Public debate: Election rigging: how it is done, how to fight it

Press Release
on the organization of the debate
Election rigging: how it is done, how to fight it”. Public debates series held by the news agency IPN in its conference room with the support of the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”

Held on 26 October 2020, debate brought together: director of Intellect Group Ian Lisnevschi; Balkan Center director Sergey Manastyrly; jurist Ștefan Gligor, the project’s standing expert.

Jurist Ștefan Gligor, the standing expert of IPN’s project, said the coming elections cannot be called rigged as they hadn’t taken place yet, but particular instances cannot be ignored. “The first instance was the falsification of data during pre-registration of voters who are abroad. As a result, the number of voters who allegedly pre-registered in Russia rose nine times, but the evidence showing that the data in the register were falsified was ignored. The second sign of falsification is the fact that the National Register of Voters contains by 300,000 people more than the population figures show. Such a situation allows falsifying 35,000 to 80,000 votes in elections,” stated the expert.

Among other signs of electoral fraud he named the distribution of funds through local teams, falsification of vote reports through the agency of members of electoral commissions and observers, registration of persons at domiciles where they do not belong, utilization of the mobile ballot box. “The rigging of elections is a technology, budget and order. There are all the signs that the upcoming elections will be rigged,” said Ștefan Gligor.

The director of Intellect Group Ian Lisnevschi said the issue of vote rigging has been raised whenever there are elections. “This is normal for the political processes. But a question appears here, why to rig? It is much easier and cheaper to influence society and to persuade this that a particular politician is good, while another political is bad,” he stated.

He is sure that the opposition made a mistake when it said that the elections have been rigged. “Such a method produces good results between the first round of voting and the runoffs, not before the first round as it helps the power then. As a result, the voters of the opposition start to believe that the elections had been rigged and lose trust in the electoral process itself. They can simply not go to polling stations to vote,” noted Ian Lisnevschi.

Balkan Center director Sergey Manastyrly said one should talk about election rigging after the voting and when the observers and representatives of political parties provide the collected evidence. “Currently, there is only what civil society could collect, but these data weren’t verified and confirmed and they cannot be examined in court as evidence of rigging,” he opined.

He also reminded that all the proofs of rigging must be investigated within a criminal case and they could be then used as legal reason for annulling the election results or one can express bewilderment, mount protests, but will be unable to obtain the annulment of the election outcome owing to rigging. The last word belongs to the Constitutional Court,” stated Sergey Manastyrly.

The Agency published 7 news stories on the debate (see the English version of on 26.10.20 – Election rigging: how it is done, how to fight it. IPN debate;  on 27.10.2020: Ștefan Gligor: CEC can try and force mayors to establish polling stations, but they cannot be punished -;  Ian Lisnevschi: 50% of voters are ready to vote, but this is not definite - l; Sergey Manastyrly: High voter turnout will diminish vote rigging possibilities -; Ian Lisnevschi: Politicians lack mobilization potential for protests -; Sergey Manastyrly: Protests are possible, but external forces will not play first violin role -; Ștefan Gligor: Prosecutor’s Office didn’t examine violations identified at previous elections -

IPN promoted the debate before and after the event, in particular the ensuing news stories, using all the available channels, including social networks. Confirmatory materials of deliverables, as well as a media coverage dossier are attached.

Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN

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