ElectionsReferendum

Republican Constitutional Referendum of September 5, 2010

On September 5, 2010, for the first time ever in the Republic of Moldova was held a constitutional referendum, whereby the voters expressed their opinion on the draft law amending the Article 78 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, which envisages the direct election of the head of state. The voters were asked to answer the following question “Would you agree with the Constitutional amendment, which would allow the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova by the entire population?”, voting for one of the proposed options: “Yes (for)” or “No (against)”.

Results of the Referendum

Results of the Referendum

Referendum of September 5, 2010 was not validated due to low voter turnout. Only 30.29%* of citizens having the right to vote out of the required minimum voter turnout of 1/3 of citizens included in the voter lists participated in elections[]

* This is the official voter turnout announced by the Central Electoral Commission. This percentage results from deducting the number of voters from abroad (19,705) from the number of citizens included in the voter lists. Another voter turnout — 30.07% — results after carrying out mathematical calculations on detailed data on voter participation provided by CEC.

Participants at referendum

  • Democratic Party of Moldovasupported option “For”

  • “Moldova Noastra (Our Moldova)” Alliancesupported option “For”

  • Liberal Partysupported option “For”

  • Liberal Democratic Party of Moldovasupported option “For”

  • “Actiunea Europeana (European Action)” Movementsupported option “For”

  • Popular Republican Partysupported option “For”

  • National Liberal Partysupported option “For”

  • Republican Party of Moldovasupported option “For”

  • Ecological Party of Moldova “Alianta Verde (Green Alliance)”supported option “For”

  • “Pentru Neam si Tara (For Nation and Country)” Partysupported option “For”

  • Humanist Party of Moldovasupported option “For”

  • Roma Movement of the Republic of Moldovasupported option “For”

  • National Romanian Partysupported option “For”

  • Labour Partysupported option “For”

  • “Moldova Unita (United Moldova)” Partysupported option “For”

  • Socialist Party of Moldovasupported option “For” *

  • Centrist Union of Moldovasupported option “For”

  • Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldovaurged to boycott the referendum *

  • “Ravnopravie (Equality)” Movementurged to boycott the referendum *

  • Christian Democratic People’s Partysupported option “Against” *

  • Party of Socialists of Moldova “Patria-Rodina (Motherland)”urged to boycott the referendum *

  • Conservative Partysupported option “Against” *

  • “Forta Noua (New Force)” Movementsupported option “Against” **

  • “Patriots of Moldova” Partysupported option “Against”

  • Social Democratic Partyurged to boycott the referendum

* When registering as participant in the referendum did not express officially its position, however in public appearances pleaded for the corresponding option.

** When registering as participant in the referendum did not express officially its position, however in public appearances pleaded for the corresponding option presenting arguments that the procedure for reviewing the Constitution through referendum creates a precedent, which might have negative consequences in the future; the decrease in the election threshold would reduce representativeness and legitimacy of the referendum and of the decisions approved thereafter. In 2000 the leader of “Forta Noua” Movement voted for the constitutional reform and for the election of President by Parliament.


Referendum holding procedure

On June 18, 2010 the Parliament adopted amendments and additions to the Electoral Code, including the ones pertaining to the Republican Constitutional referendum:

Procedure of organizing and holding the Republican referendum is similar to the one used for general elections:

Following the referendum, the Constitutional Court shall confirm the referendum results within 10 days as of receiving the acts from CEC. In the event that the Law subjected to the constitutional referendum is adopted, this law becomes a constitutional law and enters into force as of the date of its publication in the Official Gazette (Monitorul Oficial).

Context of the constitutional referendum of September 5, 2010

Following the April 5, 2009 parliamentary elections and the July 29, 2009 early elections, the Parliament ought to elect the President of the Republic of Moldova. However, in 2009 all 4 attempts to elect the Head of the State by the Parliament failed.

Against the background of reciprocal accusations between the power (Alliance for European Integration) and opposition (PCRM), numerous efforts have been made to resolve the situation in the succeeding period (December 2009 — July 2010): • amendments to and interpretations of laws; • appeals to the Constitutional Court with respect to requests for certain interpretations and clarifications; • creation of a constitutional commission designated to draft amendments to the Constitution; • drawing up a new Constitution; • elaboration and registration of some draft laws on amending the Constitution with respect to the chapter on the procedure of electing the Head of State (direct or indirect, with a successive decrease of the minimal required number of votes); • involvement of international structures into conflict mediation (Council of Europe, Venice Commission, European Union). Attempts to resolve the political crisis by the Parliament with or without amendment of the existing constitutional and legal framework did not succeed, both parties (power and opposition) staying firm on their different positions and approaches. Negotiations with external mediators and inside the governing alliance led to a solution, which may be called as “extreme” one: direct citizen involvement via declaration of a constitutional referendum.

On July 6, 2010 the Constitutional Court approved the initiative of reviewing the Article 78 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova via the constitutional referendum, while on July 7, 2010 the Parliament adopted a Decision on holding the Republican Constitutional referendum on September 5, 2010.