Final results of Donetsk referendum still a while away, organizers suggest looking to tentative data

Roman Lyagin, head of the Central Elections Commission of the Donetsk People's Republic, is not sure if the Commission will be able to produce a final referendum report shortly and suggests looking to the tentative data he announced earlier - 89.07 percent support to the independence of the Donetsk region.

Roman Lyagin, head of the Central Elections Commission of the Donetsk People's Republic, is not sure if the Commission will be able to produce a final referendum report shortly and suggests looking to the tentative data he announced earlier - 89.07 percent support to the independence of the Donetsk region.

"We have planned to issue a final referendum report signed by all members of the Central Elections Commission by 3 p.m. local time. But we can hardly do so because of tensions in the Donetsk region," Lyagin told Interfax on the phone on Monday.

"Hence, we have intentionally posted tentative results of the ballot, and we will be guided with them: 89.07 percent for the independence of the Donetsk region, 10.19 percent against that, and 0.74 percent were invalid ballots," Lyagin said.

"The region is witnessing the escalation of violence and lots of armed people have come to the region," he said. "Sometimes, it is even impossible to say whom these people represent."

"So, the delivery of ballot papers to the Central Elections Commission is beset by the danger to the life and health of members of election commissions," Lyagin said.

He could not say when the official referendum report would be available. "It may take a week to bring in ballot papers from [polling stations] but I cannot give you an exact time," he noted.

Lyagin said his life was also in danger. "My photo and address were published on the website of the radical organization Right Sector. I fear for my own life and the life of my team who has prepared and held the referendum," he said.

In any case, the Donetsk Republic's Central Elections Committee will give a new press conference at 3 p.m. local time (4 p.m. Moscow time). "I would like to present an update after we count more votes but I am not sure we can do so," Lyagin said.

The Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendum on their self-determination on May 11.

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