ElectionsParliamentary2005Election News

Election News from February 20, 2005

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RM&RF: strategic partners

The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed concern over holding of 18 foreigners including 13 Russian citizens on February 18, and expulsion of 11 of them from Moldova. Two more Russian women were held on February 19. Earlier, six Russian citizens were expelled from Moldova.

The Moldovan authorities explain the holding and expulsion of Russian nationals through violation of legal residence norms of Moldova, illegal activities in favour of electoral competitors, holding of electronic equipment and large sums of money, as the Russian citizens could not explain their origin and goal of use.

The news agency RIA-Novosti quoted the chairman of Moldova’s domestic security service SIS, Ion Ursu, as saying: “elaboration of fake provocative materials, pseudo-documents issued by law enforcement bodies of Moldova regarding alleged reprisals against opposition, professional following of candidates of the Communist Party of Moldova (PCRM) for the March 6 parliamentary elections, surveillance and settling of itineraries of convoy of Moldovan president, creation of a network of managers made up by foreign citizens to give bribes to representatives of election commissions — all these actions have nothing in common with political consulting.”

CIS and elections in Moldova

Officials of the Russian Foreign Ministry claim that “Chisinau avoids the monitoring of elections.” “The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Moldova did not invite the executive committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to monitor the parliamentary elections.”

The behaviour of Moldova’s CEC can be understood. The CIS observers had always recognized the elections in the CIS space as free and fair. This was the case of: the 2000 elections in Belarus; the October 2004 referendum in Belarus; October 2003 elections in Azerbaijan; November 2003 elections in Georgia; September 2004 elections in Kazakhstan; November 2004 elections in Ukraine, etc. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) established that all these elections did not correspond to democratic standards.

Instead, CIS executive secretary Vladimir Rushaylo, who headed the CIS observation mission at the December 2004 repeated elections in Ukraine, doubted over legality of these polls, while the OSCE regarded them as legitimate and fair.

Following the developments and relations between the two strategic partners, it seems that the CIS observers have a special interest for the March 6 elections. The Moldovan and Russian authorities have signed and ratified the convention on standards of democratic elections, electoral rights and freedoms in the CIS-member states. They should read it again.

RM regretful over meddling of the RF

After the Russian State Duma has proposed economic sanctions against Moldova, Moldovan Speaker Eugenia Ostapciuc expressed regret over “Russia’s State Duma new meddling in the electoral process outside of the Russian Federation”. “We also regret that the best accomplishment of our peoples in the past years — the Russian-Moldovan firm friendship — was attacked for involvement in the electoral process in Moldova. It is surprising that a wrong information of certain lawmakers of Duma about Transnistria settlement process served as ground of harsh appreciations and decisions.

Frankly speaking, we have been waiting for a sincere and responsible appreciation of Russian lawmakers for developments in Transnistria. We expected that the legislators are truly concerned over fate of residents in Transnistria, including many Russian citizens. The terror against multinational population of Transnistria started by Tiraspol authorities, self-isolation and militarization of region, assaults on Moldovan schools, huge smuggling — all these should be seriously examined by Russia’s parliament.

Instead, we became witnesses of a dangerous and unprecedented decision. We frankly hope that Russian lawmakers will resume an open cooperation between our peoples and states, on stances of the basic agreement between our countries, of interest for settlement of the Transnistria conflict.” (Based on a news by Basa-Press).

Litskai replies to CEC

Tiraspol’s mouthpiece Olvia-Press made public the reaction of Transnistria’s representative for political affairs in the Transnistria settlement process, V. Litskai, to the CEC decision on insurance of conditions in line with Moldova’s legislation on the left bank of the Dniester river, in order to give green light to a request of the Democratic Moldova Bloc (BMD), which seeks the opening of polling stations in region. Litskai described the CEC decision as a provocation, while the conditions imposed by CEC are unacceptable, accusing the CEC of having violated Articles 35 and 36 of the Election Code of Moldova regarding the prohibition of foreign financing, and hinting that Transnistria is an independent state.

Also, Litskai proposed the CEC to open polling stations in the security zone, which would be accessible for international observers. “We express hope that the implementation of these measures coordinated with the Joint Control Commission will allow the achievement of declared intentions of Moldovan authorities to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections.”

What “democratic forces”?

Tiraspol’s mouthpiece Olvia-Press reported that the Union of Moldovans, Union of Russians and Union of Ukrainians in Transnistria have created a committee for support of democratic elections in Moldova. This committee accuses the PCRM and its leader of political-information isolation of Transnistria, economic blockade, and information isolation.

“Transnistrians had never had an active interest for Moldovan elections. We have our state, our public bodies, our elections. However, we must help this time the democratic forces in Moldova, we must eliminate a humanitarian catastrophe and war.”

The committee members say that they call on Moldovan electors to vote for “democratic forces” which will resume the “Chisinau-Tiraspol negotiations,” rather than for any competitor.

No to RM-RF confrontation

Political researcher Vitali Andrievski, mayor of Ceadir-Lunga Mihail Formuzal, and the chairman of the Slavonic culture foundation, Victor Sundeev, held a news conference on “dramatic deterioration of relationships between Moldova and the Russian Federation” and called for resistance against any confrontation between the two states.

Mr. Andrievski accused the ruling party of rousing xenophobe states of spirit, avoiding to indicate facts and tendencies related to xenophobia and anti-semitism even in the Russian State Duma. The Russian State Duma itself launched recently an initiative which is blackmail against Moldova and served as ground for Russian press to start a massive information attack against Moldova.

Mr. Andrievski speculated on an unsuccessful sentence of Communist parliamentary faction leader Victor Stepaniuc, who said that it’s time “to tell your enemy that he is an enemy of yours,” as this sentence can envisage, for example, the separatism that the Russian Federation backs in Moldova and Georgia, not the Russian Federation, the way some persons like to interpret the things for electoral purposes.

The result of Moldova’s recent request for the U.N. support for the Transnistria settlement is rather such an interpretation. “Moldovan Deputy Foreign Minister Eugenia Chistruga has tabled the request in New York. In particular, the Chisinau official highlighted the danger of political separatism and «low tension conflicts».” (Based on a news by Basa-Press).

Resolution of the US Senate

US Senators Richard Lugar, John Mackein and Joseph Biden proposed the US Senate to pass a resolution on parliamentary elections in Moldova and the document was unanimously voted.

The resolution urges the Moldovan authorities “to respect the norms on democratic elections, seeks a free and equal access of all electoral competitors to mass media.” “The U. S. is watching very carefully the conduct of this electoral campaign. The conduct of electoral campaign will influence the relationships between our countries.”

Congress of Moldovans in the RF

Moscow hosted “a congress of Moldovan-born people” on February 18. According to the news agency Basa-Press, Valeriu Pasat, former director of the domestic security service SIS of Moldova, BMD co-chairman Dumitru Braghis, and Boris Muravschi, leader of the Patria-Rodina bloc, attended the congress. The congress aimed to invite the Moldovan citizens in Russia to elect these parties.

Police vs PPCD

The Chisinau Police Department contests the right of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (PPCD) to hold meetings with electors in the central square of the Moldovan capital immediately after the March 6 parliamentary elections. The Chisinau City Hall turned down the appeal of the Chisinau Police Department.