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 ElectionsParliamentary2005Election News

Election News from February 18, 2005

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Message of the U.S. Department of State

The news agency INFOTAG made public a statement of the U.S. Department of State to the Moldovan authorities. The statement released by Richard Baucher, spokesman for the U.S. Department of State, reads the following:

“Since gaining independence in 1991, Moldova has had a good record of conducting parliamentary elections in accordance with international democratic standards. However, recent trends are disturbing. Reports of biased coverage in the public media, harassment of the opposition by police, intimidation of independent civil society groups, and use of public resources for campaign purposes are cause for particular concern and could cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election. We note that a free and fair election is about more than just a smoothly and legally administered election day…

We also echo the European Union’s call for the Moldovan government to pay special attention to the areas of concern outlined by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in its needs assessment mission. The U.S. welcomes Moldova’s invitation for international teams to observe the upcoming elections, and we are preparing to send a contingent as part of the Organization’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights effort… The U.S. supports a free and fair democratic process, not any particular candidate or party.

We appeal to Moldova’s leadership to take immediate, decisive action to remove any doubts about the fairness of the campaign and election. We hope that this election will be conducted in a manner that confirms Moldova’s commitment to the values of the Euro-Atlantic community of democracies, and creates the conditions under which the United States can most effectively support Moldova’s further development along the path towards a prosperous, European future.”

PCRM warns

The press service of the Communist Party of Moldova (PCRM) “warns again the public opinion, the Central Election Commission (CEC) and international observation missions that the Democratic Moldova Bloc (BMD) gravely violates the election legislation.

PCRM holds the copy of a contract on placement of electoral advertisement signed by a BMD representative on one hand and by advertising agency VARO-Inform on the other hand. Under the contract signed on January 24, 2005, the electoral advertisement must be placed in streets of the Chisinau municipality from January 1, 2005 to March 5, 2005.

We warn that Chisinau Mayor S. Urechean signed the City Hall Order #71 on establishment of a maximum quota for placement of electoral adds for pay on January 31. Under point 1 of this order, «external electoral adds can be posted in the Chisinau municipality for pay on authorized private advertisement panels.»

We underline that the contract on advertising services was signed while the advertisement was posted before issuing of the order authorizing the electoral advertisement, and this is a flagrant violation of provisions of law. On top of that, this order was not brought to notice of electoral contestants and public opinion.

Thus, the provisions of Paragraph 13 of Article 47 of the Election Code, which say that «the local public administration authorities must offer equal advertisement space to all electoral contestants» were violated. Article 47 (4) of the Election Code stipulates that no electoral contestants will enjoy priorities in virtue of his office.

We cited only one of the lots of breaches committed by BMD. This is a concrete example of use of administrative resources by electoral competitor BMD, which used the advantages of his position as General Mayor of Chisinau municipality — for electoral advertising in his favour, violating the legal rights of other electoral contestants.”

PSDM appeals to Nezavisimaya Moldova

The Social Democratic Party of Moldova (PSDM) sent an official letter to the Russian-language governmental paper Nezavisimaya Moldova and demanded PSDM press released to be published, which came in response to the publication of the entire report on the February 9, 2005 press conference held by PCRM chairman V. Voronin.

“PSDM is puzzled over refusal to publish this press release, publishing at the same time a critical article about PSDM on the first page of Nezavisimaya Moldova, which says among others that your newspaper functions on basis of self-financing. The untruth of this information is confirmed by the decision of Moldovan Government published in the April 2, 2004 issue of Monitorul Oficial of Moldova #53–55, which gives green light to allocation of 170,000 lei for purchase of paper for publication of newspapers Nezavisimaya Moldova and Moldova Suverana.

Respectively, our statement that newspaper Nezavisimaya Moldova is a publication subsidized by Moldovan Government, that means from money of tax-payers, including of members and supporters of PSDM, is right and we insistently ask you by virtue of this fact to confirm your statute and to publish the entire communique of PSDM.”

Offer for competitors

The agency Media IMPACT informs that “radio and TV programmes Impact Electoral, electoral debates produced by 16 television channels and five radio channels, partners of the Electoral Impact for a Better Government project, are being developed.

After electoral contestants running in elections received invitations to participate in scheduled debates, directors and producers of these audiovisual institutions have signalled a poor appearance of political parties on private TV and radio channels. When the radio or television channel invite the electoral contestants, the political staffs say they are short of human and financial resources to respond to all the invitations.

However, we underline that electoral debates are scheduled on TV channels Albasat TV in Nisporeni, Euronova in Ungheni, AVM in Edinet, Almaz TV in Drochia, Canal X in Briceni, Flor TV in Floresti, Impuls TV in Soldanesti, Pro Media in Cimislia, Sor TV in Soroca, TV Astra in Riscani, Elita TV in Rezina, radio channel Vocea Basarabiei in Chisinau the next weeks.

The following electoral contestants accepted invitations and are expected in TV and radio studios: Communist Party of Moldova, Christian Democratic People’s Party, Democratic Moldova Bloc, Social Democratic Party of Moldova, Electoral Bloc Patria-Rodina, independent candidate Silvia Kirillov, Centrist Union of Moldova, Labour Union Patria-Rodina, independent candidate Tudor Tataru.

The programmes Impact Electoral are part of an unprecedented audiovisual offer on Moldovan media market, offer coming from civil society and mass media institutions to the electoral contestants running in 2005 elections.”

TeleRadio-Moldova picketed

The news agency Basa-Press reported that about 20 persons rallied near the Radio House building and the NIT private television headquarters. They demanded the national public company TeleRadio-Moldova and NIT to stop bias and one-sided coverage. The great majority of the protestors were pensioners who introduced themselves to journalists as BMD members.

Sergiu Batog, producer-general at TeleRadio-Moldova, regretted that protestors did not bring any concrete evidence to back up their claims of violations. “They pointed to some civil society reports, which were disputed. I don’t get why they don’t picket the municipal stations Euro-TV and Antena-C, which were cited in those reports as well,” Mr. Batog said.