The European Court of Human Rights pronounced in the case concerning the removal of the Political Party “Patria” from the electoral race in the parliamentary elections of November 2014. The application was signed by the party and 14 candidates from its electoral list. The Court held that the interference in the electoral rights of the applicants didn’t respect the standards imposed by Article 3 of Protocol No. 1, IPN reports.
The public association “Jurists for Human Rights” said the removal of the party from the race wasn’t based on sufficient and relevant evidence and the procedures in front of the commission and courts of law didn’t provide sufficient guarantees against arbitrariness to the complaining party and the national authorities’ decisions weren’t argued and were arbitrary.
In a news conference, the leader of the Our Party Renato Usatyi, who in 2014 headed the list of candidates of the Party “Patria”, said the ECHR’s decision is a big victory. “It is a victory for the whole team of Our Party, for the whole team of the Party “Patria”, with whose assistance we could take part in the election campaign prior to the parliamentary elections of 2014, but could not ultimately run in elections,” said the politician, noting in 2014, Vlad Plahotniuc and his accomplices Vlad Filat, Gheorghe Cavcaliuc, Iurie Ciocan, Mihai Poalelungi, Ion Pleșca, Vasile Gafton illegally removed “Patria” from the race.
One of the two lawyers who represented “Patria” in all the national courts and at the ECHR Stanislav Pavlovschi said this day is significant not only for the Our Party. “The ECHR pronounced an extraordinarily important decision for the Republic of Moldova and for the whole Europe, admitting that all national courts’ decisions were absolutely arbitrary,” stated the lawyer, being quoted in a press release of “Our Party”.
The applicant party is to get €7,500 in respect of non-pecuniary damage and €8,000 court costs from the Moldovan state.
The Central Election Commission asked the Appeals Court to remove the Party “Patria” from the race after the General Police Inspectorate reported that the party used electoral funds of 8 million lei that came from outside Moldova. The Supreme Court of Justice upheld the decision to annul the registration of the election runner and to confiscate 8 million lei.