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Election News from April 7, 2009

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Riots and vandalism actions on the President and Parliament headquartes

On the evening of April 6, several thousands of young people had gathered around the monument of Stefan cel Mare in Chisinau downtown, to light a candle on the occasion of declaring the day of April 6 “Day of national mourning”. They accused the governing of falsifying the election results. Participants, raised through Internet and SMS, moved to the Presidency headquarters, where chanted anti-communist and pro-unionist slogans. In front of protesters appeared the leaders of PLDM, Vlad Filat and PL, Dorin Chirtoaca, urging them not to be provoked into violent actions. Protests were supported by AMN and MAE.

On April 7, 2009, protests have continued on a larger scale. About 30 000 protesters, mostly young people, were gathered in the Great National Assembly Square in Chisinau. They demanded that elections be annulled, which they consider were rigged, and organize repeated elections. Later, protesters were divided into two groups, one remaining in the Square and another protesting in front of the Presidency and Parliament buildings. Although the organizers have several times urged young people to not reply to all sorts of provocations, protests around Parliament and Presidency buildings have degraded into violence, altercations between police and protesters taking place. Protesters broke the windows and doors of the Presidency and Parliament buildings, destroyed the area around the parliament, have occupied and vandalized both Parliament and Presidency buildings, destroying furniture, IT equipment and documents. More people, including both protesters and police officers, were injured.

In the second half of Tuesday, opposition leaders signed a joint statement asking the Central Electoral Commission to suspend the aggregation of election results, as a result of numerous violations recorded on the Election Day. Later, Vlad Filat, Dorin Chirtoaca and Serafim Urechean had several meetings with executive representatives (Marian Lupu, Speaker of Parliament, Prime Minister Zinaida Grecianii and President Vladimir Voronin), with whom tried to negotiate a package of joint demands: to contest the election results and repeat elections. The negotiations have failed. Towards the end of the day, the head of state addressed the population, accusing the opposition leaders — Filat Vlad, Mihai Ghimpu and Serafim Urechean of choosing “the path of serious crime against Moldova”. Vladimir Voronin said that the current government will not allow anyone to violate the human rights, to ignore the law and satisfy the injudicious wishes of occult, extremist forces.

“Coalition-2009”: elections were unfair but partly free

The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections “Coalition 2009” declares the April 5 elections as unfair and partly free, while the electoral process was infected before the voting. According to a statement by the Coalition, the parliamentary elections held in Moldova on April 5, 2009 were unfair particularly because electors from Transnistria could not cast their ballots and Moldovan nationals from other countries did not have access to polling stations. It notes that electoral campaign for the parliamentary elections was harmed by breaches of electoral legislation: use of public resources (at least 41 proved cases) and pressures and influences on electoral competitors (at least 21 proved cases) and electors (at least 33 proved cases). (Source: Deca-press)

PL does not recognise the results of elections

The Liberal Party (PL) will apply to the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) and asks the international community not to recognise the elections as free and fair. PL chairman Mihai Ghimpu stated on Tuesday, April 7 that “the Liberal Party has drawn the conclusion that the PCRM stole the April 5 parliamentary elections.” “We hold evidence, but we decided to check the ballot papers for a definitive number. Anyway, the PL is free not to recognise elections, as the declared result does not express the true will of electors from Moldova,” Ghimpu noted. (Source: Info-Prim)

PL provides evidence on election fraud

At a press conference on Tuesday, the Liberal Party (PL) provided evidence on election fraud. Its leader Mihai Ghimpu said that the communists have additionally introduced about 200,000 people in voter rolls before the elections. He noted that those people were issued one or two annexes to their identity cards, “residence certificates” and they voted more than once on the basis of those documents. “Our observers have recorded concrete cases in the Ciocana district of the capital, where an elector came to the polling station with two annexes to identity card and chose one of them to vote. As well, observers recorded cases when unknown persons were registered residence in apartments without the owners’ consent and they voted this way,” he stressed. According to the PL leader, some people whose relatives are abroad told the PL that they discovered that somebody voted instead of them. The deputy chairman of PL, Dorin Chirtoaca, said that the party has observed many electors in supplementary lists. “In some cities, more than 40 percent electors were included in supplementary voter rolls. Of course, this is unreal and clear that the elections were falsified. Maximum 10 percent of all electors may be introduced in supplementary lists in a locality,” he added. The Liberals underlined that “the violations were certified,” and these are “enough evidence that the communists have falsified about 15 percent of the ballots and, therefore, the elections should be declared invalid.” (Source: Infotag)

