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Moldova Communists to reject the uninominal electoral system, Voronin: We are not convinced

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The Party of Communists, once the leading party of Moldova, declared that it is against the change of the current electoral system.

During a press briefing after the Parliament session on March 17th, former President and Communist leader Vladimir Voronin voiced the decision that the current Communist caucus (7 deputies out of initial 21) would not vote for a single member constituency electoral system:

“There are no arguments that could convince us that the imperfection of the current system can be overcome by switching to elections in single member constituencies”, he said.

Voronin thinks that a new system would make the current problems more serious and lead to new problems:

“Bribing the voters and the elected deputies would be much easier, which would lead, certainly, to the concentration of the power in the hands of a small group of persons, that push forward, by all means, the modifications in the Electoral Code”, stressed Moldova’s ex-President.

According to him, the current status quo is the true root of the political corruption and should be replaced, not the electoral system. Voronin thinks that the current government is going to use the new electoral system to stay in power.

On March 6th, the Democratic Party of Moldova, led by oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc, announced about proposing a new electoral system for the Parliamentary elections. Instead of the current proportional system, they propose a majoritarian one, where MPs are elected from constituencies of approx. 30000 voters, including some elected by Moldovans living abroad. The deputies would be also liable to dismissal by local referendums during their terms.

The draft law was already registered at the Parliament of Moldova and waits the approval of the Venice Commission (Council of Europe).

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Civic group restarts initiative for referendum on abolishing new electoral system of Moldova

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Source: Sandu Tarlev, Moldnova.eu

16 January 2018- The civic group that started an initiative for organizing a legislative referendum on abolishing the newly introduced “mixed” electoral system of Moldova announced that it would restart the project.

Rejected by the Electoral Commission, the representatives of civil society announced that they would form an initiative group again to collect some 200 thousand signatures for a national referendum on abolishing the new electoral system. The civic group reportedly filed in court the rejection by the electoral body, but would still start another initiative because they don’t trust the judicial system in Moldova.

In a Facebook post, the Central Electoral Commission of Moldova repeated the motives for rejecting the initiative, but also denounced the political accusations at its image: “The Commission rejects the attacks against the electoral authority and the attempt to discredit the institution”, reads the post.

On 21 November 2017, 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 expected to collect at least 200 thousand signatures to start the legislative referendum.

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.

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Miscellaneous

ZdG: The first Minister who submitted the 2017 wealth declaration, with a legacy of 38,000 euros and a 44,000-euro car

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Finance Minister Octavian Armaşu is the first member of the Government to complete and publish the declaration of wealth and personal interests for 2017. The previous year was a good one for the Armaşu family, which had revenues of 1 155 718 lei, 84 736 euros and $327, writes Ziarul de Gardă.

At the same time, on the bank accounts, at the time of filing the declaration, the family had 766 292 lei, 109 470 euros and 33 446 dollars. Octavian Armasu also declares a legacy of 38,000 euros from Pavel Armasu, who is most likely his father.

In 2017, the minister bought a new Volvo XC60 with 44,727 euros, manufactured in the same year.

According to the cited source, Octavian Armaşu was paid to the minister with 158 734 lei, ie about 13 200 lei. His wife, Elena Armaşu, who is a Moldovan representative of pharmaceutical company “Bayer” SRL, declares a salary that is four times higher, 785,459 lei.

Armaşu family indicates in the act of wealth two apartments, two villas and two garages, properties that he declared the previous year.

The Minister holds shares in Franzeluta SA, BC Victoriabank SA, Banca de Economii SA and Agro-SZM SRL.

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Moldova Electoral Commission rejects civic initiative for referendum on abolishing new electoral system

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Map of the electoral districts for the 2018 Parliamentary elections, Source: Radio Free Europe based on data of the Moldovan Government

12 January 2018- The Central Electoral Commission of Moldova rejected the initiative for starting a legislative national referendum on abolishing the recently adopted mixed electoral system.

The Commission reportedly found violations of the electoral code in the erroneous registration of participants in the constituent meeting of the initiative group, non-uniformities at the vote counting and decision adoption, choosing an inexact number of members of the initiative group, as well as the change of the electoral law in question. The electoral body claims that the initiative group did not propose new regulations of the elections, thus eliminating the legislation on the Parliamentary elections.

One of the leaders of the initiative group, Ștefan Gligor, thinks that the decision of the Commission is a politically motivated one.

On 21 November 2017, 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 expected to collect at least 200 thousand signatures to start the legislative referendum.

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.

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