Lawyer: “Năstase-Usatyi” cases could repeat in next elections or justice sector reform will produce results?

Since the proclaiming of its Independence, the Republic of Moldova had various examples when particular political payers were unjustly removed from the game, some of them even during the election campaign. Two examples in the country’s recent history: the case of Renato Usatyi, who was excluded from the election campaign not long before the elections and the case of Andrei Năstase, whose victory in elections wasn’t confirmed by court. Lawyer Andrei Briceac developed the issue in an interview with IPN entitled “Election contenders removed from the race through injustice. How to avoid such cases in next elections?”.

“This is one of the cases that reached the ECHR in which the violation of the right to vote and to stand as a candidate at elections was ascertained. We had more cases. It was the case of Tănase and Chirtoacă, when the exercise of this right was also limited. The ECHR intervenes when it is notified of any problem that refers to the violation of a right stipulated in the European Convention, regardless of the political affiliation of the applicant,” said the lawyer.

According to him, the ECHR’s duty is to identify violations and to set down particular democratic standards that are applied on the European continent, which should serve as a guidebook for the national courts, for the state and the whole society.

“In a democracy, the right to vote and to stand as a candidate at elections is very important and it is evident that any interference by the state in the exercise of this right undermines the basis of democracy. If we do not have the guarantee that the people who hold state sovereignty can elect the administration, the MPs as they decide, we cannot be sure that the state belongs to us,” Andrei Briceac stated in the interview with IPN. 

As to the justice sector reform, the lawyer said they have talked for many years about it but this is ongoing and we cannot know when it will be over. Justice should be done not on TV but in the court of law, as the penal procedure and civil codes provide. It is highly improbable that the problem of removal of election runners through injustice will be solved until the next elections.

“It is yet important to go on, not to dramatize and not to address the problems in an abstract way, about everything and nothing. We should look at the cases separately and examine them. The individual cases reveal systemic problems and help us do the necessary diagnosis of the system in general,” said Andrei Briceac.

The interview “Election contenders removed from the race through injustice. How to avoid such cases in next elections?” was conducted by IPN News Agency in the framework of the project “Support for the Justice Reform through multimedia coverage of cases of alleged injustice”. The video variant of the interview is available here.

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