21 October 2020

Gheorghe Russu

Vice-director, The Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption

Parties-Phantoms, Parties - State Institutions, Parties - State Enterprises


20 parties have registered in the current election campaign. Many people say it is a too big number for such a small country as Moldova. At the same time, much more parties could take part in the election campaign.

Last week illustrated

Activists launch Moldova’s first ‘Space Camp’ © Susan Coughtrie

Igor Botan believes it would be advisable to combine constitutional referendum with local elections

A new referendum on amending Article 78 in the Constitution [election of president] can well be held and should be held simultaneously with the ordinary local elections [due in spring-summer 2011], presumes Moldovan political scientist Dr. Igor Botan, Chairman of the Association for Participatory Democracy (ADEPT).
INFOTAG, 19 January 2011, 12:49

In his commentary on the question of election of president for Moldova, he reminded that in May 2010 both the governing Alliance for European Integration (AEI) and the opposition Communist Party (MCP) submitted to the Parliament Permanent Bureau each other's own draft amendments to Article 78, and both subsequently received Constitutional Court's conclusions.

The AEI rushed to put into life its idea of how to amend the said Article - through asking the citizenry's opinion. However, the AEI-organized September 5 referendum on the vital issue failed due to a low voter turnout.

Igor Botan presumes that "it stands to reason that now we should try and amend the Constitution according to the idea and formula proposed by the Communists: that the head of state is elected like previously - in parliament, but with a different voting technique, namely in three attempts, or three rounds, starting from the present-day necessary minimum of three-fifths of the [101-seat] forum, with a lowering of the voting minimum in each subsequent attempt down to a simple majority of 51 votes. This would be the best variant for all, including certainly for the Communist Party - the authors of this very idea".

"But even if the Communists decide to boycott their own proposal, there will be nothing horrible in this, because it is quite possible to hold one more referendum, like Moldova did last September 5", believes Dr. Botan.

He thinks that to ensure referendum's success, it is necessary to carefully choose a most suitable time for it, and to formulate a question properly.

"I think the best solution would be to pose the referendum question as follows: Do you agree to overcoming the political crisis in the Republic of Moldova by means of electing president of the republic in parliament by using the following procedure: with 61 votes in a first attempt, with 57 votes in second, and with a simple majority of 51 votes in a third attempt?" said Igor Botan.

It is his opinion that the best time for holding such referendum is early June 2011 - together with the ordinary local elections. In such case, no extra financial expenditures, except perhaps those for printing referendum ballot-papers, will be needed.

There is yet another essential consideration. In case of combining the local elections and referendum, the Communist Party will be unable to organize a massive boycott of the event because in such case citizens would not come to local elections, which the Communists cannot indeed agree to, said Igor Botan.


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