CEC passed a resolution to modify its previous resolution entitled “Instructions on the voting peculiarities in the parliamentary elections of March 6, 2005”. Under the changes operated in paragraphs 7.1 and 7.2 “students, including those from Transdnistria, who study in other localities than those indicated in the document confirming their place of residence, are entitled to vote based on the voting certificate”, received a) at the place of permanent residence; b) at CEC — for those studying in Chisinau municipality; c) at the relevant electoral councils — for those who study in other localities than Chisinau. Voting certificate would entitle students to vote in any polling station.
CEC obliged administration of the educational institutions to submit by February 14, 2005 the list of internal students, who are not residing in the same locality as the institution, confirmed by the Ministry of Education. CEC and electoral council that would issue voting certificates shall inform precinct electoral bureaus to exclude from their voter rolls the students who were issued certificates.
PCRM repeated appeal
Party of Communists of the RM (PCRM) issued a press release calling all the electoral contestants to “observe the democratic norms during electoral process”. It came in response to “numerous violations found by PCRM: a) distribution of electoral materials that do not bear a note on the name of the contestant, date of printing, turnout, and printing house; b) posting electoral materials in places not provided for that purpose; c) use of office transportation for electoral campaign purposes”.
PRCM draws the attention to “illegal posting of electoral materials in written press by Moldova Democrata Bloc, Social Democratic Party, Peasants Christian-Democratic Party, Labour Union «Patria — Rodina» throughout February 1–8, 2005”. The said written press refers to “Saptamina”, “Jurnal de Chisinau”, “Timpul de dimineata”, “Ziarul de garda”, “Новое время” , “Literatura si Arta”, “Молдавские ведомости”, “Коммерсант плюс” who post electoral ads without mentioning “paid from the electoral fund”.
SDPM vs. administrative factor
SDPM issued a press release stating that despite the fact that on January 17 TV Analytic Media Group that broadcasts “Pervii Canal v Moldove” (PCM) had announced it would refrain from covering electoral campaign, it in fact electioneered in favour of PCRM, while denying that right to opposition. An illustration of that was “Hronicul Moldovenesc” (Moldovan Chronicle) of February 5.
SDPM received the invitation for the show via fax sent by State MOLDPRES Agency, “affiliated to the ruling party”. This “proves that: a) PCM behaviour runs counter to the law; b) runs counter to the declaration made by the TV channel; c) it shows who controls PCM and many other TV, radio channels and many other newspapers pretending to be independent”.
Four more contestants
CEC registered the last four electoral contestants: Republican Party (RP), Party of Social Economic Justice (PSEJ), independent candidates Anatolii Soloviev and Mircea Tiron. The registration is now completed with only 23 electoral contestants running in elections, the lowest number in the last 4 campaigns.
During a press conference Christian-Democratic Peoples’ Party (CDPP) candidate, Vitalie Nagacevschi, claimed that his party opposed opening polling stations in Transdniestria “in conditions when authorities are controlled by the secessionist regime”. Instead they recommended using the same practice used in the previous campaigns when RM citizens residing in Transdniestria had voted in the special polling stations on the right bank of Dniester. The party also argued that Transdniestrian authorities might manipulate the process as they did during presidential elections in Ukraine. CDPP position runs counter to that voiced by Moldova Democrata Bloc.
Standards vs. realities
Participants to the seminar “Mass-media in elections” hosted by Council of Europe as part of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe talked standards of elections coverage in mass media. Council of Europe experts pointed that fairness of elections was judged not only on e-day but also throughout the entire electoral campaign. European standards provide for differentiate terms for state broadcasting or printed media and private ones. Those regulations should not be prohibitive, while if some limits are indeed set, these should not infringe citizens’ access to information.
Christian-Democrat leader Iurie Rosca offered an interview to the governmental Nezavisimaia Moldova explaining that his party was striving for RM accession to EU and NATO. He pointed that the party never had joining Romania on its agenda, as anyhow the two countries would be together in EU. Rosca stated he did not exclude the possibility of rigged elections that is why CDPP needed a legal possibility for protesting. That explains the announcement of rallies on the Piata Marii Adunari Nationale after the elections. Iurie Rosca was in favour of “peaceful handover of power via elections”. The interview is of special interest as it broke the ice at Nezavisimaia Moldova, which was made possible only through the “electoral fund”.