MonitoringPoliticsCommentaries

Election of district heads — a new occasion to torpedo or revitalize AIE

|print version||
Igor Botan / June 29, 2011
ADEPT logo

AIE-style criteria, principles and values

Leaders of the Alliance for European Integration (AIE) have delivered schematic statements concerning the establishment of majority coalitions in districts. However, some of statements came before the latest and sharpest scandal between leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) and Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM). The third component of AIE, the Liberal Party (PL) kept silence and neutrality in the scandal between the two allies. If attitudes and principle statements by AIE leaders do not change after the scandal concerned, they should be revealed in order to find ways to build district alliances.

According to PLDM leader Vlad Filat, “… let’s forget angers and work together for the sake of citizens. Local coalitions will be built in accordance with results of elections. Of course, they will be established within the Alliance for European Integration… We will not accept “alliances” as part of the alliance.” The positioning of the PLDM leader could mean that AIE will reply at district level only if the other two partners would allow the party who has most councillors to nominate the heads of districts, but they should not invoke the argument that together they have more councillors than PLDM.

PL leader Mihai Ghimpu does not warm the PLDM approach, proposing “… the establishment of coalitions accordingly to results of the voting at national level.” Thus, PL says that the seats of district heads shall be allotted in the 26 AIE-controlled districts proportionally to the overall number of votes, not mandates got by each party at district and municipal levels, inclusively in constituencies in which the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) won the absolute majority of seats of district and municipal councillors.

PDM leader Marian Lupu has partly backed the PL initiative and accused the PLDM of being egoist, as in the 26 AIE-controlled districts the PLDM would be helped to nominate its representatives in 23 out of 24 districts, PDM in 2 or even 3 districts and PL would not be able to claim any seat of district chief.

PDM worked out a draft agreement on building local democratic coalitions on the basis of common approaches by PDM and PL, which says that:

The draft agreement seems to be realistic, despite the unclear method used by PDM to allot seats of district heads to AIE member parties. Perhaps the PDM took into account the fact that PL owes something to PLDM.

Fair criteria and principles

There is no way to apply directly the principle of majority vote of citizens in constituencies, promoted by PLDM to nominate heads of districts, as none of AIE party members got an absolute majority in any district. As for the relative majority, coalition partners supply them in the 26 districts up to simple majorities needed to assign heads of districts, in line with the law on local public administration. Thus, local AIE coalitions could be built just under a compromise with eventual allies, no matter who they are.

However, the PLDM-promoted majority principle is very important and useful, if applied together with the proportionality principle promoted by PL and supported by PDM in a different manner. In addition, if ensuring a fair reciprocal support while nominating district heads, PL should not forget that its candidate to the seat of Chisinau mayor was elected particularly due to the great support of PLDM. Therefore, PL should generously support PLDM to nominate district heads. The proportionality principle is the only way to reach a compromise needed to build local alliances and the majority principle alone provides the mechanism needed to identify the districts in which the three AIE member parties will nominate their candidates without any controversy. The generosity principle would allow PL to prove its nobility and pay off its “debts” to PLDM.

The appetite of PLDM to share the seats of district heads on basis of the relative majority criterion within local coalitions reveals the unrealism or the wish to have covers for other kind of coalitions, as the party is unable to assign alone at least one district head without support of eventual allies. Even more, PLDM cannot nominate own candidates in more than 6 districts, as Article 49(1) of Law No. 436/28.12.2006 concerning the local public administration says that “the district council shall elect the district head upon proposal of at least one third of elected councillors, with the vote of majority of elected councillors.”

The proportionality principle would provide an exit from impasse, but PL and PDM want to apply it in a different manner. PL seeks this principle, given the overall votes for the three AIE members in all districts and municipalities, including the eight PCRM-controlled districts in which AIE components do not have anything to share. According to this principle, PLDM would be able to nominate candidates in 11 districts, PL in 8 districts and PDM in 7. On the other hand, they should logically take into account the fact that the votes of electors turned into mandates of district councillors, who finally nominate district heads. If the proportionality principle takes into account the number of seats of councillors got by the three parties in districts, rather than the votes of electors, it should logically be used just in the 26 AIE-controlled districts, not in the districts and municipalities in which PCRM holds an absolute majority. This principle would provide the following picture: PLDM would get 12 seats, PDM — 9 and PL — 5. The result would be the same if applying the proportionality principle by taking into account the total number of seats got by AIE members, including in PCRM-controlled districts and municipalities. However, PDM applied a curious formula in the draft agreement to get the following distribution: PLDM — 13; PDM — 9; PL — 4. Perhaps PDM applied automatically the principle of generous gratification of PL towards PLDM.

If AIE member parties agree to apply the proportionality principle, the majority and generosity principles could be applied as follows:

Table 1. Allotment of seats of district heads in case of AIE enlargement at district level by using proportionality and majority principles

 PCRMPLDMPDMPLAlţiiTotal

PCRM-controlled municipalities and districts
PCRM > (PLDM + PDM + PL)

Chisinau267117-51
Balti26522-35
Basarabeasca1466-127
Donduseni14642127
Dubasari17532-27
Edinet175101-33
Ocnita20661-33
Taraclia1934--27

Districts in which AIE holds an absolute majority but one of its components has at least 1/3 of councillors
((PLDM + PDM + PL) > PCRM; (PLDM ∨ PDM ∨ PL) ≥ 1/3)

Causeni121163133
Criuleni91175133
Hincesti714104-35
Ialoveni71178-33
Rezina111273-33
Soldanesti9953127
Telenesti414105-33
Leova109113-33
Nisporeni48146133

Districts in which AIE holds an absolute majority, PLDM is represented by less than 1/3 of councillors, but more than PDM and PL are together
((PLDM + PDM + PL) > PCRM; PLDM < 1/3; PLDM > (PDM + PL))

Briceni141072-33
Drochia16971-33
Soroca141063-33
Ungheni141163-35

Districts in which AIE holds an absolute majority, PLDM is represented by less than 1/3 of councillors and less than PDM and PL are together, and PDM has more councillors than PL
((PLDM + PDM + PL) > PCRM; PLDM < 1/3; PLDM < (PDM + PL); PDM > PL)

Cahul15964135
Calarasi7985433
Floresti14882133
Glodeni12983133
Orhei61097335
Riscani14762433
Stefan Voda101085-33

Districts in which AIE holds an absolute majority, PLDM is represented by less than 1/3 of councillors and less than PDM and PL are together, and PL has more councillors than PDM
((PLDM + PDM + PL) > PCRM; PLDM < 1/3; PLDM < (PDM + PL); PL > PDM)

Anenii Noi14845233
Cantemir12957-33
Straseni91058133

Districts in which AIE holds an absolute majority, but none of its components is represented by at least 1/3 of councillors, and PLDM and PDM+PL have the same number of councillors. In these districts, PLDM and PL shall reach a compromise in order to respect the proportionality principle, so that PLDM would control one district and PL — 2 (for example, PL would rule the district in which it got more seats and the district in which the difference of mandate is small)
((PLDM + PDM + PL) > PCRM; (PLDM ∩ PDM ∩ PL) < 1/3; PLDM = (PDM + PL))

Cimislia111064233
Falesti15972-33
Singerei111082233

Conclusions

Preliminary results of 2011 local elections Sad end of the “success story”