Uninominal voting system could exclude voters from Transnistria, opinions

If the uninominal voting system is introduced in Moldova, there is a risk that the population of Transnistria will be excluded from the voting process as it will be impossible to organize elections on the left bank of the Nistru. Such opinions were stated in the second round of debates on the bill to introduce the uninominal voting system proposed by the Democratic Party. On the other hand, it was noted that despite eventual dangers, the creation of electoral districts in the Transnistrian region is necessary. The organization of elections in Transnistria could be a step towards the country’s reunification.

Democratic MP Sergiu Sarbu said that for electing members of Parliament, the Central Election Commission (CEC) is to set up 101 uninominal constituencies that cover the whole territory of Moldova, including for the polling places abroad and for Transnistria. The constituencies will be created according to the territorial-demographic principle, in one or several neighboring settlements, based on a relatively equal number of voters in each electoral district. If the number of voters in a community is higher than the average calculated for a uninominal constituency, more uninominal constituencies will be formed in this community.

Referring to the organization of elections in Transnistria, unaffiliated MP Valeriu Giletski said the authorities should admit that there is a conflict and elections in the region cannot be held until this is not settled. The right to vote of the Transnistrians can be ensured only as until now, by enabling these to go and vote on the right side of the Nistru on the election day. The bill also does not clearly say how constituencies will be set up abroad, for the diaspora, and how the borders will be delimited. It’s better to only improve the current electoral legislation.

Expert Sergiu Ungureanu said a number of difficulties will be faced in the creation of constituencies. The number of districts is different from the number of MPs. Furthermore, it’s not clear how many MPs will be chosen by the diaspora. Also, constituencies in the Transnistrian region could be created, but elections cannot be ensured there.

Mihai Godea, chairman of the Democratic Action Party, stated that elections should be organized in Transnistria as well, regardless of the possible dangers or threats. There are 10,000 to 30,000 voters there who traditionally go to the polls.

CEC member Iurie Ciocan said there are many states with a large diaspora that do not ensure the right to vote abroad and do not allow the internal policy to be influenced by those who went abroad. On the other hand, there are practices when the right to vote is ensured, but a proportion or a share is taken as basis.

Violeta Agrici, division head at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, said the information about the geographical distribution of Moldovans abroad is relative and there are no data about illegal migration. Very clear criteria should be set as regards the ensuring of the vote in the diaspora and the number of MPs who are to be chosen by this.

After the debates, Speaker of Parliament Andrian Candu said the opinions about the organization of elections in Transnistria are differing. Proposals to amend the bill will be formulated based on the provided arguments. The debates are useful as the draft law will be consequently improved.

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