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Promo-LEX: Moldova Parliament implemented only 12 out of 32 recommendations of Venice Commission on the electoral system

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A report of the Chișinău-based human rights NGO Promo-LEX reads that the Parliament of Moldova implemented little in the new “mixed” electoral system from the recommendations of the Venice Commission (Council of Europe) and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE).

Promo-LEX found 32 recommendations in the joint opinion of the Venice Commission and the ODIHR from 16 June 2017. Accordingly, 12 (37,5%) of the recommendations were found to be fully implemented by the Moldovan authorities, 14 (43,75%)- partially implemented and 6 (18,75%)- not implemented at all. This report contradicts the Parliament’s synthesis that stipulates the complete implementation of the recommended measures.

Promo-LEX even found some ambiguities in 7 fully adopted recommendations:

  • The questionable “independence” of the National Commission for Uninominal Circumscription Creation;
  • Some errors in drawing some electoral districts without the 10% difference in voter population from the average;
  • The errors in the formation of the electoral districts abroad;
  • The lack of clarity on the criteria defining the electoral districts in the Transnistrian region;
  • The case of the “integrity certificates” for candidates;
  • The non-transparent manner of adopting decisions contrary to the recommendation.

The experts at Promo-LEX believe that the recommendation on a large societal consensus on changing the electoral system has to be paid more attention to, taking into account the limited popularity of the new system.

The report came out in the context of the visit of the experts from the Venice Commission and the ODIHR to evaluate the degree of implementation of the electoral system and their respective recommendations.

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. The European Union and the United States were disappointed by Moldova Parliament’s decision to disregard Venice Commission, ODIHR recommendations.

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

Politics

Action and Solidarity Party submits complaint to Moldova Constitutional Court on uninominal districts

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The new uninominal districts of Moldova, Source: Government of Moldova, processed by Radio Free Europe Moldova

16 February 2018- The Action and Solidarity Party (PAS), with the help of MP Grigore Cobzac, submitted a complaint to Moldova’s Constitutional Court on the non-constitutionality of Government’s decision on the uninominal electoral circumscriptions (Decision Nr. 970/2017 from 15.11.2017).

According to PAS, the decision violates several articles of the Electoral Code and the 239th law from 2008 on the transparency in decision-making. PAS thinks that the formed uninominal districts violated the limits of 55-60 thousand voters per one district. Only 10 districts, all situated in Chișinău, follow the rule. In addition, the maximum deviation of 10% in voting population was violated in some cases.

The party led by Maia Sandu also found a violation at the formation of the circumscriptions for the voters living abroad- the districts were simply approved by the commission members.

In addition, 9 Chișinău districts were formed in the 5 official quarters by dividing them contrary to a condition of non-division of 1st level administrative units.

Putting localities from different (at least 2) administrative districts was exceedingly used as an exception, contrary to the general rule of keeping localities within the same administrative borders.

In regard to the transparency, PAS is accusing the Government of adopting the format of the uninominal districts without organizing consultations or hearings with the civil society.

PAS asks the Constitutional Court to examine the non-constitutionality of the uninominal circumscriptions because of its violation of the “rule of law” principles, written in the 3rd paragraph of the 1st article of Moldova’s Constitution.

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. The European Union and the United States were disappointed by Moldova Parliament’s decision to disregard Venice Commission, ODIHR recommendations.

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Politics

Dorin Chirtoacă resigns from the position of Chișinău mayor

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Source: privesc.eu

16 February 2018- Dorin Chirtoacă resigned from the position of mayor of Moldova’s capital, Chișinău. Chirtoacă believes that the Chișinău local elections should be held in May 2018.

The Liberal declared that his resignation is a sign of protest against the current government. He says that he received the mandate from the citizens, and not “from Plahotniuc, Dodon, Leancă or from this band”.

The interim mayor, Silvia Radu, welcomed Chirtoacă’s resignation, saying that her job is only a temporary one.

“I don’t see any solution other than snap elections in Chișinău. The locals of the capital need to have a representative at the mayor’s office: good, bad, smart or not so much, but theirs, not elected by Plahotniuc or others”, said Chirtoacă.

At the same time, he pledges innocent in his case.

Liberal Dorin Chirtoacă has been the mayor of Chișinău since 2007, now doing his third term in office. Chirtoacă has been under house arrest since May 2017, being investigated for traffic influence over the parking lot payroll. On July 28th, he was suspended from the position of mayor of Moldova’s capital until a final decision of the court. At the beginning of September, after the proposal of the Socialists, the Chisinau Municipal Council approved the organization of a plebiscite for the dismissal of the mayor, which would take place on November 19th. The referendum failed due to low turnout.

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Economy

Moldova Socialists submit motion on economic policy

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15 February 2018- The caucus of the Socialists’ Party of Moldova submitted to the Parliament a simple motion against the policy conducted by the Economy and Infrastructure, led by minister Chiril Gaburici. The Socialists are complaining about the “disastrous” economic state of the country.

According to Socialist MP Vasile Bolea, the year of 2017 was a total failure because of the over-taxation and cut capital investment policies.

“The submission of this motion represents our will to call on the minister to participate in a debate to explain the causes for economic disaster, to talk about the state of the national economy, jobs, the cut public investment, about the state enterprises that are sold for small money. The policy is going in the wrong direction and does not represent the interests of the citizens”, declared Bolea.

The motion is reportedly being sent to the Government.

Chiril Gaburici was sworn in as Economy minister at the beginning of January 2018.

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