The press office of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (PPCD) has reported that this party and its leader Iurie Rosca are targets of some infamous blows. The television channel of the national public broadcaster TeleRadio-Moldova broadcasted on February 20 between 19:50 and 20:00 a denigrating add called Stop the Extremism, aimed to deteriorate the image of PPCD and its leader, as part of the column Electoral Stand, during the free antenna time offered to independent candidates Tudor Tataru (#17 in ballot paper), Silvia Chirilov (#6 in ballot paper), Alexandru Busmachiu (#9 in ballot paper), Matei Stefan (#12 in ballot paper).
“PPCD will ask the Central Election Commission (CEC) to immediately exclude candidates Tudor Tataru, Silvia Chirilov, Alexandru Busmachiu, Matei Stefan from electoral competition as sanction for grave violation of the Election Code.
PPCD will demand the electronic media watchdog CCA to give an adequate appreciation to these mediating actions and to sanction the national public broadcaster TeleRadio-Moldova for violation of the audiovisual law.
PPCD will ask the CEC to oblige TeleRadio-Moldova to give the right to reply under symmetrical conditions.
PPCD will appeal to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe and other international institutions in charge with supervision of electoral process in Moldova, in order to capture their attention on the very grave situation provoked by the Communist regime ahead of the election day.”
Moscow hosted on February 19 the first congress on creation of the international public organisation
to assist the Moldovans abroad called Patria Moldova. According to a resolution adopted by congress,
the manifestation brought together 1,228 Moldovan nationals who work outside of Moldova’s borders in different countries of the world.
The participants decided the following:
to elect Andrei Tarna as chairman of the Patria Moldova organisation, empowering him to undertake the measures needed for registration of this organisation;
to recommend the Moldovan citizens who work abroad to back the Democratic Moldova Bloc (BMD) at the March 6 elections;
to send an open letter to the Moldovan president saying that the Moldovans who work in Russia could be halted from earning their living in this country because of his policies, and accusing him of failure to ensure their right to voting; to empower former premier Dumitru Braghis to transmit the letter to President Voronin;
to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin not to apply the economic sanctions recommended by the State Duma against Moldova; to empower the former Moldovan ambassador to Russia, Valeriu Pasat, to transmit this request to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
Reactions to congress
The news agency Basa-Press reported that all the influent television channels in the Russian Federation mediated on Saturday the event presented as ample action of the Moldovan diaspora in Moscow. Russian mass media insisted on the size of this event, saying that more than 1,000 persons were present in the conference hall. However, a superficial investigation allows the adjustment of these reports to real facts.
According to available information, the Patria-Rodina association, financed and controlled in Moscow by people close to suspected crime leader Grigore Karamalak, alias Bulgarul, whom the Russian authorities had released in spite of an appeal of Moldova’s Prosecutor-General’s Office to extradite him, organised this congress.
Moldovan-born businessman Andrei Tarna, leader of the Patria-Rodina organisation, who has started an ample campaign in favour of Serafim Urechean, chairman of the Democratic Moldova Bloc (BMD), among Moldovan citizens in the Russian capital, is among people close to Karamalak.
The most influent representatives of the Moldovan diaspora in Russia neglected the Saturday event in spite of all advertising efforts of organisers. The beginning of this congress was postponed twice till delegates were substituted with representatives of Bulgaru’s grouping and Russian citizens, employees of his firms. Over 300 persons were gathered in the conference hall.
The audience did not try at least to hide its membership to criminal structures, nor the fact that it was engaged. Tries to discuss with them in Moldovan failed.
According to sources in the Moldovan Embassy to the Russian Federation, statements delivered at this meeting, as well as participants in this event unfortunately confirm the ties of BMD with odious characters close to the Russian intelligence services and Transnistrian authorities, and therefore, with international criminal groups.
“Promoting its competitor at the Moldovan elections, Moscow reproduces the Ukrainian scenario: it relies on a vulnerable politician from criminal point of view, demands the opening of polling stations in Russia, massively uses the Russian mass media, and involves the State Duma,” say political observers.
