Sergei Mishin: Invalidation of elections in Chisinau generates concerns about holding of 2019 elections

The invalidation of the Chisinau mayoral elections generates concerns about the organization and holding of free and fair elections next February. Things became more worrisome when the mixed electoral system was introduced. The fact that the Republic of Moldova is a captured state and the judicial system does not work, and the European Union admitted this, and these conditions generate dangers and could result in the invalidation of elections, is also a reason for concern, Doctor of Law Sergei Mishin stated in the public “Stake of free and fair elections. Who ensures them, who respects them?” that was the 97th instalment of the series of debates “Developing political culture through public debates” organized by IPN Agency and Radio Moldova.

According to him, there are risks that the elections in some of the constituencies will be falsified or invalidated because the ruling parliamentary majority does not want to and will not concede power by itself. “Several months before the elections, attempts to limit a part of the population’s right to be elected are already being made. A bill proposed by the Liberal Party suggested supplementing the Election Code so that each candidate is obliged to know the Romanian language. “First of all, under the Constitution, Moldovan is the official language. Secondly, if they demand that the people should know the Romanian language, what about the Gagauzians, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Russians?” asked Sergei Mishin.

He noted that the use of administrative resources is among the risks related to the elections of 2019 and this thing can significantly influence the denouement of the elections in constituencies. At the same time, the intentions to annul the electoral silence and to permit electoral agitation generate questions. “It is not clear where the distance of 100 meters from polling places where electoral legislation will not be allowed should be calculated from. Who determines this? What is electoral agitation and what agitation can be allowed and what agitation cannot be allowed,” he stated, adding the people are intentionally prepared for such risks and these risks are being promoted.

Sergei Mishin said that when it is about risks, fears and dangers of falsification or even annulment of the future elections, things should be looked at from another angle. “During the past two years, we could see that the legislation, in particular the electoral one, has not been respected. Under the legislation, the seats will be validated by the Constitutional Court, but we can ascertain today that the CC has passed a number of political rather than juridical judgements. The Court is the body that should make sure that the Constitution is obeyed. Respectively, the first risk is related to the Court’s interference in constitutional matters by different methods. This can lead to the invalidation or non-recognition of the elections,” he stated. 

However, the main risk, according to him, is that the law will not be respected and the regulations of the Central Election Commission will not be obeyed. “When the law is violated, the rights of representatives of the candidates, national and international observers are also violated and this is the main sign of unfree and unfair elections. The law should have preeminence and the Constitution and the Election Code are the most important ones,” concluded the doctor of law.

The debate “Stake of free and fair elections. Who ensures them, who respects them?” forms part of the series of public debates staged by IPN News Agency and Radio Moldova as part of the project “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.

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