Moldova : fundamental rights generally respected, though campaign tainted by violations

Moldova’s 24 February parliamentary elections were competitive and fundamental rights were generally respected, but the campaign took place against the backdrop of disaffection with public institutions and was tainted by allegations of pressure on public employees, strong indications of vote buying and the misuse of state resources, the international observers concluded in a preliminary statement released today.

Control and ownership of the media by political actors limited the range of viewpoints presented to voters, the observers said. Most aspects of the elections were administered in a professional and transparent manner, and the observers assessed the voting positively, despite difficulties and confusion caused by the introduction of a new electoral system and the concurrent holding of a referendum, which caused problems in counting procedures.

Claude Kern (France, ALDE), head of the PACE delegation, said: “Election day was generally well organised. As demonstrated by the campaign, the new electoral system regrettably confirmed the main concerns raised by the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, in particular the lack of effective mechanisms to prevent undue influence by wealthy businesspeople, combined with a poor system of supervision of party and candidate funding, and inadequate penalties.”