Politicians and experts discuss exclusion of Marina Tauber from competition

The court’s decision to remove Șor Party’s candidate from the mayoral runoff in the municipality of Bălți continues to arouse controversy among politicians and election experts. Representatives of the government said it is not for the first time that electoral contenders of Șor Party are excluded from the race for financial irregularities. Representatives of the Central Election Commission noted the decision to exclude Marina Tauber was taken after the candidate was warned to comply with the legislation, IPN reports.

Representatives of the government reject Marina Tauber’s accusations that President Maia Sandu is involved in the scandal concerning the elections in the municipality of Bălți. PAS representatives said Tauber broke the law and any deviation from the Electoral Code should be penalized.

“Our candidate decided to withdraw from the competition following the latest events. It is not for the first time that Șor Party’s candidate is removed from the race. This is the fourth candidate excluded because of financial irregularities. We witness systemic deviations from the Electoral Code. All the court decisions, including the final one, confirm this. The situation is not comparable with that of Andrei Năstase,” Olesea Stamate stated in the talk show “In Depth” on PROTV Chisinau channel.

The acting president of the Party “Dignity and Truth Platform” Dinu Plîngău said Șor Party should have been outlawed long ago as the Constitutional Court was provided with evidence of voter corruption and money of doubtful origin used to fund the party.

“What generates suspicion is the fact that these deviations were identified long ago, but the decision was taken on the last 100 meters. In each election, Șor Party commits irregularities and this shows that the electoral contenders are not in equal conditions. After analyzing the work of this party and its glorious past, we pleaded for initiating the procedure for outlawing this party through the agency of the Constitutional Court,” stated Dinu Plîngău.

CEC vice president Pavel Postica said the exclusion decision was taken close to the scheduled runoff because they needed time to thoroughly examine the proofs presented by the police and business entities.

“We had evidence back in the first round of voting, but were more tolerant then. We then issued a warning for use of undercard funds by different hidden schemes, for paying for street advertising, for banners. We were tolerant and offered this electoral contestant the chance to correct things. The Electoral Code says all the services provided for an electoral contender must be evaluated and reported to CEC,” noted Pavel Postica.

Representatives of Promo-Lex Association, which monitored the campaign prior to the snap mayoral elections, criticized CEC for its decision to suspend the runoff vote in Bălți, arguing the electoral legislation does not empower the Commission to do this.

“CEC’s decision was incorrect. We didn’t find Electoral Code provisions allowing suspending the runoff vote. The word “withdrawn” is applied against the excluded candidate and the elections take place,” said the director of Promo-Lex Ion Manole.

The Central Election Commission on December 6 decided that the mayoral runoff in Bălți will take place on December 19 and will involve independent Nicolai Grigorishin, who ranked second in the first round of voting, and Alexandr Nesterovschi of the PCRM-PSRM Bloc, who ranked fourth. The Party of Action and Solidarity announced its decision to withdraw its candidate Boris Marcoci, who finished third. CEC hasn’t yet made an official decision over this withdrawal.

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