Ukraine's rebel leader sworn in after controversial elections
Updated: 2014-11-04 22:21
KIEV - Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of independence-seeking insurgents in eastern Ukraine, was sworn in on Tuesday after controversial elections rejected by Kiev.
During a ceremony held in the theatre in the city of Donetsk, the main rebel stronghold, Zakharchenko vowed to "satisfy people's expectations" as the "president" of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
"I am honored to carry the flag of the Donetsk People's Republic and together we will rebuild our homes, factories and mines," Zakharchenko was quoted by the insurgent-run "Novorossia" news agency as saying.
Zakharchenko was elected on Sunday during "presidential and parliamentary elections", which were held in the insurgent-controlled areas in Ukraine's Donetsk and Lugansk regions amid harsh criticisms from Kiev and the West.
Following the vote, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that the so-called elections would undermine peace the Minsk protocol and jeopardizes the entire peace process in eastern Ukraine.
Poroshenko said that he will propose the country's National Security and Defense Council to scrap a law on "special status" of areas in the east including those controlled by the rebels.
The law on "special status", which increases the authority of local communities by transferring more economic, financial and administrative powers to the regional governments, was approved by the Ukrainian parliament on Sept. 16.