Incitement to discrimination expanded towards end of election campaign, Promo-LEX

The fifth monitoring report of Promo-LEX Association highlights verbal violence in speeches and in statements made during the last part of the election campaign. During June 23 - July 7, 2021, the Association identified at least 43 cases of hate speech and incitement to discrimination in the public space, in the media and online in the Republic of Moldova. It is a 43% increase compared with the previous monitoring period (June 8-20, 2021). During the reporting period, at least 26 cases of hate speech or other forms of intolerant speech were generated by 11 candidates included in the electoral rolls of eight electoral contenders, IPN reports.

Promo-LEX programs director Nicolae Panfil told a news conference that hate speech and incitement to discrimination were most often generated by: Vasile Costiuc (PPDA) – 6 cases; Renato Usatîi (BERU) – 4 cases; Fiodor Ghelici (POM) – 3 cases. On the other hand, in at least 10 cases, hate speech and incitement to discrimination in the public space targeted two candidates from BECS electoral rolls: Igor Dodon – in 7 cases and Vladimir Voronin – in 3 cases. The other cases of hate speech impacted members and supporters of BECS, PLD, the President of the Republic of Moldova and other politicians.

Promo-LEX noted that the activism of electoral contenders had continuously increased, the number of activities has increased by 25% compared to the previous monitoring period. Most of the 1,456 activities observed, as in the previous observation period, were carried out by: PAS – 395 (27%), BECS 226 (15%) and BERU 172 (12%). The most popular activities are the distribution of electoral materials (52%) and electoral meetings (30%).

According to Promo-LEX OM findings, compared with the Presidential Elections of November 1, 2020, the Central Election Commission accredited more observers. “CEC accredited 2,442 observers, with 1,800 of these being national observers. Promo-LEX Association has 1,186 accredited observers (66% of the national observers),” stated Nicolae Panfil.

During the reference period, only 19 electoral contenders of the 23 reported total financial expenses amounting to 33.5 billion lei. Of them, 36% were reported by BERU, 18% – by PAS, and 12% – by BECS and PPS each. Thus, 4 electoral contenders reported 80% of total revenues, and the remaining 11 electoral contenders – only 20%. For the six weeks of the election campaign, Promo-LEX estimated unreported expenses of at least 10,859,900 lei. Of these, for BECS – 3,264,762 lei (30%); PPȘ – 2,329,133 lei (21%); PDM – 1,342,712 lei (12%), PAS – 1,007,578 lei (9%).

Promo-LEX OM is concerned that on July 8, 2021, only three days before the elections, the Government has not yet ensured full funding for the organization and conduct of the snap parliamentary elections. This can affect the quality of procedures on election day, while the electoral functionaries can remain unremunerated

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