The local elections in Chisinau, held in two rounds on 20 May and 3 June 2018, resulted in the victory of the representative of the extra-parliamentary opposition, the leader of Political Party “Platform Dignity and Truth” Andrei Nastase. He gained 129.432 votes which represents 52.57% of the votes. These results were invalidated in the court based on a complaint from the counter-candidate from the Socialist Party Ion Ceban. First, the Court of Appeal said on 12 June that Nastase’s calls to vote addressed to voters via Facebook in the day of election were electoral agitation. After that, a lower court established that the alleged agitation directly impacted the election result and thus, refused to o confirm the legality of the elections. This decision met with a wave a criticism from the opposition and civil society who believe that the ruling party (Democratic Party) exerted influence on the judges in order to keep the extra parliamentary opposition out of public institutions. EU officials also took strong positions against the political interference in the justice.
It is now time to go beyond rhetoric. EU’s official statements must be followed by strong actions, forcing the government to retrace its steps by, correcting some previous decisions and speeding up other vital measures. These measures include: (i) an official announcement postponing the macro-financial assistance until preconditions are fully met; (ii) suspension of the budgetary support promised for 2018, similar to the 2015 suspension triggered by the banking fraud; and (iii) drafting a list of new conditions which must include the validation of the mayoral elections in Chisinau, cancellation of the mixed-voting system and showing concrete results of the investigation of the banking fraud.
Prepared for: European Commission, European Parliament, EU Council
Prepared by: Denis Cenușa, Expert Grup, Moldova; Otilia Nuțu, Expert Forum, Romania
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