Igor Boţan: Local election results should not have any impact on European Council’s decision

The way in which the local elections were conducted in Moldova and the results of these elections should not have any impact on the decision that is expected to be taken by the European Council on December 14-15, about the opening of accession negotiations with Moldova. The conclusions of the international missions, of the OSCE and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which were favorable, matter for the European institutions, the permanent expert of IPN’s project Igor Boţan stated in a public debate entitled “Possible scenarios for European Council’s decision about Moldova”.

“The elections were held as the report by the mission of the OSCE and the Parliamentary Assembly showed – relatively well. There were problems, but these problems were related to circumstances – the removal of a party from the electoral competition several days before election day by the Commission for Exceptional Situations’ decision. We saw that the report clearly said that the citizens enjoyed a wide range of choices as the elections involve 37 of the 60 existing parties. A party was excluded based on information that was furnished to the CES by the law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Moldova and such things should definitely be handled by judges. This was an embarrassing moment for us all, for society and for the observers, but I don’t think this will influence the European Council’s decision,” stated Igor Boţan.

The expert noted that the decision that is expected to be taken this month is political in character as it will be agreed by heads of state and government. It will be based on the European Commission’s recommendation, which is positive and this matters a lot. There is yet uncertainty generated by Hungary’s attitude. “I don’t think the election results and the way in which the elections were conducted can influence the decision somehow. Furthermore, we saw that the new Electoral Code was approved of by the observation missions,” said Igor Boţan.

He explained that the European integration of Moldova was accelerated together with the European integration of Ukraine following the outbreak of the war. The applications for EU membership submitted by Moldova and Ukraine were examined in a combined way and both of the countries were granted the EU candidate status. Dissociation is possible later. “The Ukrainians fought and made sacrifices to obtain this status. We are beneficiaries and if we are separated and favored somehow, personally, I will feel embarrassed,” noted Igor Boţan.

The expert also said that in the general local elections, most of the votes were polled by the parties that plead for integration into the EU. The main lesson that should be learned is that when the strategic goal of Moldova is in question, the achievement of the European integration desideratum is meant. Positive processes are now taking place. If things get stuck and the European Council’s vote is negative, the wave of emigration from Moldova will only rise.

The public debate entitled “Possible scenarios for European Council’s decision about Moldova” was the 295th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” which is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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