ElectionsParliamentary2005Election News

Election News from February 28, 2005

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Resolution of European Parliament

The European Parliament passed last week a “resolution on the parliamentary elections in Moldova.” The resolution highlights among others that the European Parliament invites the Moldovan authorities to ensure transparent and fair elections, with a pluralistic media coverage of all candidates by governmental press, in response to the following: the report on estimation of electoral situation undertaken by the OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights; the planned elections must be a test for consolidation of democracy in Moldova and commitment on sharing of common values; the joint recommendations of the OSCE’s ODIHR and Geneva Commission on improvement of election legislation were not entirely implemented; serious concerns over government’s control on mass media, pressure on private mass media, abuse of administrative resources by candidates of the ruling party; uncertainties regarding compiling of lists of electors, vote of students and nationals abroad, etc.

Is Pafilis the European Parliament?!

The state-run news agency Moldpres published a news on February 26 called European Parliament Regards Foreign Financing of Coalition-2005 as a Meddling in Moldova’s Interior Affairs. The public television channel Moldova-1 took over and broadcasted the entire news. It says that “the ordinary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg debated on the Declaration of the Council of Europe and European Commission regarding the parliamentary elections in Moldova… Speaking about this issue, European parliamentarian Athanasios Pafilis described the financing of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections Coalition-2005 by foreign donors as a meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign state — the Republic of Moldova. Pafilis estimated that the budget of this association of nongovernmental organisations accounts for 1.5 million U.S. dollars.

The title of this news leads to the conclusion that either Mr. Pafislis is an impostor, or Moldpres awarded him this role for free. This conclusion is based on the fact that though Mr. Pafilis is member of the European Parliament and holds the right to own opinion, he has no right to claim that he expresses the opinion of the entire European Parliament. Pafilis is part of the fifth “European leftwing united group” of lawmakers, created by only 41 out of 732 members. He runs no official office in the European Parliament or in his group.

It is worth to mention in this context that the Modpres director told the February 8 seminar called Mass Media and Elections, organised by the Council of Europe within the Stability Pact for South-East Europe, that behaviour of Moldovan mass media has two fundamental features: non-professionalism and professionalism which, if persists, is used with cynicism for obscure goals.

Anybody is free to judge over what of these features is effective for the state-owned agency Moldpres. We highlight for a better judgement that the title of this news was tacitly modified on February 27, saying the following: “A Deputy in the European Parliament Regards the Foreign Financing of Coalition-2005 as a Meddling in Moldova’s Internal Affairs.” Of course, the news was modified after the television channel Moldova-1 took it over and achieved its denigrating effect against Coalition-2005.

Moldavskie Vedomosti under threat

The editorial staff of the Russian-language newspaper Moldavskye Vedomosti published a statement about visit of two alleged co-workers of the directorate for the struggle against illegal migration of the Interior Ministry to this paper. At least one of them showed identity papers of employee of this directorate, while the second one refused to show any documents. They said that they “are looking for Russian women” who were at the editorial staff of this newspaper, according to an anonymous call received by the Interior Ministry. “Seeing after the illegal control that no foreign citizen was in headquarter of newspaper, they left.

Also, one of them who refused to show identity documents threatened the journalists that he will «send them a group,» but fell short of revealing whether the group will be part of any police structure or a criminal grouping.

The Moldavskye Vedomosti editorial staff fears that gross police arbitrariness during electoral campaign is going on in Moldova in spite of insistent appeals of other countries and international organisations, including the U.S., Russia, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the OSCE.”

CEC about counting of votes

In line with Article 56 (7) of the Election Code, the Central Election Commission (CEC) has approved the vote counting procedure for every electoral competitor. This modification is a response to recommendations of the Venice Commission and fits the practices of neighbouring countries Romania, Russia, Ukraine, etc. Thus, one member of electoral office of polling station will be named to take the ballot papers one by one after opening of ballot boxes, demonstrating them to other members of office and transmitting them to stocks of competitors supported by votes.

Vote of Transdnistrians

CEC examined a request of the Democratic Moldova Bloc (BMD) to open supplementary polling stations for Moldovan citizens in the Transnistrian region. CEC turned down this request because the deadline for opening of polling stations stipulated by the Election Code has expired.

Also, the number of electors who can vote in certain polling stations must be known for distribution of ballot papers.

Overall, CEC intends to publish 2.5 million ballot papers. As many as 2.38 million electors were registered at last parliamentary scrutiny in 2001.

UMT calls to voting

Tiraspol’s mouthpiece Olvia-Press said in a news that the Union of Moldovans in Transnistria (UMT) has assumed the mission to organise the participation of Moldovan citizens from Transnistria in the parliamentary elections. UMT intends to solve the problems related to transportation of people who want to attend elections to polling stations.

