Parliamentary majority adopts amendments to Election Code

The voting day could be reduced by two hours, from 8am to 8pm. The challenges, including those concerning the exclusion of an election runner from the race, would be examined by the electoral bodies, not by courts of law as until now. The use of images of state institutions for advertising purposes could be allowed in the next election campaign. This is provided in a bill proposed by the Socialist MPs, which was given a first reading. The opposition MPs criticized the bill, noting this wasn’t broadly discussed, including with civil society, and favors the Party of Socialists’ candidate in the presidential elections, IPN reports.

One of the bill authors, Vasile Bolea, said thet draft law was extensively debated by the Central Election Commission. Its goal is to implement the recommendations formulated by the Constitutional Court. It introduces the ban on the use of hate speech and incitement to discrimination in the election campaign and in campaigning events and institutes punishment for such acts and also for the involvement of religious, noncommercial, charity and trade union organizations in the election campaign, organized transportation of voters to polling places and incorrect covering of the campaign by the media.

PAS MP Sergiu Litvinenco said 90% of the bill’s provisions are beneficial, but is has seven elements that generate very serious concern. As regards the reduction of the voting day, civil society experts supported this proposal on condition that voting takes place during two days. Other provisions drastically diminish the powers of observers, who could be even excluded from the process.

The MP noted the bill excludes the ban on the use of pictures of state buildings in advertisements and this will favors the incumbent President as the other electoral competitors will not enjoy such a possibility.

MP of the Pro Moldova group Sergiu Sîrbu said the bill initially seemed to be technical and necessary, but it was adjusted and not to the mentioned documents, but according to the whims of a party. The bill introduces irrelevant and inappropriate norms, such as the exclusion of the stamp “annulled”.

Socialist MP Vlad Batrîncea said CEC proposed reducing the voting day and this institution is managed by a person proposed by the ACUM Bloc formed by the PAS and PPPDA. The MPs who make populist statements don’t know what security of the vote means. There are hundreds of cases when those from the electoral bureaus do not physically resist throughout the voting process. There are MPs who didn’t even read the bill, but comment on it.

When put to the vote, the bill was adopted in the first reading by a majority of the votes of those attending.

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