On April 18, 2016, the scheduled municipal elections (organized by the DPR and LPR) were postponed from April 20 to July 24, 2016.  On 22 July 2016, these DPR and LPR elections were again postponed until 6 November 2016.  On October 2, 2016, the DPR and LPR held “primaries” in which voters nominated candidates for the November 6, 2016 elections.  Ukraine has condemned these “primaries” as illegal.  On November 4, 2016, both DPR and LPR postponed their municipal elections “until further notice”; The head of the DPR, Mr Zakhartchenko, added: “In 2017, we will hold elections under the Minsk agreements, or we will hold them independently.” [Citation required] On 11 February, a summit was planned at the Independence Palace in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, to discuss the implementation of the Franco-German diplomatic plan. The conference brought together Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, DPR President Alexander Zakhartchenko and Alliance leader Igor Plotnitsky. The negotiations lasted more than 16 hours and were “very difficult” by the German Foreign Minister.   Following the talks, it was announced on 12 February that the parties to the conflict had agreed to a new package of pacification measures.  Some of the agreed measures were an OSCE-respected unconditional 15 February ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line, the release of prisoners of war and constitutional reform in Ukraine.  The protocol on the results of the trilateral contact group consultations, also known as the Minsk Protocol, is an agreement to end the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine, signed on 5 September 2014 by representatives of that country, the Russian Federation, the Donetsk People`s Republic (DPR), the Luhansk People`s Republic (LPR) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).    It was signed after extensive discussions in Minsk, Belarus, under the auspices of the OSCE. The agreement, which followed several previous attempts to end the fighting in the Donbass, resulted in an immediate ceasefire. It was unable to stop fighting in the Donbass and was therefore followed by a new package of measures, called Minsk II, which was approved on 12 February 2015.
 This has also failed to bring an end to the fighting, but the Minsk agreements remain the basis for a future solution to the conflict, as agreed at the Normandy meeting. With the 2015 Ukrainian municipal elections scheduled for 25 October, DPR leader Alexander Zakhartchenko adopted a decree on 2 July ordering the sending election on 18 October.  He stated that this measure was “in accordance with the Minsk agreements”.  According to Zakharchenko, this meant that the DPR had “started to implement the Minsk agreements independently”.  Zakharchenko stated that the elections would be held “on the basis of The Ukrainian Law on the Status of Temporary Self-Domination of Certain Districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions”, as they were not in contradiction with the DPR Constitution and laws.  On 12 February 2015, a new package of measures was adopted to end the fighting in the Donbass, known as Minsk II.  It was developed at a summit in Minsk on 11 February 2015 by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany.     Discussions leading up to the agreement were overseen by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).