The Election Observation Mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe unveiled an interim report on March 7, which reads the following: “The 6 March 2005 parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova generally complied with most OSCE and Council of Europe commitments and other international election standards. Nevertheless, they fell short of meeting some that are central to a genuinely competitive election process. In particular, campaign conditions and media access were not satisfactorily equitable, and in this regard, the negative trends noted already in the 2003 local elections were confirmed.
There were numerous attempts — mainly through local-government authorities — to prevent the election from unfolding in a fully free and competitive manner. This constrained environment, particularly with restrictions to the coverage of the campaign in the media, amplified the advantages of incumbency and did not serve to create sufficiently equitable campaign conditions”.
The US Department of State has supported the findings of international observers that the March 6 parliamentary scrutiny was “generally in line with the majority of the OSCE commitments, standards of the Council of Europe, and other international election standards.”
The US Embassy in Chisinau said in a communique: “Although we observed some improvements in the last days of campaign and no incidents on election day, the shortcomings indicated in the report of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights confirm the negative tendencies registered during the local elections.”
The shortcomings are related to:
some aspects of legal framework;
access to mass media during electoral campaign;
restrictive regulations of the Central Election Commission (CEC).
The European Union (EU) has backed the findings of international observers who said that the March 6 parliamentary scrutiny was “generally in line with the majority of the OSCE commitments, standards of the Council of Europe, and other international election standards.”
On the other hand, the EU expressed concern over unfair conditions available to electoral competitors, in particular, access to mass media.
Interim report of Coalition-2005
Coalition-2005 has unveiled a preliminary report on the March 6 parliamentary elections. It says the following: “The March 6 parliamentary elections in Moldova generally took place with partial respect for the election standards and principles of the OSCE, confirmed through the 1990 Copenhagen Document, and commitments and obligations assumed by Moldova as member state of the Council of Europe.
The legislative framework was not reviewed in line with joint recommendations of the Council of Europe and OSCE approved by the Venice Commission. The electoral threshold was not reduced.
The legislature had established and announced the beginning of electoral campaign with violation of the procedure on adoption and publication of parliament decisions. The electoral campaign took place under unfair conditions for electoral competitors due to the groundless involvement of police in campaign, difficulties related to access of opposition to mass media, lack of a free and dynamic atmosphere of electoral campaign, abusive use of public resources for electoral purposes, use of a discriminating treatment on electoral competitors by local public administration representatives, etc.
Shortcomings indicating a faulty organisation of scrutiny were registered on election day: improper arrangement of polling stations, overcrowding of polling stations, wrong and incomplete electoral lists, electoral advertising in polling stations or in neighbourhood, irregular use of voting instructions, etc.
The electoral campaign for the March 6 parliamentary scrutiny took place with violation of standards on authentic, free and fair elections. Electors voted freely in general, but their vote was not based on an ample and complete information of electors about electoral process.
The electoral process is to be improved, especially regarding the election legislation, issuing and updating of electoral lists, coverage of electoral campaign by mass media and organisation of public debates, insurance of a free and dynamic atmosphere of campaign, participation of representatives of minorities and women in public life.”
The chairman of the party of Moldovan Communists (PCRM), Vladimir Voronin, told a news conference on March 7:
the lawmakers will start creating task forces of the power very soon. The staff will be selected on basis of “competence and professionalism” and the political colour of person is not important, if he is competent and professional. PCRM is ready to cooperate with all the democratic forces represented in parliament. No negotiations on creation of coalitions with any of political parties which succeeded to the parliament took place yet.
Premier Vasile Tarlev could keep his post;
PCRM is already starting the fulfillment of all its obligations concerning the integration in Europe and improvement of social condition of people;
I will decide along with the PCRM team whether to bid for the second presidential mandate;
Moldova faced an unprecedented and cynical meddling in its interior affairs for the first time at these elections. The strike came from behind from those who are a friendly country for us. The PCRM candidates found themselves helpless in front of a stream of libels and lies, which flooded them the past weeks. It is dishonest to make the television available to criminal authorities and to support the separatism in Moldova by trying at the same time to defeat it in Chechnya.
PCRM is unsatisfied with its results at elections, as they could be much better if no foreign active intervention existed. The entire Moldovan people, not PCRM won this unfair battle.
Chisinau is ready to satisfy Moscow’s wish, especially regarding the Transnistria settlement. Moldova tends to relations based on equal rights, rather than oppose its policy to Russia’s interests;
The PCRM Central Committee will examine the results of participation of PCRM in the March 6 parliamentary elections. A special commission on transformation of PCRM into a modern, new style European party will be created soon. PCRM could also change its name (based on a news by Moldpres).
