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EU, US disappointed by Moldova Parliament’s decision to disregard Venice Commission, ODIHR recommendations

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On July 21st, EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, together with the Neighborhood Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, issued a joint statement on the change of the electoral system in Moldova adopted on July 20th.

According to Mogherini and Hahn, the electoral system change goes directly counter to the recent recommendations of the Venice Commission and OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

The European officials underline that, despite the fact that the change is a sovereign decision of the Moldovan authorities, the electoral system change should have been with a broad consensus among political forces and should follow a genuine consultation of civil society and the recommendations of international partners. Moreover, Hahn and Mogherini stated that the EU continues to monitor the implementation of the new electoral law in the light of the new 100 million euros Macro-Financial Assistance and especially, of the Association Agreement.

The biggest political groups of the Union also reacted to the electoral system change in Moldova. EPP issued a press-release calling the adoption of the mixed system “a disgrace”:

“It is really regretful that 74 members of the parliament chose to strengthen the autocracy of the Democratic Party and the Socialists with its leader Plahotniuc instead of defending the interests of its people”, reads the press-release, mentioning the hasty manner the change was made.

Most seriously, the EPP President, Joseph Daul, argues that the European Commission should stop any funding and re-evaluate the EU-Moldova Association Agreement.

On the other hand, the European Socialists, friends of the Moldovan Democrats, welcomed the adoption of the new system, claiming that it was adopted with a three-quarter majority and includes the most important recommendations of the Venice Commission.

“The reform of the electoral law has been long awaited in Moldova, and it’s very positive news that it was finally adopted by a very strong majority of the Parliament of Moldova, including the ruling majority and the main opposition party”, declared S&D Vice-President Victor Boștineanu, forgetting that the Socialists and the Democrats are not serious enemies when it comes to trying to grip on power together.

The United States Embassy to Moldova also reacted to the adoption of the new system, saying that it is disappointed by the decision of the Parliament to disregard the most important (…) recommendations given by the Venice Commission and ODIHR. The Embassy argues that the modifications put into questions the presumed government’s goal of a democratic and European future for the people of Moldova. Moreover, it states that it will continue to work with all stakeholders, including civil society, to make Moldova’s European future a reality.

According to the new system, 51 MPs would be elected from electoral districts and 50 from party lists. The current draft 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 geographical basis, beside 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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Andrian Candu asks the Constitutional Court to suspend President Dodon for the fifth time

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The pre-electoral political theatre lead by the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) and  Socialist Party of Moldova (PSRM) continues.

The head of state, Igor Dodon, could be temporarily suspended for the fifth time since taking office. Speaker of Parliament Andrian Candu and Democratic deputy Sergiu Sirbu filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court. Today, the judges will decide whether the suspension will happen.

According to the case filed by Andrian Candu and Sergiu Sirbu, the head of state refused to promulgate several laws, although the Constitution obliges him to do so after being revoked in Parliament.

Thus, Dodon is accused of refusing to promulgate five laws approved by Parliament, including the construction of the US Embassy on the site of the former Republican Stadium, the celebration of 9 May as Europe Day, the new Audiovisual Code, and the reform of the Carabineer Troop Department.

So far, Igor Dodon has been suspended from office four times, and the bonds were met by Parliament Speaker Andrian Candu.

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Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova has accepted the offer to join the ACUM resistance movement

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A couple of days ago, Dignity and Truth Platform Party (DTPP) leader Andrei Nastase declared that the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (LDPM) and the Liberal Party (PL) should not participate in the parliamentary elections in February 2019. Instead, some of the exponents of the two Formations could be found on the Block List “ACUM” and in some constituencies. Moreover, Nastase asserted that his party and Action and Solidarity Party (PAS) will not negotiate anything with LDPM and PL representatives, as the electoral bloc will not “expand” under any circumstances.

Today, despite the statements of Andrei Năstase, LDPM vice-president Ion Terguţă announced on his Facebook page that his party will join the ACUM resistance movement.

“LDPM has accepted the offer ACUM. There will be fire.”

It seems that the decision was taken today at the meeting of the LDPM National Political Council. Thus, the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova will participate in the elections of 24 February in the composition of the ACUM block, which includes the PAS and DTPP parties.

Image result for acum resistenta

Source: DW

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Maia Sandu reacts harshly to the Democratic Party (PDM) accusations: “Plahotniuc is so scared that he’s making fun of himself”

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“The PD’s animalistic fear of losing power after parliamentary elections and the anti-citizen police used as instruments against the opposition are drawing to an end the totalitarian nature of this regime. From their press release, it appears that the only crime in this state is to be an electoral competitor. Moreover, through this communiqué, state institutions are de facto suggested to act in the sense of taking punitive measures against PD’s political opponents.”

This is how begins the public letter signed by Maia Sandu in response to the press release published by the Democratic Party of Moldova, in which “it noticed the appearance on the eve of the electoral campaign of several skirmishes regarding the violation by some parties and organizations of the civil provisions of the Law on Political Parties, the Electoral Code and the Audiovisual Code”.

Democrats, headed by Vladimir Plahotniuc, argue that they have detected “illegalities that can negatively influence the electoral process” and have officially notified the institutions responsible for holding elections. The PD accuses “some parties” of “incorrect mode” by which they would try to influence the outcome of the elections and discredit their conduct. Read the full story here.

Maia Sandu’s message continues like this:

“The accusation of the pro-European opposition that by “distributing prospectuses, calendars, creating the ACUM website” would carry out “pre-term electoral campaigning” denotes a naughty legal nihilism on the part of the Democratic Party. The concept of “electoral agitation” is explicitly defined in the electoral legislation (Article 1 of the Electoral Code), and no action mentioned in this communiqué undertaken by the members and supporters of the two parties circumscribes the notion of “electoral agitation”. Neither national legislation nor international law prohibits the promotion of their own image outside the electoral campaign. In a democracy, it is natural to have one’s own sites and to print informative materials to the citizens. It seems that what PDM wants is to become a single party ruling this country and make use of all state institutions in order to block all ways of communication.

The PD’s attempt to equalize electoral agitation with a simple information of the population aims to de facto prevent the opposition from communicating with the citizens of this country.

Given that the PD holds the monopoly on the television and the media in the Republic of Moldova, which daily manipulates public opinion through propaganda and outrageous lies, the attempt to prohibit the printing and distribution of information materials represents the annihilation of the political struggle as such.

Or is it that talking with the citizens in the Republic of Moldova is already a ban? If they could, Plahotniuc would generally forbid us to open our mouths and speak up.

Regarding the overseas movements of party leaders who announced the creation of the Future Block ACUM.md, we state that all these are perfectly legal and transparent. On this occasion, we inform the public that next week the leaders of the PAS and the DA Platform will be in Strasbourg at the last plenary session of the European Parliament and will inform the MEPs about the slippages that the dictatorial regime in Chisinau continues to commit.

We note that of the five examples offered by PD, only one refers to the PSRM and, surprisingly, none to the DP, not to mention other parties, including convicted guerrillas. This is in the context in which both PSRM and PD go through villages with potato bags, bribing voters and offering election memories, which is expressly forbidden in law.

Plahotniuc, the main thief of the Republic of Moldova, is so scared that he’s making fun of himself.”

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