Appreciation of the general local elections by the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections

The Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections believes that the general local elections ballot of 5 June 2011 has been run in accordance with the national and international elections standards. At the same time, the Coalition ascertains that, due to the specifics of the local elections, as well as to the poor political culture of the political class, some aspects of the election process have been marked by drawbacks and infringements of the legal framework.

The Coalition appreciates the efforts of the Central Election Commission (CEC) taken to organize the ballot in line with the national legal framework and international election practices. The Coalition notes an improvement in the voters’ lists thanks to efficient cooperation between the CEC and the local authorities. At the same time, the Coalition insists that the central authorities, together with the relevant state institutions, resume the preparation of the Electronic Voters’ Register after the elections in order to remove suspicions related to the accuracy of the voters’ lists. Also, the Coalition recommends to the CEC to pay high attention to the training of the members of the election bureaus, as well as to keep up the active cooperation with the civil society in the conduct of information and voters’ civic education campaigns.

The Coalition believes that the ballot for the general local elections of 5 June and 19 June was fiery, marked by drawbacks in the behaviour of certain election competitors and some infringements of the legal framework. Thus, the Coalition is concerned that some election competitors made intimidation attempts, behaved aggressively towards other competitors/public/observers, made use of administrative resources, offered election gifts, etc. In this sense, the Coalition requires that the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, the Central Election Commission and other relevant authorities look for solutions to the above mentioned problems, including by improving the legal framework on financing and transparency of revenues/expenditures of the candidates during election campaigns. Also, the Coalition requires that election competitors – political parties pay special attention to the human resources that they involve in election campaigns, so that only individuals abiding by the law and the moral principles of co-habitation in a community participate.

The Coalition appreciates the role of the media institutions, including local/regional ones which, to a great extent, reflected the entire election process and offered dialogue opportunities to all election actors, without permitting severe infringements of professional standards and the deontological principles of journalism. At the same time, one private TV channel and two newspapers behaved as media institutions subservient to a political party, refusing to abide by the decisions of the regulation authorities in the field (the Coordinating Council of the Audio-visual). Thus, we require that CCA is firmer in forcing the said broadcaster observe the provisions of the legal framework.

The voters in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova did not have this time either the possibility to exercise their right to vote in a free and democratic way. In the village Corjova there were tensions and provocations on the side of the separatist administration. Although the voters there did not participate to the voting and elected their administration in a neighbourhood locality, they did not fully benefit from the necessary conditions for an informed voting, being deprived of the opportunity to know their candidates, their election programmes and have election meetings with all competitors.

The women are still underrepresented in the elections lists, in contradiction to the principle of equality of chances, provided for in the Moldovan legislation. The situation at this ballot is even worse than that at the previous elections. In this context, it is important to emphasize that, besides the lack of respect for the women who work for the political parties, by signing the Declaration of the Millennium Development Goals, the Republic of Moldova committed to increasing the representation[1] of women at the decision making level. The local elections of 2011 were the last elections before the reporting date.

The Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections draws attention on the need to start discussions in the society on the identified issues, especially as regards the behaviour of the election competitors within the framework of the ballots, financing and the transparency of the election campaigns, monitoring of the candidates’ election promises, development of election lists and the Voters’ State Register, election information and education of the public, etc. The Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections is ready to contribute to the organization of discussions, debates for solving these problems, so that we can talk of a continuous improvement of election processes in the Republic of Moldova.

The Council of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections

[1] From 26.5% in local councils in 2007 to 40%  in 2015, from 13.2%  in raion councils in 2007 to 25% in 2015, from 18% women mayors in 2007 to 25%  in 2015 and from 22% women members of Parliament in 2005 to 30% in 2015.