Recommendations for ensuring right to vote for people with mental disabilities


The Moldovan Institute for Human Rights, which has monitored how the right to vote of people with mental disabilities is respected, considers that it is necessary to abrogate the article of the Electoral Code which says that, when instituting the judicial protection measure, the court, must issue a ruling whether to deprive the right to vote.

In an IPN press conference, Alexandru Cebanaș, Monitoring and Reporting Program consultant, said that about 55 persons hosted in the placement center in Bădiceni did not have identity documents which implies that their right to vote was restricted. "This is a major problem for every placement center, because each center hosts unidentified people who do not have identity documents. Therefore, these people can't exercise their right to vote. The aggravating circumstance that this issue was known before the election and, in our opinion, could have been addressed", said Alexandru Cebanaș.

The IDOM experts recommended to develop identity documents for all beneficiaries of residential institutions.

IDOM recommended to establish a mechanism of evaluation of the accessibility conditions of the space designated for polling stations, which grants the right to either validate or reject the suggested place. Additionally, it was recommended to ensure all polling stations with magnifying glasses and envelope templates, as to ensure the secret vote of visually impaired persons. The experts consider that it is necessary to elaborate a detailed procedure regarding the independence of the chosen person for the exercise of the assisted vote, including the elaboration of the list of inadmissible persons for the exercise of the respective function. Moreover, the experts recommended that election officials receive training on national and international standards for ensuring the right to vote of persons with disabilities.

"The Republic of Moldova is part of the UN Convention since 2010, which is the basis for ensuring the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. Absolutely all people have the right to vote. The authorities, first of all, must ensure this right by including on the electoral lists absolutely all the persons hosted by the institution. If they refuse to vote, its their right, yet the persons who have their domicile in the respective institution or settlement must be included on the lists", said Radu Bobeică, IDOM lawyer.

In the second round of the elections, IDOM monitored the exercise of the right to vote of people with disabilities in four institutions. In total, 16 observers were employed in the process, eight of them with permanent status, while the other eight were part of the mobile group.

Monitoring the observance of electoral rights in psychiatric hospitals and temporary placement centers for persons with disabilities in the general local elections of October 20 and November 3, was carried out with the financial support of the Eastern European Foundation, with resources provided by Sweden.