Response to 5/5/2017 events

Civil Society response to the outrageous events that took place in the Moldovan Parliament on the 5th of May 2017

Declaration: The parliamentary majority is amending the electoral system by breaching the legislation and common sense, undermining the principles of democracy

5 May 2017

 We are dismayed by today’s joined actions of the deputies from the parliamentary parties: Democratic Party (PD), the Socialist Party (PSRM) and the European People’s Party of Moldova (PPEM). They have supported the inclusion in the additional agenda of today’s Parliamentary session of two draft laws that introduce crucial changes in the electoral system. Thus, on the agenda of the Parliament session were introduced to be voted at the first reading the draft no. 60/2017, promoted by PD, and draft law no. 123/2017, promoted by PSRM. The draft law no. 60 proposes the election of 101 deputies within uninominal constituencies (the uninominal system), while  draft law no. 123 provides for the introduction of the mixed system (50% on party lists and 50% according to the uninominal system). Both draft laws were voted at first reading and their merging was announced, taking as primary the draft law suggested by PSRM on the mixed electoral system.

None of these draft laws appeared on the Parliament’s agenda yesterday, 4 May. None of the draft laws is accompanied  by  Government’s  opinions  or  the  opinions  of  parliamentary  committees – mandatory requirements  imposed  by  law.  After  the  decision  on  the  introduction  of  the  draft  laws  in  the  agenda,  the Speaker of  the  Parliament  offered  an  hour  to  the parliamentary Legal, Appointments  and  Immunities Commission to analyze the draft law no. 123. The Government’s opinion is missing from both draft laws.

The today’s voting in the first reading takes place on the eve of the visit to the Republic of Moldova of the representatives  of  the  Venice  Commission.  Next  week,  they  will  come  to  Chisinau for  a  fact-finding  visit  in view  of  drafting an  opinion  on  the  two draft  laws,  an  opinion  that  was  demanded  by  the  Speaker  of the Parliament and the former PSRM chairman. After the adoption of the drafts in the first reading, they can no longer be changed conceptually, even if these changes are recommended by the Venice Commission.

Independent  opinion  polls  confirm  the  lack  of  popular  support  for  the  initiative  to  change  the  electoral system, the current electoral system being preferred by most people, despite massive propaganda to change it. Earlier, several civil society organizations have called for withdrawal of the drafts to modify the electoral system. The change of the electoral system is a blow to the rule of law and a significant regression regarding the commitments made by the Republic of Moldova towards the Council of Europe.

The hurry with which the two draft laws, which radically change the way the country is governed, have been introduced  into  the  agenda  of the Parliament’s  sitting,  show only  one  thing:  they  aim  to  promote  political interests at any cost, even if this means breaking the law, the democracy and the common sense.

We call on:

a. The Parliament to respect the law and common sense and to stop promoting the interests of some groups or parties and to act in the public interest according to democratic norms.

b. The development partners of the Republic of Moldova, to firmly condemn the above actions and to cease any support of the initiatives/requests of the current Government if the Parliament adopts one of the two draft laws.

Signatories:

1. Association for Participative Democracy (ADEPT)
2. Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance (AGER)
3. Amnesty International Moldova
4. Foreign Policy Association (APE)
5. Association of Independent Press (API)
6. Community ”WatchDog.MD”
7. Center for Analysis and Prevention of Corruption (CAPC)
8. The Human Rights Information Centre (CIDO)
9. GENDERDOC-M Information Centre
10. Journalistic Investigation Centre (CIJ)
11. Policy and Reform Centre (CPR)
12. Legal Resources Centre from Moldova (CRJM)
13. Center Partnership for Development (CPD)
14. Independent Journalism Centre (CJI)
15. IDIS Viitorul
16. Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE)
17. Public Policies Institute (IPP)
18. PROMO-LEX
19. Transparency International Moldova
20. Union of Journalists from Moldova
21. Veronica Mihailov-Moraru, attorney at law
22. Eduard Digore, attorney at law
23. Natalia Morari, jurnalist
24. Virgil Zagaievschi, jurnalist
The signatories’ list remains open
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