By the end of January, the initiative group for initiating the legislative referendum on the annulment of the mixed-member electoral system will consult the citizens and will propose holding a new constitution assembly. The decision was taken after the Central Election Commission (CEC) refused to register the initiative group, invoking violations of the procedures.
In a news conference at IPN, the leader of the initiative group Stefan Gligor described the CEC’s refusal as a politically motivated decision. The Commission gathered together several insignificant elements concerning the procedures for holding the assembly for constituting an initiative group, while a number of conclusions presented as important in the meeting weren’t include in the final decision. “We saw a process that was inequitable from the start and had the impression that the decision as to the registration of the group was taken beforehand,” stated Stefan Gligor. He noted that those from the initiative group will go to all the parties that supported them and to the parties that didn’t support them to seek support. If the mixed electoral system is not annulled, the opposition will lose these elections as the rules are formulated to favor the ruling party.
Valeriu Pasa, Watch Dog and a member of the initiative group, described the decision of the CEC as illegal, abusive and politically motivated, which was taken outside the electoral authority. Even if there were small deviations from the procedures for constituting an initiative group, these didn’t affect the legality of the constitution process.
Director of the Institute for Public Policy Arcadie Barbarosie noted that after the initiative group came to the CEC with the required documents, the Commission should have examined the proceedings to see if there were at least 300 members who took part in that assembly and to remove the others if there were too many. It should have done the same in the case of vote verification. “The arguments show one thing – that the CEC was instructed not to register the group and it did so its way, using invented reasons that are not related to the law,” he stated.
“The essence is that 735 persons expressed their wish to take part in the initiative group and almost all of these were ready to collect signatures, seven times more than required. There were referendum initiatives earlier, but nobody behaved like this. The CEC members are so “independent” that they were ashamed to look into our eyes and say their argument till the end,” stated Lilia Carasciuc, director of Transparency International Moldova.
Political analyst Victor Ciobanu said that a legal gap is invented in this case as this exists only in the imagination of those who are in power. The people’s legal right to a referendum is thus limited. “It is the CEC that insists that we have over 3 million voters at a time when the census showed that we have under 3 million people. This CEC showed us publicly how the decisions will be taken in the parliamentary elections,” noted the analyst.
On January 12, the Central Election Commission rejected the application to register the initiative group for organizing a national legislative referendum on the abrogation of the law by which the mixed-member electoral system was introduced, invoking violations of the legal norms and of Election Code provisions as the proceedings on the constitution of the initiative group contained contradictory data and discrepancies were identified when counting the votes of participants in the assembly.