The chairman of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (PPCD), Iurie Rosca, stated the following to a news conference on March 7:
the outcome of PPCD is explained through unfair conditions of the electoral campaign, as well as to the exercise of power in the state during the past four years. The power halted a fair competition under equal conditions for all competitors.
unfortunately, all the projects of PPCD regarding the functioning of democratic institutions, of state, of justice, and situation at the broadcasting company TeleRadio-Moldova failed to encourage the modification of legislation in order to improve the situation in this regard. “All the draft laws worked out by Christian Democrats in order to create a normal and democratic framework for organisation of electoral campaign were turned down. PPCD could participate in substantial debates during this electoral campaign neither on television channel Moldova-1, nor on public channels Euro TV Chisinau and radio Antena-C”;
the 2005 electoral campaign was marked by a direct pressure of police who “carefully” recorded and monitored all the meetings of Christian Democrats with citizens. “We faced obstacles related to organisation of meetings with electors in all the settlements with Communist mayors. All our tries to obtain the right to reply to the film Stop the Extremism failed”;
the electoral campaign was also marked by an ill-fated influence of Russia, which “brutally meddled in the electoral process in Moldova together with the Tiraspol occupation administration in a move to distort the electoral options and to favour one electoral competitor — the Democratic Moldova Bloc (BMD);
no alliance between PPCD and PCRM is accepted, while a coalition between PPCD and BMD would be unproductive;
Voronin’s team is looking for allies in the camp of opposition. We will see the reaction of BMD and if it will respect its promise not to make up alliances with Communists. Communists’ chances to find allies in BMD are bigger than BMD’s chances to find allies in the communist camp, because PCRM needs less votes to elect a president;
PPCD will not hold protests for the time being, as provocateurs could attend them in order to compromise the idea of peaceful protests. We cannot assume this risk;
organisation of early elections after failed election of chief of state would be the best solution to this situation of political crisis (based on a news by agency FLUX).
BMD told a news conference on March 7: BMD, the main opposition force in Moldova, relying on provisions of Constitution, Election Code of Moldova, as well as on European democratic standards, taking into consideration the lots of abuses and violations committed by PCRM against fairness and equality of electoral competitors, fundamental rights and freedoms of Moldova’s citizens, summarized on basis of a monitoring conducted by civil society, electoral competitors and observation missions; indicating the continuation of abuses till the eve of March 6 in contradiction with warnings of civil society and international observers, BMD describes the results of the March 6 parliamentary scrutiny as fake and makes public its decision to reject any alliance with PCRM and to provoke early parliamentary elections. We are sure that international organisations, all democratic states and Moldovan public opinion will salute this decision and will watch that the forthcoming electoral campaign fit the international democratic standards. Only the results of such an electoral campaign would be regarded as expression of will of Moldovan people. We are sure that the people of our country would plead for a truly democratic way, for a stable, sovereign and European Moldova. We are sure that the results of this campaign would be devastating for the present ruling party, while BMD would obtain the absolute majority of votes.”
Also BMD chairman Serafim Urechean stated the following to the same news conference:
“The West backed the PCRM because it likes its assaults on Russia.” He was disappointed over verdict of foreign observers who said that the elections generally complied with majority of European democratic standards;
President Voronin admitted the foreign involvement in the electoral campaign. The Communists massively used the visits of Basescu and Saakashvili to Chisinau in the electoral campaign and this is a meddling in country’s home affairs;
The participation of Transnistrians in elections was possible, but the Communists were scared and laid down obstacles, the way it happened with the polling stations abroad. People in Moscow overcrowded to cast their ballots. People were halted from exerting their right to vote;
BMD will not organise street protests, as it relies on organisation of early parliamentary elections. The BMD leader is completely confident in his team and I assure you that Voronin’s hopes to attract a part of BMD lawmakers will not become true. The recently elected BMD parliamentarians had assumed moral obligations neither to participate in the presidential elections, nor to join the PCRM;
BMD will not be surprised if PPCD makes an alliance with Communists;
Although repeated elections are not near, all the democratic parties are welcome to join the BMD for the future scrutiny;
Under legislation, the BMD leader has one month available to decide whether to remain mayor or to become parliamentarian. “I will make the best choice in the due time.” (Based on a news by Basa-Press).
The press service of the Social Democratic Party of Moldova (PSDM) has said the following in a statement: “The Communist Party started a massive falsification of results of parliamentary elections, which took place today, March 6, 2005.
PSDM notes that the results of the so-called exit-poll aimed to manipulate the public opinion are used for this purpose. The goal of Communists is to halt at all costs the PSDM to succeed to the parliament, and to obtain the majority of mandates through a proportional recalculation of garnered percent.
The television channel PRO TV, which mediated the exit-poll and demonstrated political partisanship in favour of PCRM during the electoral campaign, invited beforehand only three representatives of electoral competitors at programme, though the results of survey were unknown then.
The preliminary results of exit-poll for 16:00 were deliberately published, showing that PSDM fails to succeed the electoral threshold. The data of exit-poll for 21:00 were released nor at 23:00, though they should be unveiled at 22:00.
Earlier, PSDM supported by other opposition forces requested the CEC to prohibit the Institute of Public Policies to conduct the exist-polls, as directors of this institute have demonstrated an attitude in favour of PCRM.
The CEC announced the number of citizens who attended the scrutiny till 21:00 nor until 23:00. The CEC members held closed-door sessions between 22:00 and 23:00 and no representatives of electoral competitors or mass media were accepted.
All these examples clearly demonstrate the implementation of a plan on falsification of results of elections, staged by Communists beforehand.
PSDM had said more than once that elections are fake. Seeing that nor the massive use of administrative resources can help them obtain the wanted output, the Communists started the direct falsification of results of scrutiny.
PSDM will announce later what measures it will take.”