On November 1st, 2020, the Presidential Elections will be held in the Republic of Moldova. These elections constitute the fourth time that the President of Moldova is elected by popular vote, since the declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991.
The elections that will be held tomorrow are taking place during a difficult time for the country and for the Moldovan society, amidst challenges low trust in public institutions and in the judicial system, a high corruption and impunity rate, a non-functioning judicial system and massive migration of citizens.
The international partners of Moldova have stated that credible, transparent and comprehensive elections in compliance, in line with international standards for democratic elections are a crucial test for the democracy and the rule of law.
The unstable political dynamics have been often the result or precedence of the decision-making of the country’s Constitutional Court. The said decision-making has not been spared from critiques that claim it to be non-independent and politically biased.
As regards the experience with election processes on the other hand, besides the Constitutional Court, the entire judicial system has also played a determining role in their progress. This mechanism, in its entirety, has not manifested itself as a guarantor of electoral integrity, but as a discretionary instrument for the fate of election processes.
The current public health emergency constitutes an added challenge to the progress of the electoral campaign and to the preparation of the election process.
The Republic of Moldova is amongst the countries facing a critical situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This situation is expected to determine the progress of tomorrow’s Election Day as regards voter participation and procedural issues that may consequently arise.
The International Election Observation Mission (IEOM) to Moldova of the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) has been monitoring the election process progress since September of this year.
The IEOM is composed of 8 expert members of the Core Team, 8 long-term observers and 26 short-term observers, who will carry out the observation of tomorrow’s voting, including vote counting and tabulation. Based on surveys, it is expected that a second round of voting will be held, as none of the candidates is expected to gather over 50% of the votes in the first one.
The IEOM is also prepared to follow and observe the potential second round of November 15th.
In the Interim Monitoring Report published on October 26th, 2020, the IEOM, inter alia, highlighted that the legal framework for elections the legal framework on elections, overall, ensures conditions for holding of democratic elections, despite shortcomings that leave space for discretion and can be misused.
However, the Report notes the legal framework shortcomings, issues regarding equality amongst the running candidates throughout the electoral campaign, as well as a passive judicial mechanism in relation to the submitted complaints.
The IEOM will present the Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions after the Election Day, through a Press Release that will be held on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 at 11.00 a.m., Moldova local time.
The Coalition for Reforms, Integration and Consolidated Institutions (KRIIK), as a member of ENEMO since 2009 and member of the ENEMO’s Steering Secretariat for 2 consecutive terms since 2015, through its activists and collaborators has provided ongoing contribution towards the fulfillment of IEOM by ENEMO.
The IEOM for Monitoring the Presidential Elections of November 1st, 2020 constitutes the fourth Observation Mission by ENEMO during this year, following that for the observation of the Serbia Parliamentary Elections of June 21st, 2020, the Montenegro Parliamentary Elections of August 30th, 2020 and the Ukraine Local Elections of October 25th, 2020.
In this International Election Observation Mission to Moldova, the KRIIK is contributing through its Deputy Chairperson, Mr. Dritan Taulla, as Head of Mission, and its legal expert on electoral matters, Mr. Reald Keta, as a Legal Expert to the IEOM Core Team, as well as through one long-term observer and two short-term observers.
The active engagement of the KRIIK in these International Missions through its corps of activists and collaborators, in addition to the aim to contribute towards improving the election standards and democracy itself in countries where democracy is “still in progress”, it also is a significant and relevant experience for expanding human expertise and human capacities in building, observing and quality monitoring of election processes and other democratic processes in our country, as well.
Tirana, October 31st, 2020!
*This Press Release is published in Albanian and in English.
The Albanian version is the only official document.
The Press Release in pdf can be downloaded HERE