The organization of elections in the Transnistrian region has been a challenge for the Moldovan authorities given that the territory from the left side of the Nistru is not controlled by the constitutional authorities and more special measures need to be taken, Mihai Mogîldea, team leader at the Institute for European Policies and Reforms, said in IPN’s public debate “Particularities of voting in geographical areas and territorial-administrative units of the Republic of Moldova, including in the Transnistrian region and ATU Gagauzia: motives and effects”.
“Definitely, this involves an additional effort on the part of the authorities, but also a dose of unpredictability as surprises can anytime appear, depending on the actions of the separatist Transnistrian administration,” said the expert, noting the subject is topical, especially because the CEC on October 20 adopted a decision that restricts the organized transportation of voters, which is one of the most important problems related to the vote of the Transnistrians.
Mihai Mogîldea noted that in the parliamentary elections of 2019, the number of voters from the Transnistrian region rose by over 20,000 to 37,000 voters, as opposed to 16,000 in the presidential elections of 2016, and evidence shows that this was due to the organized transportation of voters. In 2016, the voters from the Transnistrian region supported mainly Igor Dodon after they were transported to polling stations and were corrupted.
“The voters in the region know the electoral process in the Republic of Moldova to a small extent. They don’t know the candidates and their electoral platforms as these cannot campaign in the Transnistrian region,” said Mihai Mogîldea, noting the main challenge in the organization of the elections for voters from the Transnistrian region is to ensure the law and order and the proper organization of elections at polling stations, especially in the Security Zone.
Mihai Mogîldea said the CEC’s decision to restrict the organized transportation of voters is of major importance. The biggest problem at present is what penalties will be imposed if such irregularities are identified as the Contravention Code and the Penal Code do not stipulate punishment for such acts.
“The Constitutional Court, in its decisions on the presidential elections of 2016 and the parliamentary elections of 2019, said the organized transportation of voters is not electoral corruption, unlike the CEC’s decisions, which says that this is electoral corruption. Anyway, in these elections, the number of voters who would come to polling places in an organized way could be lower,” stated Mihai Mogîldea.
The public debate “Particularities of voting in geographical areas and territorial-administrative units of the Republic of Moldova, including in the Transnistrian region and ATU Gagauzia: motives and effects” was the fifth installment of the electoral series “We and the President: who elects who, who represents who” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.