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Moldovan Parliamentary Elections Result in Hung Parliament

Both the pro-EU and the pro-Moscow forces spoke out against the organization of the voting, which saw the lowest turnout in a decade.

25 February 2019

Moldovan political parties are bracing themselves for possible alliances with their rivals after an inconclusive result in parliamentary elections held yesterday throughout Moldova.  

 

Data from the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) shows that, after the counting of 99.35 percent of the votes, the pro-Russian Socialists (PSRM) were in the lead with 31.22 percent, followed by the pro-EU coalition ACUM DA si PAS with 26.64 percent, and the incumbent Democrats (PDM) with 23.76 percent. The last party with enough votes to enter parliament was businessman Ilan Shor’s Party, with 8.35 percent.

 

These were the first elections in Moldovan history organized according to a new, mixed electoral system, which allotted 50 seats of the 101-seat parliament to parliamentary members elected from one national list, and 51 seats to candidates from uninominal electoral districts.

 

Also according to the CEC, voter turnout was 1.45 million, or 49.22 percent of all citizens eligible to vote. The highest turnout, or 31.7 percent, was for those aged 56-70 years, while the lowest, of around 8 percent, was for both the 18-25 age group, and for the 71 and older one.

 

This was the lowest turnout in the last decade, Romanian news website Realitatea.net writes, noting that the 2014 parliamentary elections had a turnout of 55.86 percent, while the 2010 parliamentary elections had a figure of 63.37 percent.

 

The turnout at the two polling stations in breakaway Transdniester was, however, a record one, with 35,000 people casting their votes by 6:30 p.m. yesterday, compared to a total of 9,200 voters during the same time frame in the 2014 elections, CEC President Alina Rusu told Realitatea.net.

 

That led ACUM co-presidents Maia Sandu (pictured) and Andrei Nastase to ask international organizations not to recognize the votes from those two polling stations. Sandu alleged that tens of thousands of people were paid to vote there, despite not knowing anything about Moldovan political parties, reports Realitatea.net.

 

Speaking during a press briefing after the polling stations were closed, Sandu also dubbed the voting “the most undemocratic elections in the history of Moldova” and “clear proof that Moldova is heading toward a Putin-style dictatorship, the culprits for this extremely dramatic process being [PDM leader Vladimir] Plahotinuc and [Moldovan President Igor] Dodon and their minions,” Romanian news site Digi24.ro reports

 

Plahotinuc said that his party was willing to talk to any other political group about cooperation, given that “we, the Democrats, have no politicians that we would refuse to discuss with, nor any topics that we wouldn’t approach. We will not set any conditions, but we will not accept any conditions either. We want to work for the country and do what we promised during our meetings with the people,” he said, according to Romanian daily Adevarul

 

For his part, Dodon spoke about “a major risk of early elections” already after casting his vote and before the results were tallied, The Associated Press reports.

 

 

  • European Parliamentary Member Andi Cristea, who chairs the delegation to the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee, told Romanian news website DC News that the result of the elections could be considered a victory for the West, under one condition: “if the two pillars of the pro-European position, PDM and ACUM, sat down and had a discussion. The coalition is the only viable solution to overcome the hung parliament, and to unblock the result through a serious majority, whose lowest common denominator should be European reforms and the well-being of citizens.”

 

  • A consultative, non-binding referendum took place on the same day as the elections, asking people if they were in favor of cutting down the number of parliament members from 101 to 61, and of introducing a mandate enabling the dismissal of members of parliament that fail to fulfill their duties in a proper manner. The referendum had a turnout of 39 percent, which validated the results, which were overwhelmingly in favor of the proposed measures, with around 700,000 people for and 200,000 against each of the two issues.
Compiled by Ioana Caloianu
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