CALC concerned about worsening of electoral process in connection with Gagauzia election

The Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (CALC) expressed its concern about the worsening of the electoral process and the ignoring of the basic legal principles for ensuring free and fair Bashkan elections in the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia, IPN reports, with reference to a statement issued by the Coalition.

The CALC said the recent gubernatorial election in Gagauzia was held with multiple violations of the electoral rights of citizens, the rights of election contenders to benefit from equal conditions in the electoral process, the obligations applying to the Central Electoral Council of Gagauzia and the suggestions and recommendations of the Central Election Commission.

The Coalition expresses its regret at the fact that most of the candidates who ran in the gubernatorial election and signaled many violations of the legal provisions during the election campaigns preferred not to file challenges later.

The Coalition’s findings are based on the poor quality of the registers of voters compiled by the local public authorities of Gagauzia, which was confirmed by the high number of voters put on additional lists (about 10.7%). It is presumed that about 37,000 voters were intentionally excluded from the rolls in order to ensure the mandatory 50% threshold in the first round of regional elections in Gagauzia.

Among the ascertained violations are the presence of unauthorized persons within 100 meters from polling places and cases of organized transportation of voters on election day, the evasive reaction of the Central Electoral Council of Gagauzia after the Central Election Commission of Moldova initiated eight contravention cases over illegal financing of election runners, who received higher than allowed donations from private individuals.

The Coalition formulated a number of proposals for ensuring the uniform implementation of the norms so as to ensure the electoral rights of the citizens and election contenders in any type of elections, including regional ones. It suggested supplementing Title V of the Electoral Code of the Republic of Moldova with an additional clause to stipulate that the national electoral legislation norms prevail over the regional electoral legislation norms concerning the electoral rights of the citizens and election contenders, campaign funding and non-admission of inference from outside, and unifying all the recommendations for common law and appeals courts by the Supreme Court of Justice so as to uniformly apply the provisions of the electoral legislation concerning the electoral rights of the citizens and election contenders, campaign funding and non-admission of inference from outside.

On May 22, the Comrat Appeals Court validated the outcome of the Bashkan election held in Gagauzia, confirming the Shor Party’s representative Yevgenia Guțul as the winner.

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