Moldova election marred by vote-buying: OSCE

Moldova election marred by vote-buying: OSCE

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says the general election in Moldova was marred by “strong indications of vote buying”.

Sunday’s vote was “tainted by allegations of pressure on public employees” and “the misuse of state resources”, the monitoring agency reported. “Control and ownership of the media by political actors limited the range of viewpoints presented to voters.”

The ruling Democratic party was accused of massive election fraud by both pro-Russian and pro-EU parties.

The election used a new voting system which the OSCE said was “adopted without inclusive public debates”.

The election divided the 101-seat chamber into 50 seats elected by the party lists with the other 51 MPs chosen with head-to-head contests.

If the new chamber fails to form a governing coalition within 45 days after the results are announced, the president is required to dissolve the parliament and call another general election.

“This was an active, hard-fought and polarised campaign in generally well-run elections,” said George Tsereteli, who led the OSCE observers.

“I call on my newly elected parliamentary colleagues to now deliver on promises, address the problems we identified and meet the expectations of the people,” he added.

The election has created a hung parliament, potentially creating political instability. The pro-Moscow Socialist Party, which is allied to President Igor Dodon, won the largest share of the vote, with 31.2-per-cent support.

The pro-western Democratic Party came second with 26.6 per cent and ACUM, a pro-European Union coalition that ran on an anti-corruption platform, finished third on 23.8 per cent.

Dodon, the former Socialist Party leader, warned that another election would be preferable to a weak coalition.

“If there is to be one party with defectors from another side, then it’s better to hold early elections straight away,” the pro-Kremlin president said.

Dodon and the pro-EU opposition leader, Andrei Nastase, accused the Democratic Party, led by oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc, of vote buying.

Plahotniuc was accused of bringing in voters from the breakaway region of Transnistria. His party allegedly tried to fix voting by introducing votes on direct mandates alongside party-list ballots.

The oligarch said his party was ready to launch coalition talks and “form a functioning government and parliamentary majority for the people”.

Democratic Party’s coalition government lost support ahead of the election after a string of corruption scandals.


Moldova is divided between those looking to Moscow and pro-EU parties. Picture credit: Flickr


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