UMT leader Valerian Tulgara said that “Moldovans in Transnistria are offended that the Moldovan CEC has passed the decision on how Moldovan citizens who live in Transnistria will cast their ballots at eight polling stations in settlements near the Transnistrian region with only 12 days before elections. «In spite of violation of Transnistrians’ rights,» UMT invites the citizens in Transnistria to participate in scrutiny: «we have a historical opportunity to influence the structure of the future Moldovan parliament.» Tulgara invited the citizens who reside in Transnistria to vote the democratic forces of Moldova, which would resume the negotiations aimed to identify a compromise.”

The electoral bodies of Moldova should be ready to see how many citizens from Transnistria would vote, unlike the precedent years, avoiding long queues and further accusations of incapacity to guarantee the right to vote.

2/3 of Transnistria’s budget?

Premier Vasile Tarlev told a cabinet sitting that operative information shows that the Tiraspol leaders have allocated 40 million dollars for support of electoral opponents of the ruling party (this sum represents 2/3 of Transnistria’s budget). He noted that the Russian nationals expelled from Moldova were making electoral advertising in favour of BMD, Patria-Rodina Bloc, and social-political movement Ravnopravye.

Tarlev said: “We are concern that certain foreign political and criminal forces are trying to influence the public opinion. These political forces have branches in Tiraspol, where money is laundered, different forces try to influence the electors by proposing them large amounts of money in exchange for destabilising actions.”

If the authorities find and seize the 40 million dollars, they would complete the state budget of Moldova by 10 percent and no confiscation of the alleged 1.5 million received by Coalition-2005 from foreign donors for monitoring of electoral process would be necessary.

Interview with President Voronin

Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin said in an interview with the Russian radio channel Yekho Moscvy that he feels no tension between Moldova and the Russian Federation.

“It isn’t tension but a pre-election situation, but it is an indisputable fact that certain political and other forces in Moscow support our opponents. The Moldovan authorities do their best for development of an interstate friendship,” he said. Mr.Voronin assured that he is ready to meet with President Putin at any moment in order to settle the Transnistria problem. “I want to turn over those who sheltered in this ’black enclave’ in order to make them manifest political will and leave nicely Transnistria.”

Speaking about the negotiation format, President Voronin said: “ If a doctor has been treating me for more than ten years but there are no improvements, I should either change the doctor or the method of treatment.

There are sterile negotiations in this pentagonal format for ten years and it all that the current format has done is to strengthen the Transnistrian regime, and, the way we see it, getting, for example, the European Union, the U.S., Romania and other structures involved may change the situation… The withdrawal of ammunition, rather than pullout of military who guard it is important.”

Media terrorists against PPCD

The press service of PPCD said in a communication that “media terrorists prepare a new side-tracking against PPCD…” Under these conditions, we notify the OSCE, the Council of Europe, accredited diplomatic institutions and international organisations which supervise the electoral process in Moldova that the political atmosphere is so tense after dirty blows of the Voronin regime that it could serve as a cause of an unprecedented social instability and destabilisation of social-political situation before and after scrutiny.

If the CEC fails to repress the samples of media terrorism against PPCD and its leader from the very beginning and audiovisual institutions broadcast them, PPCD will hold the right to unrecognise the validity of the March 6, 2005 scrutiny.”

Meeting with voters

The Prosecutor-General’s Office has contested the decision of the Chisinau City Hall to authorise the Christian Democratic People’s Party (PPCD) to organise round o’clock meetings with electors immediately after the March 6 parliamentary elections. The Court of Appeal suspended the city hall authorisation on basis of this appeal. The court said that the city hall had issued the authorisation for the PPCD-held meetings with electors by violating the regulation.

On the other hand, Chisinau Deputy Mayor Susarenco said that the city hall decision corresponds to regulation, as it was adopted at a session with participation of the municipal police chief and municipal prosecutor.

Lawyer Vitalie Nagacevschi, PPCD candidate for the March 6 parliamentary elections, said that this decision will be contested and PPCD will hold these meetings even in absence of a permit. If participants will receive administrative sanctions, they will denounce all the cases at the European Court of Human Rights. “We hold the right to organise peaceful meetings,” Nagacevschi added. (Based on a news by Basa-Press).

Whom does Karamalak support?

The news agency Basa-Press said the following in a news: “The Moscow-based newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda has recently published an interview with crime leader Grigore Karamalak, alias Bulgarul. The crime leader, whose participation in a number of murders was demonstrated, libels President Voronin. Experts notified over a non-accordance between facts and years indicated in the interview with Karamalak, and noted that this is an eloquent demonstration that Russian specialists in political technologies who do not know the realities in Moldova had prepared the text.

Grigorii Karamalak is internationally wanted since 1998. In 2004, he was held in Russia and detained in the penitentiary of FSB, a Russian security structure. The Russian prosecutors had permanently refused the extradition of Karamalak to Moldova, in spite of lots of related requests from the Chisinau authorities. Karamalak was released ahead of the Moldovan parliamentary scrutiny and immediately included in the electoral campaign on behalf of Democratic Moldova and Patria-Rodina blocs.