PPCD members to sign an oath

Members of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (PPCD) will make a special political oath on ideals they will promote. The oath was published on Tuesday by the newspaper “Flux” of PPCD leader Iurie Rosca. It reads: “I swear in front of the God and my brothers of political family to be a good defendant and promoter of national interests of the Republic of Moldova, to love by Homeland to self-sacrifice, to serve the democratic principles and national ideals from the bottom of my heart and conscience, to do my best for accomplishing the programmatic goals of the PPCD, to love and help my party fellows, to assume all risks, sufferings, difficulties and obstacles on way of our ideals. I swear in front of our Messiah Jesus Christ to respect this vow with honour and dignity till the end of my life. God help me!” The oath published by the newspaper is signed by Iurie Rosca, who notes that “this oath is a lifelong vow.” According to preliminary results of the April 5 parliamentary elections, the PPCD won about 3 percent of the votes. The PPCD is the only party in Moldova to have own oath. (Source: Infotag)

Vladimir Voronin: elections were free and fair

The top leadership of the country and of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova was most interested in holding free and fair elections. Chief of state Vladimir Voronin has delivered this statement during an emergent sitting of the commission for emergency situations hosted by Government, with the participation of Speaker Marian Lupu. “Organisers of these riots cannot be called patriots since they committed vandalism and profaned state symbols and state institutions. This protest was thought out, organised and paid well. The media and society know very well the special attention paid to youths, inclusively within the Youth Year. I have discussed with members of the Central Electoral Commission and the final election results are unavailable so far. It is strange that the organisers of riots have done this before the release of the final parliamentary election results. All observers on behalf of the OSCE, EU, CIS, etc., have declared the elections as free and fair. Even more, so far, no one has officially sought the recounting of ballots, nobody signalled any violations committed during elections. We must release a call upon all protestors. So far, we cannot draw any conclusions regarding these riots, but many things are clear, notably who supports these actions, who funds them. We will find all those who arranged this action, given the fact that an eventual non-recognition of elections was discussed a month before the April 5 scrutiny,” Vladimir Voronin stated. (Source: Moldpres)

Initiative group “I Am Anti-Communist” seeks the recounting of ballot papers

The young initiative group “I Am Anti-Communist” seeks the recounting of ballot papers for the April 5 elections. A group member, Ghenadie Brega, told a press conference on Tuesday that young people do not warm the results of elections and regard them as “false”. “We do not believe that each second elector has voted for the PCRM. We did not find ourselves in the official results of elections and that’s why we declare the 6th of April as a national mourning day,” Brega stated. He noted that the protest held in the Great National Assembly Square on Tuesday evening was spontaneous. “We did not expect 15,000 participants in the protest. We are glad that young people support us and we regret that opposition parties did not begin protests before us,” he stressed. Elena Zgardan, a member of the initiative group, said that her fellows disagree with the conclusion of international observers that the elections “were free and fair.” “They would have drawn another conclusion about the April 5 elections if they entered the polling stations the first and left them the last, not after five minutes,” Zgardan stated. Journalist Natalia Morari noted that 15,000 people have gathered in the downtown in a couple of minutes via the Internet. “We are glad that party leaders joined young people in the square. We call upon politicians and civil society to make a public commission to consider the results of elections and all electoral campaign,” Morari added. Activists demand the checking of actions of the public TV Teleradio Moldova, which does not cover the real developments and situation in Moldova. (Source: Infotag)

European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy greets Moldovans for active participation in elections

The European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, has congratulated the Moldovan people for their active participation in the parliamentary elections, noting that they were conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner and in an overall pluralistic environment. According to a statement on Sunday elections delivered by the European commissioner, electors have confirmed their commitment to democracy in Moldova. Nevertheless, she agrees with the international observation mission that “further efforts need to be made including at legislative level, to ensure an electoral process free from undue administrative interference, to guarantee full respect for freedom of expression and access to information as well as to increase public confidence in the process.” “Therefore, I call on the newly elected parliament to work expeditiously on implementing the Mission’s recommendation once they are finalised,” she underlined. Benita Ferrero-Waldner looked forward to the “further development of EU-Moldova relations and the implementation of political and economic reforms including the strengthening of rule of law and fundamental freedoms that have been discussed in the course of our dialogue with the Moldovan authorities under the previous legislature.” (Source: Infotag)

