The media watchdog Audiovisual Coordinating Council (ACC) has released a report on monitoring the coverage of electoral campaign by TV stations during May 21–31, 2011. Following are the conclusions of the report:
In comparison with the first periods of the electoral campaign when TV news programmes covered electoral candidates running for Chisinau mayor, an increased coverage of political leaders and government representatives was observed in the third period;
The public television Moldova 1 covered most of political players and provided more airtime to the Government, covering them in a predominantly positive light.
NIT constantly supported and advantaged the PCRM, both by granting much airtime and by covering representatives of this party in a positive light, without airing any critical positions or opinions regarding the PCRM. On the other hand, NIT covered the AIE in a preponderantly negative light.
TV channels Euro TV Chisinau, Prime and N4 respected the principle of covering more sources while airing conflicting topics in news programmes aired in the monitored period. At the same time, news programmes aired by Prime easily advantaged the PDM and the electoral candidate of this party who runs for Chisinau mayor, Valentina Buliga.
TV channels Moldova 1, TV 7, Jurnal TV and Publika TV violated Article 21 of the CEC Regulation on coverage of the electoral campaign for the June 5, 2011 general local elections by Moldovan media outlets, airing incomplete reports on surveys conducted by sociological institutions (without indicating any commander and funding source).
The Independent Journalism Centre (CJI) has released the third monitoring report on coverage of the electoral campaign for general local elections during May 16–29, 2011. According to the CJI report:
The monitored media outlets had a different conduct in terms of electoral coverage, with some of them accepting derogations from ethical and deontological principles;
The TV channel Prime TV did not seriously breach the deontological norms, so that to distort the reality, but it covered some candidates more often than others and its electoral news clearly advantaged the Democratic Party of Moldova.
The private TV channel NIT keeps being a public manipulation tribune to openly promote the PCRM ideology.
Euro TV proved a fair conduct and respected the pluralism of opinions, professional and deontological standards.
The regional TV channel N4 advantaged the PLDM by airing electoral news and featuring Premier Vlad Filat.
Jurnal TV did not advantage or disadvantage any electoral contestant. However, the Liberal Party in general, and the candidate of this party, Dorin Chirtoaca, and independent Mihai Godea in particular enjoyed an advantageous coverage.
The daily Adevarul provided a fair coverage of the campaign, without advantaging or disadvantaging any competitor. No serious breaches of professional and deontological standards by this newspaper were observed.
As for the newspaper Timpul de Dimineata, some problems related to the balance of sources in controversial articles were observed, publishing many reports that could be regarded as camouflaged advertising. The newspaper advantaged PL candidate Dorin Chirtoaca and disadvantaged PCRM candidate Igor Dodon.
Jurnal de Chisinau tends to promote a fair and unbiased coverage of all electoral candidates, with respect for professional and deontological norms. However, many articles or pamphlets clearly disadvantaged the PCRM.
Newspapers Moldova Suverana and Nezavisimaya Moldova made an open partisanship to favour the PCRM candidate and disfavour other electoral competitors.
CEC intends to introduce innovations for polling booths
Voters could cast their ballots during local elections on June 5 in polling booths “without curtains”, as CEC is seeking the withdrawal of curtains. CEC chairman Iurie Ciocan has stated that this intention was born in response to many appeals from parties and aims to prevent eventual frauds. Ciocan explained that when entering the polling booth the voter covers the ballot paper and the withdrawal of curtains would reduce the possibility to take photos, to change the ballot paper or any other suspected manipulations with ballot papers. The CEC chairman noted that electoral bodies have foreseen the possibility of overcrowded ballot boxes because of many ballots and their size, and they prepared enough reserve boxes for ballots of a maximal turnout (Source: Publika TV)
According to reports released by Publika TV, the number of people willing to get residential permits in Stauceni, a suburb of Chisinau municipality, has suddenly increased. A reportage aired by the TV channel said that more than 150 people applied for residential permits in the suburb concerned, while residents and representatives of local administration acknowledge that the migration is related to the June 5 elections, being organised by certain political parties which want to get more votes. Representatives from the population documentation directorate which covers Stauceni said that they have no idea why the number of applications is on the rise, but confirmed the rise and assured that residential permits are issued in line with legislation in force. To note that only citizens who hold residential permits can attend the local elections in their locality, and Stauceni had about 7,000 voters at last elections.
Estate of PDM candidate set on fire
Unidentified people set on fire the garage and the automobile of the son of a PDM candidate running for mayor of Boscana village in Criuleni rayon early on Friday, after 3:00 a.m. The family was rescued, but the car and the garage were completely burnt. The Democratic Party of Moldova condemned this assault and described it as a clear threat and intimidation against its democratic candidate, and urged law enforcement organs to investigate the case, as well as precedent cases signalled by other electoral contestants during the ongoing campaign, in order to tell doers that they will be punished.
Appeal by PL candidates
Dorin Chirtoaca, PL candidate running for Chisinau mayor-general office, and the team of PL candidates running for the Municipal Council, have called upon all residents of Chisinau municipality and Republic of Moldova to participate in elections and to support democratic parties. According to liberals, “we have to make a choice on June 5: either to go ahead to Europe or to go back to the communism.” (Source: PL)
PLDM leader calls on voters, describes campaign and invites PDM
The chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) has invited citizens of Moldova to participate in the June 5 elections and to elect PLDM candidates to local councils and mayoralties. Vlad Filat released a separate message to voters from Chisinau, inviting them to vote PLDM candidates for the Municipal Council and Dorin Chirtoaca as mayor-general, so that to preserve the democratic course of the capital. Filat described the electoral campaign for local elections as the dirtiest ever attended. He stressed that now is the turn of the Democratic Party to take real actions and withdraw its candidate for mayoral office from electoral race, as this gesture would be a powerful sign for voters that the AIE has the strongest reason and the protection of democracy against communism is the real stake of local elections.
PNL is deeply indignant at campaign methods
The National Liberal Party (PNL) has released a communication to raise deep indignation with the communist methods used by ruling parties to bribe electors, though they promised not to do what the previously retrograded governance had done. PNL asks CEC, Prosecutor’s Office and CCCEC to investigate electoral corruption cases and punish the guilty. (Source: PNL)
PCRM leader calls upon electors
The chairman of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), Vladimir Voronin, has released an appeal to citizens, bitterly accusing the ruling parties and inviting voters to say NO to AIE parties and candidates, assuring that the persuasive victory of PCRM in territory is the only way “to rescue the country from chaos and degradation, and people from poverty and derision.” (Source: PCRM)