The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) on Friday decided Andrian Candu, leader of the political party Pro Moldova, could not run for president in the November elections, saying his team failed to collect enough signatures from enough places. The ex-speaker and his party complained of foul play.
CEC Secretary Maxim Lebedinschi explained that Candu’s team submitted 18,860 valid signatures, comfortably above the 15,000 minimum. But the problem is, Lebedinschi went on, the geographical proportionality principle wasn’t respected, as Candu was short of 218 signatures from six districts.
The decision to deny Andrian Candu registration was taken with five votes in favor and three abstentions.
Pro Moldova reacted by declaring that the “elections have already been rigged.” The party said it would fight in court for every one of the 25,000 signatures initially submitted and in particular for those disqualified.
Before Friday’s CEC meeting, Pro Moldova unsuccessfully attempted to challenge CEC Secretary Lebedinschi, a former PSRM lawmaker, and replace him as case rapporteur, suspecting him to be biased towards the incumbent president.