Moldovan president urges officials, police to prevent electoral violations

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CHISINAU, February 24. /TASS/. In a Facebook address, Moldovan President Igor Dodon urged state officials and security officers to fulfill their duty and prevent violations at Sunday’s parliamentary elections in the country.

“I would like to address public officials and law enforcement officers. I’m aware of the pressure being exerted on you in the run-up to the elections. Keep in mind that you have been vested with important responsibilities,” the statement reads.

Dirtiest campaign in history

Dodon warned that his political rivals would use different tactics to weigh down the scale in their favor. “The recent campaign was one of the dirtiest in our entire history,” he added.

“Some of you will be bribed, others will be intimidated with resignations and other punishments. Don’t be afraid of anyone. Remember that no one has the right to demand that you demonstrate a photo of your ballot or some other evidence of your vote. This constitutes a serious violation of our constitutional right to a secret vote and is also a grave crime. Don’t yield to lawlessness and don’t let others be dragged into it,” Dodon said.

CIS observers’ opinion

CIS observers, who conducted a long-term monitoring of electoral preparations, have registered no serious violations during their mission, Russian lawmaker Leonid Kalashnikov said.

“We conducted a long-term monitoring, including by our agencies – the CIS inter-parliamentary committee and the CIS Executive Committee. In general, the organization of the vote corresponds to all democratic norms. I can say this for sure, and our long-term monitoring confirms this,” said Kalashnikov, who heads the committee on CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and ties with compatriots at the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament.

“However, there are issues that we disagree with,” he said, citing the insufficient number of polling stations in Russia and abroad in general and the recent entry ban for TV crews from Russia’s NTV and Rossiya-1 TV channels as an example.

Moldovan presidential election

The upcoming parliamentary elections in Moldova will take place on February 24. The republic’s citizens hope that the vote will put an end to the period of tense political rivalry between President Igor Dodon, who favors a balance in Moldova’s relations with Russia and the West, and the country’s pro-European government.

For the first time in the country’s history, the elections will be held under the mixed election system that envisages that 50 members of the country’s parliament will be elected via party lists and 51 – in single-seat constituencies. Besides, citizens will also vote in a consultative referendum to decide whether the number of lawmakers should be reduced and whether citizens should be vested with the right to recall members of parliament if they are not pleased with the way they perform their legislative duties.

A total of 14 political parties and one electoral bloc will try to clear the six-percent barrier (eight percent for an electoral bloc) required to win parliamentary seats.

Besides, about 300 candidates will compete in single-seat constituencies, where the winner is chosen by a simple majority. No turnout threshold has been set.

According to opinion polls, the Socialist Party, which was led by Dodon until he became president, is a likely frontrunner, followed by the pro-European Democratic Party of Moldova, which now controls the parliament, and the pro-EU ACUM coalition.

Over 3,000 observers representing dozens of non-governmental organization will monitor the elections. The country’s election authority has also accredited 776 foreign observers, including from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the European Parliament, the European Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

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