The International Republican Institute deployed a Long-Term Observation Mission to observe preparations for the Moldovan parliamentary elections and will be on-the-ground for Election Day.
Since 1983, IRI has monitored 205 elections in 57 countries through international observation missions and assessments.
Since December 3, IRI has deployed 13 long term observers and has held over 490 meetings THROUGHout the country.
Candidates are not taking full advantage of scheduled regional debates. IRI LTOs have witnessed debates country-wide and noted throughout that invited participants are often foregoing the opportunity to address voters and discuss important policy issues. The absence of lively political debate restricts the voter’s ability to make a comparison between candidates and analyze important policies that affect people’s daily lives.
Observers continued to follow developments in several official complaints and court cases related to election administration, such as cases of invalidated signatures. LTOs have analyzed and collected informative notes from various District Election Commissions (DEC) and will continue to review cases. To date, 32 complaints have been filed at the CEC, and nine of those were focused on the denial of certain candidates’ registration.
Precinct Electoral Commissions (PEC) have been created and are receiving training from the Central Election Commission’s (CEC) Center for Continuous Electoral Training. Observers have attended trainings in most single member districts and confirmed the trainings are well attended and taking place according to stated guidelines.
LTOs have observed a continuous increase in campaigning by candidates and parties throughout the country. Candidates and parties are using billboards, posters and leaflets in addition to person-to-person contact, including door-to-door campaigning and small meetings. Campaign events have also included concerts and distribution of party branded materials. Some interlocutors have raised concerns that some items exceed the 100 MDL limit allowed by law.
According to Moldova’s electoral code, DECs should have a maximum of nine members for the upcoming elections (two members nominated by the judiciary, two by the local administrative authorities and one member nominated by each party represented in parliament (5)). However, LTOs have noted several DECs with too many members throughout the country. IRI requests an explanation of this discrepancy.
Registration for candidates closed on January 24 and the official campaign period began on January 25. As of January 26, nine entities have been registered—eight political parties and one electoral bloc. One party, whose application was previously rejected, has since been able to register. Currently, six parties are under review and awaiting a decision on their registration.
On January 19, the CECentral Electoral Commission approved a plan to establish 125 polling stations outside of Moldova and 47 polling stations in the Transnistria region. IRI believes the procedure of establishing the polling stations outside Moldova lacked transparency and did not respect the provisions and criteria for establishing polling stations outside of Moldova as outlined by the Electoral Code.
Long Term Election Observers (LTOs) reported an orderly pre-election period. There have been three cases of violence reported. As the campaign period approached, candidates and parties logged an increased number of accusations of intimidation and early campaigning.
Parties, blocs and independent candidates filed a total of nineteen complaints with the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) primarily focused on campaign finance declarations, early campaigning, campaign advertising, and disagreements over the District Electoral Commissions (DEC) decisions to register certain candidates or deny registration to others. All complaints were reviewed and decided in a timely fashion.
The registration period for initiative groups supporting candidates in single mandate districts (SMDs) ended on January 4, 2019. All initiative groups were able to collect the necessary signatures, but IRI observers have concerns about the means of gathering and verifying the signatures.
Click here for more information on the registration process.
Moldova’s District Election Commissions (DECs) were created on time, are fully staffed and function without delays or impediments. The DEC members observed by LTOs are knowledgeable and are following electoral procedures. IRI does have questions about the creation of several districts.
An LTO witnessed a public concert of a well-known international artist that was sponsored by unknown sources but featured party branding and speeches by party leaders. The potential influence of such pre-campaign activities on voter preferences remains ambiguous.
LTOs have observed voter education trainings happening throughout Moldova, and several libraries have offered materials for citizens looking to learn more about the voting process. Many of the LTOs’ interlocutors, however, believe the general public does not currently have enough information about the new electoral system.
As of January 2, 2019, all 113 of Moldova’s broadcasters have submitted statements on coverage of the electoral campaign. Three broadcasters, 10 TV, Gold TV, Radio 7, were issued public warnings for failing to submit their statements on time, after which they complied with the regulatory requirements.
With Moldova's parliamentary elections coming up on February 24, how is the pre-election environment shaping up? Read the first report from IRI's long-term election observers to learn more.
In the News and Online
Three weeks out, polling shows that the election will likely result in a change from the status quo, but the details are still unknown. What we do know is that the election will answer three important questions for Moldova.
Under Moldovan law, men and women have equal rights as voters and candidates; however, women’s representation in politics remains incredibly low.
Chisinau, Moldova—The International Republican Institute (IRI) today announced the members of its election observation mission to Moldova for the February 24, 2019 parliamentary election, and the launch of the Moldova Election Snapshot election portal.
Click here for a full description of IRI’s short-term delegation and the press release.
A new poll of Moldovans by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research reveals an increase in popular expectations that the upcoming parliamentary elections will be free and fair, while concerns continue over high levels of corruption in Moldova.
The International Republican Institute (IRI) today announced the deployment of a Long-Term Observation Mission to observe preparations for the parliamentary elections scheduled for February 24, 2019.
Click here for a full description of IRI’s mission and the press release.
A new poll of Moldovans by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research reveals concerns about high levels of corruption and the fairness of the upcoming parliamentary elections. The survey also indicates that a majority of Moldovans intend to vote in the elections in February.
Click here for more conclusions from the poll.
Photos From the Field
January 25: Campaign period begins. Candidates may now legally campaign for office
January 29: Deadline for the creation of Precinct Electoral Commissions (PECs)
January 31: The final day for selection of PEC leaders
February 3: Deadline for giving voter lists to PECs
February 9: Deadline for modifications of the registered candidate list
February 13: All voters must be informed about the time and place of voting
February 16: Deadline for observer accreditation forms to be submitted to the Central Electoral Commission (CEC)
February 18: Last date that political polling data can be published
February 20: All ballots will be printed by this date
February 22: All District Electoral Comissions will receive their ballots and stamps
February 23: All PECs will receive their ballots and stamps
February 24: Parliamentary Election Day
Data from the Field
According to Moldovan law, 40 percent of a political party’s candidate list is supposed to be comprised of women. All registered parties have met that threshold; however, most of the women are placed 20th or below on the party list and are therefore less likely to make it into parliament.
In the 51 single member districts (SMD), parties that nominate women candidates in 40 percent of constituencies receive a 10 percent increase in state financing. None of the parties have put forward enough women candidates in these constituencies to unlock this funding.
All parties that will be competing in the parliamentary election have now registered their candidates. Candidates in SMDs were required to submit signatures to the Central Electoral Commission for validation by January 24, 2019.
Some candidates are registered on both the party list and in a SMD. These numbers do not reflect that overlap, and the law remains unclear on procedure if a candidate wins both seats.