Karamalak is the second crime authority who openly announced his confrontation with Vladimir Voronin, after detained criminal Micu.”

The Russian television channel ORT broadcasted on February 27 an interview with Grigorii Karamalak, who reiterated some facts said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

BMD seeks resignation

The press service of the Democratic Moldova Bloc (BMD) said in a statement: “The recent revelations of Grigorii Karamalak published by newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda develop his old ties with President Voronin. The so-called Bulgaru reminds among others the support for the Communist Party of Moldova (PCRM) at the 2001 elections: 500,000 dollars cash and massive logistic assistance. These accusations disclose the participation of Communists in corruption of business for political purposes.

The tries of Voronin and certain Communist candidates to compromise the congress of Moldovans in Russia by associating it with Karamalak are hypocritical on background of publication from the Moscow-based newspaper. Indeed, the acting regime itself had amplified the corruption in Moldova, placed Misin, Sosev, Dimitrov, and other own people in profitable affairs. Even more, they and other business competitors had been pressed or even eliminated in order to cede their assets to Oleg Voronin. Corruption, blackmail and protectionism are the methods used by clan to extort money from population, budget, state institutions, and businessmen. BMD pledged to disclose the schemes used by power’s clans to plunder the citizens for four years, cheating them with small supplements to pensions and salaries.

As for the acting Communist president, he must demonstrate the softness of statements of Grigorii Karamalak. The resignation is a honourable solution, if he has no arguments, the way it happened in many cases when he faced public accusations.”

Whom does Micu support?

The press service of BMD released a communique titled “Helplessness Make Communists Intensify Black PR.” It says that “BMD holds new data from employees of state structures regarding new communist scenarios on criminalisation of electoral campaign. The leaving power continues the provocations aimed to destabilise the situation and to accuse the opposition of destabilisation.

This time, sources in penitentiary system informed us about fabrication of a letter in which crime leader Petru Galca, alias Micu, allegedly supports the opposition. Galca is detained in the prison in Pruncul. A message written by a professional graphologist was sent on Friday, February 18 from this prison to the preventive detention facility in Chisinau, in order to create an impression that the letter belongs to Micu. The reason of the alleged advertising letter is that the unconvinced detainees hold the right to vote. Of course, the so-called message was intercepted and authorities get ready to accuse the opposition of being supported by crime world. Communists, who hold control on penitentiaries, use it for these petty tricks, the way they use the other administrative resources.

Also, BMD received signals about other scenarios fabricated in panic by servants of acting government in the same context. They include versions related to placement and discovery by police of drugs at campaign staffs of opposition, with provocation of grave traffic accidents and blaming of opposition leaders, and others. We salute the fact that many of law enforcement and justice representatives instructed «to organise the execution» send signals in order to prevent dangerous incidents. We repeat our call to professionals in these sectors to refuse the participation in provocative actions and to ensure the supremacy of the law in the time left till arrival of a new and healthy government in Moldova.”

PSDM and Spring Caravan

The press service of thee Social Democratic Party of Moldova (PSDM) announced that its action Spring Caravan arrived in the central square of Chisinau.

This electoral action of PSDM brought together over 20,000 adepts, supporters and fans of PSDM, who were permanently moving and over 10,000 remain in the square… The PSDM chairman, Mr. Ion Musuc, said that PSDM is a party with new, professional people who will be capable to come with changes and will bring a better life to all the citizens of country. It called for an aware and well-considered vote on March 6 in order to finally get rid of the incompetent and corrupt government. “Moldova needs a change, said Mr.Ion Musuc, and PSDM is the political force which brings this change.”

PSDM protests

“PSDM, as well as other political groups participating in the electoral campaign, has placed panels with electoral advertising in different districts of the Chisinau municipality. The panels of PSDM in the Panfilov street and near airport were found destroyed on Saturday, February 26 morning. The panels are placed at 4–5 metres height and only persons who hold special technical possibilities and enjoy protection of police could destroy them.

PSDM fears that this is one more example when the Communist Party uses the administrative resources in fight against electoral competitors, as this vandalism action could be done only by adepts of the ruling party who held technical sources to openly climb at such a height.

PSDM warns that Communists are already resorting to low-down electoral competition methods aimed to bring material damages to PSDM, and this demonstrates again that the ruling party is ready to use all the means in order to halt PSDM to bring its message to elector.”

PTCDM suggests amendments

During a press conference the leader of the Peasants’ Christian-Democratic Party of Moldova, Nicolae Andronic, reiterated the need to reduce the number of deputies in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova to 51 and the number of Ministries to 6. He also recommended deputies to be elected in uninominal constituencies. Currently the Parliament is composed of 101 deputies, 15 Ministries, 13 Departments and Centre for Fighting Economic Crime and Corruption.