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Civil society groups start collecting signatures for a referendum on abolishing the new mixed electoral system in Moldova

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On November 21st, several representatives of different non-governmental organizations announced an initiative of collecting signatures for a referendum on abolishing the controversial mixed electoral system in Moldova. The NGOs expect to collect at least 200 thousand signatures to start the legislative referendum, reports Agora.md.

“It is a citizens’ initiative without any political shade. We propose to cancel the biggest democratic abuse in the history of this country- which is the mixed system… We can make history: for the first time in our history, the citizens would annul a law adopted by the Parliament”, declared Sergiu Tofilat, one of the initiators.

The referendum is seen by the civil society as the only tool allowed by the Constitution and the Electoral Code for the citizens to intervene when the Parliament turns its back to those who gave the mandate.

The initiators of the referendum think that the Democratic Party changed the electoral system because it understood it would not enter the next Parliament with a 4% public support. According to them, the whole Parliament that adopted the so-called Law nr.154 on the mixed electoral system can be considered illegitimate because about a quarter of the deputies changed their caucuses in the meantime.

According to the new electoral system, 51 MPs would be elected from electoral districts and 50 from party lists. The current edition of the electoral law also stipulates that the electoral districts would be formed by a special Government commission, composed of civil society and political parties’ representatives, as well as representatives of ethnic minorities and expert bodies. The shape of the electoral districts would be published one year before the elections. Voters from Transnistria and from abroad would be represented on the geographical basis, besides their electoral “weight”. 7 electoral debates have been organized to debate the draft on the mixed electoral system, but a large part of the civil society and all opposition parties refused to participate and had little involvement stating that the new system does not address the real problems of the electoral process. The Venice Commission strongly advised the Moldovan authorities not to implement the mixed electoral system at the current moment.

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy. Inquiries at [email protected]

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PAS backs Andrei Năstase in Chișinău mayoral race, agrees with PPDA on criteria for joint MP list

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Source: privesc.eu

29 March 2018- The Action and Solidarity Party (PAS) and the Platform “Dignity and Truth” (PPDA) declared the union of their forces in the Chișinău mayoral race.

PAS, led by Maia Sandu, publicly declared support for PPDA’s leader, Andrei Năstase, in the 20 May elections for the seat of Chișinău mayor. Năstase thanked PAS for its support, promising a reform program for Chișinău:

“The more united we are, the weaker they will be”, said Năstase, referring to the Democrats and Socialists in power.

Source: privesc.eu

PAS and PPDA also announced a mechanism for choosing 55 joint candidates in the electoral circumscriptions for the Parliamentary elections from the autumn. The mechanism would consist of internal checks on the basis of integrity and meritocracy, and of a commission for meritocracy that would evaluate the candidates.

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Russia expels three Moldovan diplomats

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30 March 2018- The Russian Federation’s Foreign Affairs Ministry decided to expel a high number of foreign diplomats, as a response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from several European countries. Moldova then expelled 3 Russian diplomats as a sign of solidarity with the UK over the Salisbury nerve gas attack.

According to RIA, three Moldovan diplomats must leave the Russian territory before 5-7 April 2018.

Deschide.md reports that the Moldovan Embassy’s Secretary for Culture, Education and Culture Tatiana Tanasoglo, and two Embassy advisers, Petru Alexei and Octavian Berzan, are expected to leave the Russian Federation.

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IRI Survey: 43% of Moldovans support joining the EU, 42%- Eurasian Union, 76%- not optimistic about future of young people

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Source: iri.org

29 March 2018- The International Republican Institute published a new poll on the social-political opinions of Moldovan people. The poll largely reflects that a majority of Moldovans see the future of the youth problematic and the employment as the key issue. At the same time, around 96% believe that corruption is a big or very big problem.

“This poll reflects anxieties among Moldovans that young people do not have a bright future ahead of them if they remain in Moldova”, said IRI Regional Director for Eurasia Stephen Nix.

First of all, the Moldovans are worried about how the government addresses the issue of employment of youth:

Most Moldovans still think that the things are not going in the right direction in Moldova:

Low income (or pensions), Unemployment and Corruption are considered the most important problems in Moldova:

Locally, Roads, Unemployment, Water Supply and Cleanliness are considered the biggest problems:

In terms of household issues, financial problems, unemployment and health problems are seen as the most threatening:

Asked to list indicate the greatest cause of corruption, 42% pointed out at the lack of government control and oversight:

Ironically, the Parliament and the public servants are the ones to be perceived as the most corrupt in Moldova:

89% of the respondents said that Moldova is governed in the interest of some groups:

Though not as much as in October 2017, a majority of Moldovans think that people in Moldova are afraid to openly express their political views:

43% of the respondents said that they support Moldova joining the European Union, while 42% support joining the Eurasian Union:

59% of young people support joining the European Union instead of the Eurasian Union:

A minority of Moldovan citizens would support Moldova joining NATO.

Most see the European Union and Russia as equally economic and political partners:

Igor Dodon, Maia Sandu and Andrei Năstase still enjoy most of the popular trust. Nevertheless, 26% trust no Moldovan public person or politician.

Most of the Moldovans disapprove of the government led by the Democrat Pavel Filip:

Some 49% of the respondents say they approve the activities of the President Igor Dodon:

The majority holds a positive opinion about the Moldovan Orthodox Church, the Army and the Romanian Orthodox Church:

Opinions are mixed on the “mixed” electoral system:

The Party of Socialists, Action and Solidarity Party and the Democratic Party seem to be the only ones able to enter the Parliament if elections were to be held now:

A majority of Moldovans see the future of Transnistria should be one of an ordinary region within Moldova, while only 21% believe it should become an autonomous entity:

The survey was coordinated by Dr Rasa Alisauskiene from Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization on behalf of the Center for Insights in Survey Research. The fieldwork was carried out by Magenta Consulting. Data was collected throughout Moldova (with the exception of Transnistria) between February 7 and March 7, 2018.  The sample consisted of 1,513 permanent residents of Moldova aged 18 and older and eligible to vote and is representative of the general population by age, gender, region and settlement size. The margin of error does not exceed plus or minus 2.5 percent. The response rate was 64 percent. Charts and graphs may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding. The survey was funded by the United States Agency for International Development.

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