The European Left Party sent observers to local elections in Moldova, which has candidate status for accession to the European Union.
On the eve of the elections, the Central Election Commission refused accreditation in writing, stating the reason that the observers of the Party of the European Left had not been invited by the Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During a visit to the Central Election Commission (CEC), a new reason for the refusal was given. It is that the Party of the European Left, in their opinion, is not an international organization.
Irina Alexova and Attila Vainai held meetings with representatives of closed TV channels and internet sites. At these meetings, the journalists said that several dozen media outlets were closed down in the days before the elections. This was done extrajudicially, by decision of the Commission for Emergency Situations.
The country has been under a state of emergency for more than two years, which is renewed every three months. It is the State of Emergency Commission that closes down the media, bans parties, and imposes bans on the constitutional right to be elected.
This is not the first case. Last year, the Commission for Emergency Situations closed 6 TV channels for the reason that these TV channels were conducting official Russian war propaganda “through silence”.
On 30 October this year, at the suggestion of the Information and Security Service, the Commission for Emergency Situations closed six more TV channels and dozens of Internet sites. The reasons were not given, only the list of banned media was published.
Legal experts confirmed “that there has never been such lawlessness as in the current campaign, and all the competitors were guilty of violations. Administrative resources were used, black PR, influence on voters’ subconscious, bribery, violation of competitors’ registration, problems with voter lists, illegal campaigning, premature launch of the campaign, violation of the work of the Central Election Commission, withdrawal of competitors from the race in violation of all national laws and international norms, and liquidation of undesirable media outlets”.
EL representatives met with Ion Chicu, Chairman of the Party of Development and Consolidation of Moldova and former Prime Minister of Moldova. He spoke about the many violations of electoral rules. He regretted that all this is done in front of the representatives of the European Institutions, who remain silent, not reacting to the lawlessness and violation of democratic and legal norms by the authorities. In Ion Chicu’s opinion, this leads to a loss of confidence in the European institutions and discredits Moldova’s European course.
Mr Chicu confirmed the information that one of the parties was excluded from the electoral race on 3 November, two days before the elections, without a court decision. This decision was taken by the Commission for Emergency Situations.
The President and the Prime Minister openly stated on the eve of the elections that “citizens should elect pro-European mayors in the upcoming local elections, as only they will get European or any other money”. Almost all opposition leaders called these statements “the first open blackmail of voters by the first persons of the state in the history of Moldova”.
An unprecedented case occurred during a debate on the taxpayer-funded Public TV, where Diana Karaman, the Communist Party’s candidate for mayor of the capital Chisinau, was expelled from the studio because she was debating in Russian.