Moldovan elections give positive emotions to Europeans

The Moldovan parliamentary elections give positive emotions to Europe, the co-chairperson of the ES-Moldova parliamentary cooperation committee, Marianne Micco, member of the European Parliament on behalf of Estonia, has stated to the Estonian radio station from Chisinau. The European parliamentarian said that “the OSCE and the EU have highly appreciated the level of preparation and organisation of elections by Moldova.” Micco noted that the winning Party of Communists “is a legally elected party” and, for this reason, she “will not criticise and will not say if she likes this party or not.” “This was the will of Moldovan people,” the European parliamentarian said, refusing to comment the possibility of organising protests by the rightwing opposition of Moldova against results of elections. (Source: Infotag)

OSCE recorded a number of faults during elections

The International Election Observation Mission (IEOM) of the OSCE has released a preliminary report on electoral campaign and elections in Moldova, signalling a series of faults. It noted that the elections were held in an overall pluralistic environment, providing electors with distinct political alternatives and meeting many commitments assumed within the OSCE and Council of Europe. The voting on Election Day was organised well and developed in a calm and quite environment, no major incidents were signalled. The counting of ballots was positive, but there were many procedural shortcomings. The IEOM report notes that the media provided contestants with the possibility to send their message to electors, particularly via debates and pay-for airtime. However, the public broadcaster Moldova-1 advantaged authorities during news programmes, blurring the difference between covering service-related duties of high-ranking state dignitaries and their campaign-related activities. The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) acted in an overall professional and fair manner. Other shortcomings signalled by IEOM include the police attitude towards electors and candidates; inappropriate use of administrative resources. Methods of compiling lists varied very much among local authorities, particularly in terms of including electors who have their domicile abroad, IEOM experts stressed. As regards the legal framework on electoral process, the IEOM indicates among obstacles the high electoral threshold, restricted pre-electoral alliances and limited electoral rights of holders of multiple citizenship. These shortcomings obstructed many political parties and candidates, the IEOM added. (Source: Deca-press)

MAE does not recognise the results of elections

The “Actiunea Europeana” Movement (MAE) does not recognise the election results and recommends democratic parties not to accept their mandates of lawmakers as a sign of protest. According to INFOTAG Agency, the MAE said in a press release that “the results of parliamentary elections are the product of the lack of democracy in the Republic of Moldova under the communist rule.” “We think that the refusal of lawmaker’s mandates by PL, PLD and AMN candidates would be a strong proof of non-recognition of elections as free and democratic,” reads the communication. The MAE called upon all democratic parties “to join their efforts in this moment of balance for the Republic of Moldova against common enemy — the communism.” “The MAE makes common cause with people who hold peaceful protests in Chisinau,” reads the communication. (Source: Infotag)

PLDM does not recognise the election results

The chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM), Vlad Filat, has stated that his party does not recognise the election results and will protest against them. Filat told a press conference on Monday that the PLDM will begin ample protests. He noted that the PLDM made this decision on Monday, at a sitting of its Central Political Committee. “We have considered the results of the parallel counting of ballots operated by our representatives to polling stations. As well, we have discovered serious violations committed during the electoral campaign,” Filat stated. He indicated the massive use of administrative resources, large financial inflows used by the communists to bribe voters, criminal cases opened with the purpose to intimidate certain opposition political leaders. The PLDM leader cited data of the party that the PCRM has won maximum 42 percent and the PLDM garnered 18 percent (according to the CEC, the PLDM won 50 percent and the PLDM 12.26 percent). “Those who drink champagne today started celebrating too early. Those who feel themselves winners will be losers very soon,” Filat added. (Source: Infotag)

AMN does not recognise the election results

The leader of the “Moldova Noastra” Alliance (AMN), Serafim Urechean, claims that the April 5 elections were not free and unfair and a massive fraud was operated on the Election Day. Urechean told a press conference on Monday that AMN observers have recorded lots of violations of legislation both on Election Day and throughout electoral campaign. “We are investigating all breaches, we will work out a file and we will further act. All our actions will be coordinated with other two parties which acceded to the Parliament: the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova and the Liberal Party. People will participate in massive protests for sure, as they are sick of their lives due to the Party of Communists,” the AMN leader stated. “We exclude any cooperation with the PCRM and we will not vote for the chief of state on behalf of this party. As a matter of fact, we believe that the PCRM has won the elections for a short, not long term. This party will lose future elections, which will be held earlier, not after 4 years,” Urechean stressed. He added that international observers who declared the elections as free and fair were influenced by the benevolence shown by PCRM leader Vladimir Voronin in 2005, when the latter took the first to vineyards in Bulboaca. (Source: Infotag)