Risks associated with participation by Transnistrians in elections, debates


The risk related to the free movement is one of the risks associated with the participation by Transnistrian voters in the presidential elections of November 1, even if the Transnistrian authorities publicly announced that the movement of voters from the left side of the Nistru will not be obstructed. The decisions taken by the Transnistrian administration, including the declaring of the state of emergency and the setting up of checkpoints in the Security Zone, were adopted unilaterally. Any attempt to document these violations is blocked. Such concerns were formulated in a debate staged by the Institute for European Policies and Reforms, IPN reports.

Central Election Commissions president Dorin Cimil said that there were over 248,000 officially registered voters with the domicile in the Transnistrian region on September 11. It was decided to establish 42 polling stations. The citizens with the right to vote from the left side of the Nistru, who have registration at the domicile or residence in the localities that are temporarily outside the control of the constitutional authorities, will be able to vote through additional lists.

Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Cristina Lesnic said the polling stations intended for Transnistrian voters are located in 22 settlements on the left side of the Nistru. Most of them are in Sănătăuca, Rezina and Varnița. There are by two polling stations in 11 localities and by one station in eight localities. “At last on November 1, when the elections will be held, Tiraspol will allow the citizens of the Republic of Moldova to move freely so as to cast their ballots, but we will further monitor this process as the behavior can be unpredictable,” stated Cristina Lesnic.

Sergiu Golovaci, secretary of state art the Ministry of Home Affairs, noted that there are particular impediments on the right bank. There are signals that particular activities on the election day could take action to obstruct the access of the Transnistrian voters to polling stations. “There could be made attempts to block roads or access ways by which the citizens from the left side of the Nistru could get to the polling stations opened for them,” said Sergiu Golovaci.

The head of the election observation mission of Promo-LEX Pavel Postica said that only Parliament can limit the right to vote.  In 2016, when the Constitutional Court analyzed the legality of the presidential elections, it noted that the right to vote is not an absolute vote and this can be limited, including based on the voters’ residence. Another CC decision, of 2017, stipulates that a part of the territory of the Republic of Moldova, namely the Transnistrian region, is under the occupation of the Russian Federation because military troops and units of Russia are present there. “The natural question here is: can, for example, the right to vote for the electors from the Transnistrian region be limited in accordance with these provisions of the Constitutional Court’s decision? Evidently yes. Any person would say: yes, in such circumstances, this right can be limited. Who can limit this right? Evidently the only institution that can limit this right definitely or absolutely – Parliament,” explained Pavel Postica.

The event was organized by the Institute for European Policies and Reforms with the assistance offered by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.