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Luhansk to Boycott Ukraine Election, Plans Vote on Joining Russia

Head of a local election committee Alexander Malykhin (L) holds up a sheet of paper, which shows the results of the referendum on the status of Luhansk region in Luhansk.

Ukraine's eastern Luhansk region will not participate in a presidential election on May 25, news agency RIA reported Monday, citing one of the region's separatist leaders.

A day after holding a referendum on self-rule, which has been condemned by Kiev and the West, organizers in Luhansk said the vote showed that 96.2 percent supported autonomy for the region.

"As of today, we are now the republic of Luhansk, which believes it to be inappropriate and perhaps even stupid to hold a presidential election," the agency cited a spokesman for the pro-Russian separatists.

Luhansk may instead hold a referendum on joining Russia, RIA reported a separatist spokesman as saying.

The region was one of two Ukrainian provinces that held a referendum on self-rule on Sunday.

See also:

Donetsk Separatists Claim 90% Support Independence in Referendum

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