Voters from Transnistrian region are discriminated in exerting their right to vote: Promo-LEX

The Moldovan citizens from the Transnistrian area are discriminated in exerting their right to vote in comparison with the citizens from other districts of the country, reads the first Report on monitoring the electoral process in the Transnistrian region in the 2009 parliamentary elections, Info-Prim Neo reports.
Info-Prim Neo, 25 March 2009, 18:58

2009-03-24/15:21/ Chisinau (IPN) The report, presented on Tuesday, March 24, is worked out by the Promo-LEX Association, a member of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections - Coalition 2009. Monitoring the electoral process on the Nistru's left bank from February 10 to March 18, 2009 is done for the first time in the history of elections in Moldova.

Pavel Postica, a lawyer with Promo-LEX, the coordinator of the project, has said that, since the first parliamentary elections in 1994, a slow but continuous growth of the number of people willing to exert their right to vote can be noticed.

On March 3, 2009, the CEC stated that 500 polling stations would open in the region. Then, because of the discord between the Tiraspol regime and the constitutional authorities of Moldova, the CEC adopted a decision on March 10, through which the voters from the region would be able to vote in 10 polling stations to open on the right bank of the Nistru.

The observers signaled the impossibility to make out the electoral lists, because the local public administration in the region is not under the jurisdiction of the constitutional authorities.

The experts also find that the authorities did not take into account the situations of changing residence within the region. "Because of the lack of electoral lists for the Transnistrian citizens, the voters from this territory will not get the certificate enabling them to vote in other polling stations, but in one of those 10 stations near their residences certified by ID cards," said Ion Manole, the president of the Promo Lex Association.

According to the data Promo-LEX learnt from the Informational Development Ministry, 223,580 Moldovan citizens with the right to vote are registered in the Transnistrian area. Respectively, over 22 thousand voters should come to a single polling station. At the same time, the electoral legislation provides that the number of voters at a polling station should not exceed 3 thousand persons. In addition, the same 10 polling stations where the Transnistrian inhabitants can vote will be available for the inhabitants of the localities close to the region, as Dorotcaia and Cocieri. The most serious problem, according to the report, is linked to those two polling stations in Varnita village. The voters from Bender and Tiraspol, and from many rural localities from Slobozia district will be able to vote at these polling stations, both having the headquarters in the culture house, and the number of voters in these localities is over 100 thousand. The Promo-Lex experts ask whether those two stations will be able to insure the fulfillment of the citizens' right to vote.

The report shows that the Transnistrian media covered, indirectly, the 2009 parliamentary elections, mostly in a negative context, expressing stances against going to the poll.

"There are practically no electoral activities there. The most active political parties seem to be the Centrist Union, the Liberal Democratic Party and the European Action Movement. Most parties staged no rallies in this area," Manole added. Promo-LEX recommends the electoral contestants to take non-discriminating stances as to the voters from the localities controlled by the Tiraspol regime. The NGO makes similar recommendations for the international observers and the Central Election Commission.

The project is funded by the Eurasia Foundation, from money offered by the Swedish International Development Agency and USAID.