
In Lugansk, another self-proclaimed people's republic, Igor Plotnitsky, the self-styled defence minister, gained 63.4 percent to become "president."
Plotnitsky's Peace to Lugansk Region party secured a victory in the parliamentary race with 70 percent of the vote, followed by the Lugansk Economic Union movement with 22 percent.
The elections, held in the two eastern regions Sunday, triggered mixed reaction in the international community.
Russia said it would recognise the results of the polls, while the US, the European Union and the United Nations have condemned the elections.
The Security Service of Ukraine said it has launched a criminal investigation into the elections to punish "actions aimed at forceful change or overthrow of the constitutional order or takeover of government."