Claude Moraes MEP,
Dear Mr Moraes,
I am writing to inform you about the very troubling initiative by the corrupt authorities of Moldova to rig the electoral system in their favour and ask you to urge the relevant authorities to demand much stricter accountability and implementation of reforms. The British taxpayers have been contributing to the financial assistance programs for Moldova, which at the moment is the poorest country in Europe. Over the last decade over 1 billion Euros were provided by the EU to help Moldova – https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/neighbourhood/countries/moldova_en.
To give you some background, Moldova is a small country of the size and population similar to that of Wales that is landlocked between Romania and Ukraine. For a very long time corrupt parties have been ruling the country, but the situation got much worse over the last couple of years. The current government is controlled by one oligarch – Vladimir Plahotniuc, who is the leader of the Democratic Party. He managed to get a lot of power and all major state institutions under his control, including the government, the Prosecutor General office, the Justice System, he owns 4 out of 5 nationwide TV channels. His primary interest is to survive and avoid punishment for multiple corruption scandals that have shocked the country and the world, such as the theft of a billion dollars from the National Bank reserves (in which several UK registered companies were involved); the laundering of over 20 billion dollars from the Kremlin coffers through Moldova, into Europe; multiple dealings involving intermediary companies with non-transparent ownership structures, state-owned enterprises and monopolies.
The current economic situation in Moldova is so bad, that one in four Moldovans were forced to become economic migrants and left Moldova to find work in other places, including the UK.
At the moment the corrupt ruling party is trying to change the electoral system from a proportional representation, which most experts consider appropriate for Moldova, into a First Past the Post system like the one in the UK. The main reason for doing that is to make sure they can stay in power, continue to steal and prevent any democratic opposition from getting in power. Unlike the United Kingdom, Moldova is a very fragile democracy, where political corruption is rampant, keeping the current electoral system in place in Moldova is essential to give a chance to the new parties without much money or established structures to restore democracy and the rule of law.
I invite you to read a letter on this issue that has been sent from multiple Moldovan NGOs to representatives of International Institutions and the development partners of Moldova, which was published here – http://www.FreeMoldova.org/
I would like to ask you to contact the relevant authorities that are providing assistance financed by the British taxpayers to the Moldovan government, and ask them to urge the Moldovan authorities to focus on the real problems of the people instead of rigging the electoral system in their favour, impose much stricter conditions and be much more vocal in demanding real reforms in Moldova before giving this government any more money.
I look forward to your reply.