Adrian Băluțel: PSRM tries to limit diaspora’s access to vote

The Party of Socialists (PSRM) tries to limit the diaspora’s access to the vote, President Maia Sandu’s chief of staff Adrian Băluțel stated after the Bloc of Communists and Socialists requested the Constitutional Court to pronounce on the law on postal voting. According to him, the implementation of postal voting is a pilot project and, if the Moldovan citizens in Canada, the U.S. and the Nordic countries vote without much difficulty, the mechanism will be extended to other states, IPN notes.

On Monday, Socialist heavyweight Vlad Batrîncea filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court, challenging the law on postal voting that was adopted by a majority of votes of PAS MPs. According to Batrîncea, the government violates the constitutional provisions that guarantee equal rights for all the voters. Also, the government is accused of subjectivity in selecting the polling stations and of favoring particular categories of voters.

“My opinion is that if you organize this postal voting only in the U.S. and Canada, you should aim to enable the entire diaspora to vote through this mechanism, including those from France, Germany. To my mind, it is a legal issue related to the ensuring of the rights of all our citizens abroad to benefit from this voting system. But there are no perfect electoral systems in the world. In my opinion, this is a mechanism aimed at enabling our citizens abroad to vote. Many of our citizens travel thousands of kilometers to exercise their right to vote and the state has the obligation, through its representatives, to facilitate the exercise of citizens; democratic rights,” chairman of the Party “Dignity and Truth Platform” Dinu Plîngău” stated in the talk show “Expertise Hour” on JurnalTV.

In the same connection, the chief of staff of President Maia Sandu Adrian Băluțel accused the Socialist opposition of trying to delay the implementation of postal voting. According to him, the PSRM wants to limit the diaspora’s access to the polls.

“The PSRM, in fact, is trying to delay the possibility of voting for a large number of citizens. They are trying to limit the diaspora’s access to the vote. It is a pilot voting exercise that will be piloted in Canada, the U.S. and the Nordic countries. But this is done because it is a transition to a new, more complex model of voting. These countries were chosen because we have a large number of citizens, especially in Canada and the U.S., who are extremely far away from the polling station. It is a pilot model and, if everything goes well, it will be extended. We want all our citizens from the diaspora to be able to vote as easily as possible,” said Adrian Băluțel.

“The PSRM’s act is an eminently political action and is meant to serve the propaganda agenda. This action is riddled with lies. It is not true that no consultations were held with the participation of partners and civil society. I don’t know if there was another law that was publicly consulted to a greater extend. In addition, this law will have a small impact. If there are 5,000 valid postal votes, I will be very surprised. Pleasantly surprised. We discuss a lot a rather minor matter,” said Watchdog expert Valeriu Pașa.

Under the law, only the Moldovan citizens in Canada, the U.S., Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland will be able to vote by mail in this year’s presidential election. Globally, 53 countries allow voting by mail from abroad. Also, 13 member states of the European Union allow postal voting.

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