Mihai Mogîldea: Boycott of referendum by some parties could bring participation rate below 33%

Given that the pro-Russian actors join forces to boycott the referendum, the participation rate could be below 33%, said the deputy director of the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE) Mihai Mogîldea. According to him, a participation rate below the threshold necessary for the validation of the plebiscite will mean a failure for the government as the initiator of this idea. Mihai Mogîldea suggests that the PAS representatives should urge the people to go to the polls, regardless of their political option, IPN reports.

The deputy director of IPRE is worried about the result of the referendum on joining the EU, which is to be held in autumn. According to the expert, if the PSRM and other parties boycott the plebiscite, voter turnout could be below 33%. The risks of an eventual failure of the referendum will have an impact, in particular, on the government.

“The referendum has become the most important card to play for Russia in the Republic of Moldova this autumn. Not the presidential election, but the referendum. All the attention of the pro-Russian opposition - Dodon, Shor, Vlah - will be focused on this referendum. Boycotting the referendum will be a common step for all. Once these forces are united, we could witness an unpredictable situation related to a low turnout in the referendum. Close to the limit. Slightly over 33%. I think the participation rate will be around 35%. I hope it is higher than that, but I don’t see it higher than 40%. The Socialists, the Shor Party gather about 1/3 of the electorate. If all these forces, united, boycott this process, this third could bring the voter turnout to 35% or even below the 33% threshold. The risk is imminent. The pro-European forces must understand the risks that arise from a failed referendum. The risks will be fell, in particular, by the PAS, as the initiator of this referendum. The image of the European integration course could also be affected,” Mihai Mogîldea stated in the talk show “Resumé” on RliveTV.

He said that the main goal of the government should be to convince the people to go to the polls, regardless of whether they will opt for or against the European course. A low participation rate in the referendum will undermine the credibility of this democratic exercise.

“We do not want a referendum with a participation rate of 33%. I would like a referendum with a participation rate of 50-60%. Then we will see exactly how the people in this country think. If, in certain regions, the participation rate will be 10%, as I suspect it will happen in Gagauzia, the legitimacy and credibility of this referendum will be lost. When the PAS goes to Comrat, Balti, Taraclia, it should tell the people to go out and have their say. Most likely, in two-three months they will not be able to change their perception of European integration, but at least they could encourage them to go out and state their point of view,” said the deputy director of the Institute for European Policies and Reforms.

Under the law, a participation rate of over 33% is required for a constitutional referendum to be validated.

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