Changes undermining integrity of electoral process in Moldova are unacceptable, MEPs

Changes that undermine the integrity of the electoral process in Moldova are unacceptable, reads a statement issued by the Head of EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee, Siegfried Muresan MEP, together with the Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly Andrius Kubilius MEP and Euronest Vice-Chair Andrzej Halicki MEP.

According to them, it is unacceptable that CEC is trying to change the campaign financing rules just a few weeks before the elections by banning the use of financial donations to political parties by the candidates of the same parties.

“We are closely following how PSRM’s recent changes undermine the integrity of the electoral process ahead of the presidential elections on 1 November 2020 and this is of great concern for us. President Dodon’s party has no shame or scruples in bending and adapting any electoral rule only to serve another win to its candidate,” reads the statement.

“It is more worrying that the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), an institution whose sole role is to ensure free, fair and transparent elections, is also playing by the PSRM’s script.”

“We are seeing more electoral irregularities that endanger democratic presidential elections in Moldova. The reports of falsification of pre-registration applications for the opening of polling stations in the Russian Federation or the risk that the residents of the separatist region of Transnistria might be co-opted in vote-buying schemes are particularly worrisome.”

The statement ends with the following: “Any manipulation or deviation from democratic standards will result in a strong condemnation and a revision of the EU-Moldova relations.”

Following this statement, the Socialist Party issued a press release to say it was confused by the allegations. “We tend to think that the wrong allegations of the MEPs were made just because of a lack of knowledge. We admit they have been misinformed by certain political forces form Moldova. We are open to communicate directly with EU officials in order to provide first-hand information and we encourage them to seek information about the state of affairs from the government authorities.”

“From the statement of the MEPs we understand that they are dissatisfied with the part of the electoral legislation that refers to the financing of the candidates. In this case, we emphasize that the provisions related to the reduction of candidates' funding were amended in the summer of 2019, together with the deputies from PAS and PPPDA. Moreover, the reduction of the donation ceiling to an electoral contestant to a maximum of 12 average monthly salaries per economy for the current year was proposed by the PAS deputy Sergiu Litvinenco. We also emphasize that the legislation clearly stipulates that no electoral contestant can receive money from the state budget, except in the form of a loan. Under these conditions, the parties, which are financed by the state, cannot transfer to the electoral fund of the candidate,” states PSRM.

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