MonitoringPoliticsCommentaries

2002 Local Elections

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February 12, 2002
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On February 5, 2002 the Parliament set the date for early general elections — April 7, 2002. During its first session held on February 7, the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) adopted a resolution on establishing 37 electoral districts (in 32 rayons, in 3 municipalities — Chisinau, Balti, Bender; in Gagauz-Yeri Administrative Territorial Unit; and in Transdnistria). Under the Electoral Code provisions Rayon Electoral Commissions shall establish District Electoral Commissions and about 1700 precincts.

CEC made public the list of parties and other socio-political organizations entitled to run in elections. The CEC also adopted sample voter rolls and petitions for the registration of independent candidates. Furthermore, CEC estimated the budget for the local elections, which is to be approved by the Parliament.

So far, the creation of two very strong electoral blocs has been made public. “Serafim Urechean” Electoral Bloc includes 10 political parties: Party of Rebirth and Reconciliation (headed by Mircea Snegur), Independents’ Alliance (Serafim Urechean), Party of Democratic Forces (Valeriu Matei), Social Liberal Union “Moldovan Force” (Veaceslav Untila), etc. The second electoral bloc Social Democratic Alliance of Moldova is formed of the Social Democratic Union (Dumitru Braghis) and Democratic Party (Dumitru Diacov).

The leader of the Social Liberal Party, Oleg Serebrean, called other political parties to boycott the early general local election on the grounds that they are a “political farce and a trap to democracy”.

Given the launch of the electoral campaign, the Minister of Justice decided to cancel his decision on suspension of the Christian Democratic Peoples’ Party (PPCD) activity, so as not to breach the rights of the party supporters.

Other political parties claim that early elections are unnecessary and represent an abuse from behalf of the Communist parliamentary majority. Representatives of the Congress of Local and Regional Powers of the Council of Europe stated that Moldovan authorities breached the provisions of the European Charter “Autonomous Exercise of the Local Power”, when they modified the administrative-territorial division of the Republic of Moldova without previously consulting the communities during a referendum. Also, the communists ended the 4-year mandate of the local authorities, which was due to expire in May 2003.

In accordance with the modified Law on Local Public Administration mayors will be elected indirectly. They will be designated by at least 1/3 of elected councilors and will be elected by the majority vote of the elected councilors.

In addition other modifications have been operated to the Electoral Code reducing electoral campaigns to two months (previously 3 months).

Presidential elections in Transdnestria Early general local elections were declared unconstitutional