EPDE concerned about change of electoral system in Moldova behind closed doors
Chisinau, 22 April 2013: The European Platform for Democratic Elections and its Moldovan member organization Promo-LEX Association are alarmed by the hurried and non-transparent modification of the electoral system in Moldova. On April 16th the draft law on changing the electoral system was registered in the Parliament by a group of deputies; on April 17th it received the approval of the Juridical Commission of the Parliament and on 18th and respectively 19th of April the Parliament adopted the law in first and second (final) readings. By April 20th, 2013 the President promulgated the law and it was already published in the Official Monitor.
Moldovan society witnessed the adoption of a mixed electoral system without any chances to participate in public debates on this issue. Even though in the morning of April 19th, Promo-LEX and the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections expressed their concern regarding the urgent and non-transparent examination in the first reading of the draft of law, the Parliament passed the final reading of the draft law without any consultations with the civil society. Moreover, the draft law was not accompanied by the approvals from the Government, the ministries and other parliamentary commissions and lacked the advisory approval of the Central Electoral Commission. For comparison: Another draft law on financing of the political parties and election campaigns that passed long consultations with all the national and international stakeholders, including the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe is still waiting to be examined by the Parliament. Thus, the entire situation amplifies the concerns of the society that the law on modifying the electoral system is a political deal in the context of negotiations to overcome the political crisis in Moldova that has emerged after the Government resigned on March 5, 2013.
Promo-LEX and the European Platform for Democratic Elections consider that the law contains a lot of deficiencies. The law is restricting the electoral rights of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova from Transnistria - more than 230.000 voters - and also of more than 500.000 voters that reside abroad. These citizens are provided only the possibility to vote on the basis of party lists. These discriminatory provisions must be excluded from the law. Another major concern is related to the potential consequences of the implementation of a mixed electoral system in the Republic of Moldova in the current socio-political situation, with perpetual accusations of corruption but also of oligarchy in the political life. Promo-LEX and EPDE regret that the Parliament didn’t request the expert review of the draft law from the perspective of corruptibility before its adoption in the final reading and did not organize public discussion of the draft law in Moldova.
See here for english version of the EPDE statement (pdf).