This news of agency Basa-Press was taken over and widely mediated by audiovisual institutions “loyal” to the ruling party of Moldova.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry comes with comments
The information and press department of the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the Russian Federation, as guarantor and mediator, is interested in the Transnistria settlement. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Transnistrian authorities did not halt the voting procedure of Russian and Ukrainian nationals within elections in these countries, and expressed will to open polling stations for the Moldovan parliamentary elections.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moldova’s CEC has requested the Transnistrian authorities in this regard, under pressure of opposition parties and foreign experts. “However, the imposed conditions ignore the realities and this thing was interpreted as a provocation in Tiraspol. The signals from Tiraspol deserve the entire attention. Chisinau’s realistic standpoint would represent a first step forward settlement of some practical problems, serving as an occasion for restart of dialogue. Participation of Moldovan citizens from Transnistria in the parliamentary elections in Moldova would encourage the creation of a favourable environment for a lasting settlement of the political conflict within the incorruptible state, with a guaranteed status for Transnistria.”
BMD proposed the opposition electoral competitors to sign a joint statement in order to demand the following from Moldovan authorities and CEC:
to ensure the strictly necessary conditions for free and fair elections through immediate measures of compensation of damages brought to electoral competitors and common electors through limitation of their rights;
to offer the possibility to vote under non-discriminatory conditions to Moldovan nationals who are in other countries, people in the eastern districts, as well as to persons who have different registration and residence, in particular, students;
to guarantee the equality of electoral competitors through implementation of efficient measures by CEC in order to stop the use of administrative resources and levers by the ruling party. To stop immediately the meddling of state authorities in the electoral process, particularly of police, who harass the opposition electoral competitors and intimidate the electors;
to compensate the abusive use of mass media by power by allocating additional free antenna time to opposition electoral competitors on radio and television channels, in the equal measure as the antenna time used for coverage of the ruling party, and by offering free spaces to opposition in the state-owned newspapers Moldova Suverana and Nezavisimaya Moldova, which the ruling party has used almost exclusively until now;
to ensure a transparent voting process through all measures in order to prevent the falsification of the March 6 elections, including for national and international observers, for representatives of electoral competitors and mass media.
BMD “warns the Moldovan citizens that the acting government leads Moldova to a complete international blockade. Signs of falsification of the March 6 elections by the ruling party attract more and more warnings from the European Union and United States. The policy on Russia has provoked very harsh reactions from the State Duma. While the West warns Chisinau that the unfair elections will be regarded as invalid, Moscow considers the possibility to introduce circulation restrictions for Moldovan goods and nationals.
BMD had highlighted more than once that Moldova’s perspective is related to the European integration, followed by development of deep relationships with neighbouring countries, Romania and Ukraine, and with our strategic partners, Russia and the U.S.”
Caravan of PSDM
The Social Democratic Party of Moldova (PSDM) released a communique informing that the Spring Caravan I. A. Rose will cross the cities of Moldova on February 23-March 4, 2005, from the south to the north of the country. The action aims at meetings between leaders of electoral campaign of PSDM and voters, supporters and adepts of PSDM The Spring Caravan I. A. Rose will be supported by music band Zdob si Zdub, Leapis Trubetkoi, Zinaida Julea, Maria Iliut, Beat Party, Sento, Tet-a-Tet, Factor, Sheridance, M. Mihaila, Roxi.
I. A. Rose will start as it follows: on February 23 in Causeni, on February 24 in Cahul, on February 25 in Chisinau, in the central square, on February 26 in Hincesti, on February 27 in Ungheni, on February 28 in Orhei, on March 1 in Singerei, on March 2 in Balti, on March 3 in Soroca , and on March 4 in Edinet.
PSDM notified the international structures that the ruling party is trying to obstruct the action I. A. Rose by using local administrative resources and resisting to issuing of a permit needed for conduct of this electoral action, as for example, in the city of Drochia, or by proposing impossible conditions for this event — in Cahul, Ungheni, Soroca, Edinet.
Ad-interim report of OSCE
The observation mission of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) unveiled the first ad-interim report on conduct of electoral campaign for the March 6 scrutiny.