A number of known Russian newspapers and news agencies (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Izvestya, Rosbalt, etc.) continues to publish articles about deterioration of relationships between Moldova and the Russian Federation. A metamorphosis related to explanation of causes of this deterioration is observed. At the very beginning, the two documents adopted by Russia’s State Duma on February 11 and 18 seeking economic sanctions against Moldova were motivated through “refusal of President Voronin to sign the Kozak memorandum” and “worsening of situation in Transnistria,” while now the same threats are explained as a response to expulsion of several groups of Russian nationals from Moldova for violation of Moldova’s residence norms and illegal participation in the electoral campaign on behalf of an electoral competitor.
UMPR against discrimination
The chairman of the Labour Union Patria-Rodina (UMPR), Gheorghe Sima, told a news conference that the decision of the Central Election Commission (CEC) on how the citizens in Transnistria will cast their votes at special polling stations on the right bank of the Dniester river and collection of their ballots in special boxes discriminates these electors. Also, Sima gave a number of examples of intimidation of persons who make electoral advertisement in favour of UMPR.
The electronic media watchdog CCA showed a prompt reaction, warning the Russian television channel Pervy Canal that it could be denied programme broadcast in Moldova should it continue meddling in the electoral campaign and advertising for certain competitors. CCA chairman Ion Mihailo described “the antenna time offered to the Democratic Moldova Bloc (BMD) leader,” who commented on the Moscow congress of Moldovan citizens who created the organisation Patria-Moldova, as a grave violation of the Election Code. “This way, the principles of balance and fair coverage of the electoral campaign were violated,” Mihailo underlined.
There is nothing more left to do than to wait and see how fast the CCA will react to the request of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (PPCD) regarding the defamation of this party during free antenna time of four independent candidates.
The Social Democratic Party of Moldova (PSDM) released a communique saying the following: “The chairman of the Communist Party of Moldova (PCRM), Vladimir Voronin, appeared on Saturday, February 19, 2005 in a programme of the Russian-language television channel RTV, which is retransmitted in Moldova. The interview programme with Vladimir Voronin lasted more than one hour. The PCRM chairman praised the accomplishments of the Communist government and criticized the opposition political forces.
PSDM fears that this is a violation of the regulation on coverage of the parliamentary electoral campaign, as the programme lasted more than one hour and this fact cannot be placed within antenna time for electoral advertisement (for pay or free of charge), which is available for political parties participating in the Moldovan parliamentary scrutiny. This is a new proof that the electoral competitors face unfair conditions for conduct of electoral campaign, that PCRM chairman V. Voronin abusively uses all the tools of the power in order to make positive electoral advertising in favour of PCRM, ignoring all the juridical documents which regulate the conditions of electoral campaign and democratic principles for conduct of an electoral scrutiny. PSDM will appeal to the CEC in this regard and will notify the international organisations and public opinion.” No reaction from CCA is available so far.
ASD and methodology
The Moldovan Association of Sociologists and Demographers (ASD) told a news conference that “Moldova is in a full electoral campaign for the parliamentary elections. Surveys play a distinct role during the electoral scrutiny. As society usually understands them differently, ASD believes that it has to comment on results of the Public Opinion Barometer unveiled by the Institute of Public Policies (IPP), which provoked contradictory reactions.”
ASD fears that the IPP-commissioned surveys contain methodological mistakes. ASD chairman Victor Mocanu cited researches of focus groups, which show the following distribution of real sympathies of citizens: about 40–42 percent for PCRM, 23–25 percent for BMD, 12–13 percent for PPCD, and about five percent for PSDM.