Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections: Local elections were partially free and fair

The Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, which consists of about 40 nongovernmental organizations, assessed the November 5 and November 19 elections as partially free and fair. The conclusion was reached as a result of a monitoring effort, Igor Boțan, executive director of the Association for Participatory Democracy (ADEP), which forms part of the Coalition, stated in a news conference hosted by IPN.

Igor Boțan said the restrictions limiting the right to stand for election were introduced by Parliament after the Constitutional Court on June 19 declared the Shor Party unconstitutional. There were staged debates that involved members of the Coalition, but their opinion was ignored by the authorities. Later, the Venice Commission stated its opinion and the Constitutional Court passed its judgment. Afterward, the Parliament, at the height of the election campaign, had to review the electoral legislation on the right to stand for election and this intervention in the election process created particular uncertainty for election contenders. The impact of those events was felt and was mentioned by the contestants of these elections. “The election process, when it started, should have been held according to very clear rules, while the intervention of the authorities with restrictions, even if these are justified and we must admit this, is a departure from a free and fair process,” stated the expert.

He noted that the competitiveness of the elections was ensured by the participation in elections of two thirds of the registered parties. Out of the 60 registered parties, 37 contended in elections. The voters had a wide range of options to make their choice. However, two days before election day, the Commission for Exceptional Situations (CES) intervened and excluded the representatives of the Chance Party from the electoral competition. This party, which has never contended in elections and never reported costs to the Central Election Commission, during only several weeks managed to register election contenders in 80% of the electoral districts, practically equaling the established parties’ performance in this regard. Ultimately, the party was excluded, but it could challenge this decision by the CES. So far, a definitive decision over this incident hasn’t been taken. Such events at the height of the election campaign also have an imprint on the free character of elections.

The head of Promo-LEX’s election observation mission Nicolae Panfil said the general locale elections of November 5 and November 19 were held in accordance with the new Electoral Code that for the first time was applied at the recent elections. The elections were held in a transparent and professional way. However, the Central Election Commission’s work was marred by a series of negative aspects, such as the shortage of human resources which caused particular difficulties in ensuring control over financial reporting by election contenders, such as delays in the publication of challenges, notices submitted by election contenders. “On election day, the election process was managed efficiently and transparently. Also, a large number of the incidents identified by the observers of Promo-LEX, such as the violation of the secrecy of ballot, unjustified presence of unauthorized persons inside polling stations or within a radius of them can point to some of the electoral players’ intention to undermine the integrity of the election process,” stated Nicolae Panfil.

The extensive use of the administrative resource was another facet of political activity in the election campaign. Even if the use of the administrative resource during the electoral period by election contenders is banned, including by launching or talking part in the launch of infrastructure projects or purchases made with funds from the national public budget, the observers of Promo-LEX identified over 150 cases of use of the administrative resource, such as involvement in campaign activities of persons holding public posts, arrogation by candidate of merits for works and services funded with public money, use of state institutions to promote electoral initiatives.

Nadine Gogu, executive director of the Independent Journalism Center, said the Centre monitored the behavior of ten TV channels and, based on the monitoring, ascertained that the broadcasters, with some exceptions, had a relatively balanced behavior in the election camion and offered relatively equal access to news items to election contenders, the activities of the candidates having been covered mostly correctly and impartially. Most of the monitored TV channels didn’t ensure the pluralism of opinions and gender equality in terms of the used sources. “The suspension on October 30 by the
Commission for Exceptional Situations of the broadcast licenses of six TV channels can be regarded as a disproportionate restriction of the freedom of expression as sufficient and comprehensive explanations about the facts and legal circumstances that justify such restrictive measures weren’t provided,” stated Nadine Gogu.

Note: IPN News Agency offers the right of reply to persons who consider they were touched by the news items produced based on statements made by the organizers of the given news conference, including by facilitating the organization of another news conference in similar conditions.

Вы используете модуль ADS Blocker .
IPN поддерживается от рекламы.
Поддержи свободную прессу!
Некоторые функции могут быть заблокированы, отключите модуль ADS Blocker .
Спасибо за понимание!
Команда IPN.