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Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections
The Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections Calls for Adherence to the Charter of Free and Fair Elections
The Charter of Free and Fair Elections
Being aware of the mission and responsibility we bear during the process of society's democratization and assertion of human dignity;
Taking into account the fact that an open and fair competition among election candidates and the informed choice of citizens represent the premises for the power's accountability;
Taking into account the negative experience of previous elections;
We hereby announce that during the preparation for and conduct of the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova in February 2005, we commit ourselves to contributing-by using means, forms and methods appropriate for the civil society-to observing the following election principles and standards:
- The subjects of the election process shall abide by the election legislation of the Republic of Moldova, international documents and ethical and moral principles that determine democratic standards of organizing and conducting elections.
- The Parliament shall make amendments to the election legislation, which shall ensure an objective presentation of electoral options, maximum transparency in the conduct of elections, and real mechanisms allowing a verification of compliance with law.
- The subjects of the election process shall support an informed choice by citizens, based on a free and open competition of ideas and concepts regarding the future of the country.
- The subjects of the election process shall refrain from threats, unfounded promises, granting material benefits such as loans, investments or state orders, promises of improving inhabited landscapes, and from any other populist forms of encouraging or buying votes.
- The subjects of the election process shall use their right to express their support for or disapproval of a candidate, refraining from methods inappropriate in civilized election competitions, such as collecting, producing and disseminating information that humiliates human dignity and may affect social morals.
- The representatives of the state power and local public administrations shall refrain from all forms of misconduct in their office, including by creating conditions to the benefit or impediment of certain election candidates.
- Members of the election commissions of all levels shall refrain from all forms of using their authority to the advantage of some candidates or disadvantage of others. The members of election commissions and the representatives of political parties and electoral blocs shall work towards a fair organization of elections and not towards the victory, at any cost, of their candidates.
- Managers of institutions, enterprises, businesses (regardless of their form of ownership), healthcare workers, educators and scholars, law enforcement bodies, the army, and faith leaders, shall refrain from exercising pressure in any form, if such acts could influence the informed choice of persons living in material, economic, professional, hierarchical, legal, spiritual or other forms of dependence on them.
- The mass media shall contribute to fair and equitable debates between candidates.
- Founders and co-founders of media outlets, and investors in the media, shall refrain from interfering with editorial policies and the work of journalists.
- The mass media shall, with complete independent authority, choose a manner of covering and involvement in elections-whether/or not to publish election advertisements, whether/or not to broadcast analytical materials containing different positions and ideas, etc. But at the same time, the mass media shall present facts without bias, objectively, with balance, and offering to all the parties concerned the opportunity to express their points of view.
- The mass media and journalists shall refrain from any form of abusing opportunities presented to them by their profession and position.
- The public media and their journalists shall refrain from all forms of expressing their personal election preferences, and shall respect their mission of being neutral mediators of information, called upon to inform the voters and facilitate feedback during social dialogue.
- Election advocacy in public media shall take exclusively the form of political advertising accompanied by adequate identification.
- Election advertising shall be made available in observation of the principle of equal access for all election subjects. Prices for election advertising may not be different for different candidates and shall be made public.
- Election advertising shall be paid for only from legal sources of funding existing in special election accounts. The subjects of the election process shall refrain from cash payments for services rendered to them.
- The media and journalists shall refrain from hidden election advertising or negative advertising in the form of tendentious and unilateral stories, analyses or commentaries containing unverified or false information.
The observation of the provisions of the present Charter shall be supervised and monitored as part of special programs of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections.
The subjects of the election process who agree with the principles of the Charter of Free and Fair Elections shall exchange information concerning compliance with the Charter and other issues that may appear during the preparation, organization and conduct of elections.
The organizations working for the monitoring programs of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair elections shall publicize the names of the election subjects who violate the principles and standards of the Charter, and thus they will help voters make an informed decision regarding those who use dishonest and crude methods during the election campaign.
Organizations working in programs for civic awareness and voter mobilization, as well as in other programs of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, shall refrain from all forms of election advocacy for/against any election candidate.
The subjects of the election process who have adhered to the Charter and comply with the principles and standards herein shall use the colors and symbols of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections only during periods of action aimed at ensuring free and fair elections, and not for purposes of advertising a certain candidate.
Developed by the initiative group:
- The Association of Electronic Press "APEL"
- The Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT
- CONTACT Center
- Independent Journalism Center
- Helsinki Committee
- The Institute for Public Policies
- The Institute for Information Policy
- Human Rights Protection League LADOM
- Media Agency "Impact"
- Lawyers for Human Rights
- IDIS Viitorul
- Transparency International