Snap elections 2021: What happened, what can happen at internal level? IPN debate

The snap parliamentary elections of July 11 pushed a party of the right to the forefront – the Party of Acton and Solidarity, which gained 52.8% of the ballot and became the only party of the right that won a majority in Parliament after the declaring of Independence. According to the D’Hondt formula, PAS will hold 63 seats of MP and this will enable it to fulfill all the promises made to the citizens. The snap parliamentary elections and their consequences were discussed in the public debate “Snap elections 2021: What happened, what can happen at internal level? that was staged by IPN News Agency.

According to the standing expert of IPN’s project Igor Boțan, in August 2019 the Election Code was modified and the proportional representation system under which the seats of MP are distributed according to the D’Hondt, proportional formula was restored. There was replaced the system promoted in 2010 by the ex-leader of the Liberal Party Mihai Ghimpu, under which the seats of the parties and contenders that do not pass the election threshold are distributed practically equally between those that passed the threshold. Now, according to the D’Hondt formula, PAS received ten more seats, BeCS –five more seats, while the Shor Party didn’t benefit from the redistribution of seats.

The expert noted that with a comfortable parliamentary majority of 63 seats, PAS will be able to deliver its electoral promises and to implement its electoral program. It will not be able only to amend the Constitution. However, given the credibility enjoyed by President Maia Sandu, if amendments to the Constitution are need, these could be easily promoted by referendum. The low turnout at the referendum can be the only impediment in this regard. Most probably, PAS will not experience big problems in the adoption of serious decisions. The problem can reside in the quality of bills and the competence of the governmental team.

Political analyst Anatol Țăranu said the legality of the elections in Moldova is usually determined by foreign observers. This time, the election observation missions of CIS and OSCE approved of the elections. As usual, they said that the elections were held in democratic conditions, mentioning also particular violations, especially as regards the polling stations intended for the Transnistrian region. There were mentioned no other serious impediments that can question the legitimacy of these elections. Apart from a filed challenge, the Constitutional Court will most probably validate these elections and no “surprises” are expected here.

The analyst noted that a particular problem existed in the electoral period when deciding the number of polling stations for the diaspora. This issue generated controversy and in a way cast doubt on the impartially of the Central Election Commission. A part of the Moldovan experts spoke about the biased attitude of CEC and the fact that its representatives took decisions in favor of particular election contenders. Things were yet settled and the fact that the opposition leader Igor Dodon recognized the legality of elections shows that there will be no serious pretentions here. The difference between the votes won in elections by PAS and the main opposition forces is so great that it is hard to dispute the results of these elections. Parliament will be thus able to start work soon.

Political analyst Cornel Ciurea said the elections were held without serious problems, but they could have taken place in a different way. “Let’s remember that the snap elections were triggered by a Constitutional Court judgment that was vehemently challenged by the parliamentary majority and even if the decision taken by CC was condemned by Parliament by a parliamentary decision on the usurpation of power by three judges of the Constitutional Court. This fact can somehow overshadow the parliamentary elections, but the parties that are now in the opposition – BeCS – decided not to make a fuss and to allow things to develop independently. No major violations were later witnessed, but this somehow overshadows the legality of the elections,” said the analyst.

Cornel Ciurea noted that an increasing number of political players go to court, bypassing the Central Election Commission, and this is somehow strange as CEC is empowered to take decisions about electoral matters. “It seemed strange to me when the number of polling stations intended for the diaspora and for the Transnistrian region was challenged in court when the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice wasn’t even implemented. CEC didn’t modify the number of 150 polling stations. The number of polling stations was increased by the pressure of society and parties, not by court decisions,” said Cornel Ciurea, noting the parties should go to court less and should have confidence in the state institutions.

The public debate “Snap elections 2021: What happened, what can happen at internal level?” is the 197th installment of the project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is implemented by IPN with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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