Public Discussion: Solutions to the crisis following invalidation of Chisinau elections
Six days ago, representatives of civil society submitted an application to the Chisinau District Electoral Council by which they asked for access to the subscription lists submitted by independent candidate Silvia Radu as they wanted to verify these following reports that many of the lists were filled out by one and the same hand. According to them, as the electoral bodies hamper access to the lists, there are reasonable suspicions to believe that something is hidden and that violations were committed when registering independent candidate Silvia Radu.
In a news conference at IPN, Stefan Gligor, programs director at the Center for Policies and Reforms, said one of the members of the Central Election Commission (CEC), Sergiu Gurduza, verified on his own initiative the way in which the lists were completed by examining them visually. He counted 59 subscription lists that, according to him, were filled out by the same hand. But this is against the electoral legislation, which says that the person who signs puts down the required information himself. If this is impossible for various reasons, including health ones, the person who collects signatures mentions the circumstances that justify the completion of the list by this person, not by the signatory. Even if this information was communicated in the CEC meeting, no reaction followed.
On May 11, representatives of civil society filed an application to ensure the access to the subscription lists submitted by Silvia Radu to the Electoral Council, but the protection of the personal data was invoked as a reason for the refusal. The applicants said they are ready to pledge in written form not to reveal the personal data. “We do this not in order to break the law, but to make sure that the law was obeyed when registering the so-called independent candidate Silvia Radu,” stated Stefan Gligor.
Expert of the Association “WatchDog.MD” Community Valeriu Pasa said the electoral bodies were requested to provide an answer immediately given that the elections will take place on May 20. As a result, the representatives of the Electoral Council promised they will provide an answer within two days and were later told that the request will be examined in the May 15 meeting, but this didn’t happen. In a new meeting on May 16, he could look through the lists and managed to see two lists written half by the same hand. “Even if I saw not much, there reasonable suspicions to believe that the number of signatures filled out legally in the subscription lists of Missis Radu is much lower than 10,000. So, there is a risk that Missis Radu is running in these elections illegally,” stated Valeriu Pasa.
Director of the Journalistic Investigations Center Cornelia Cozonac said it is the case to notify the development partners, including the international organizations that offered support to the CEC and the electoral process, as the CEC and the electoral bodes committed crass abuses during the past two years. “It is important that we, the citizens, exert pressure on the authorities as these are not at the beck and call of parties or particular persons. They are public functionaries and should obey the law, while we, the citizens, should demand that they obey or leave,” stated the journalist.
Analyst Victor Ciobanu noted that the whole electoral process in Moldova is rigged. The CEC violated the citizens’ right to initiate a referendum on the annulment of the mixed electoral system. “We all saw the current behavior of the CEC, which was obliged, at the notification of a member, to react and to verify these lists, but it didn’t do it. My colleagues already related what we did to gain access to information and to do what the CEC was to do. A simple and univocal conclusion is thus reached: the local elections are already rigged and we will believe so until the opposite is proven. So, now the Electoral Council and the CEC should prove that it is not so. If they do not prove, it means that the elections were already fixed,” said the analyst.
The activists noted they received a verbal refusal from the electoral bodies so far, but these said they will provide a written response within the legal period of 15 days.
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