The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe debated on 21 October, a Recommendation on the local elections held in Republic of Moldova on 14 June 2015 and observed by a Congress delegation.
“These elections took place in a very difficult political and socio-economic environment”stated Line Skoii Vennesland Fraser (Norway, ECR), Congress Rapporteur on local elections. “But the Congress observers recognize the efforts made by the Moldovan authorities to further improve the legal framework for elections” she added.
Invited to address the Chamber Session, Jerry Lundy, (Ireland, ALDE) presented the concluding report on behalf of the members of the delegation of the Committee of the Regions who participated in the observation mission. He underlined the constructive and active participation of the civil society of the Republic of Moldova in the elections monitoring process as well as the enhanced familiarity of the electoral commissions of the country with the procedures, even though a greater clarity and transparency would be appreciated.
Nevertheless, some points remain a matter of concern, as the quality of voters’ lists. A great number of Moldavian voters are registered on the lists, but de facto are living abroad and can still vote in the country on the Election Day.
Line Skoii Vennesland Fraser also emphasized the over-restrictive requirements for registration of independent candidates which does not encourage democracy. “Women’s participation in the electoral process is also a key issue” added Ms Fraser. The Congress therefore encourages the Moldovan authorities to introduce legal provisions ensuring increased women’s participation at all levels of the electoral management and as candidates in elections.
Concerning the situation of decentralisation and local government reform, the speakers outlined that it is now necessary to fully implement the National Decentralisation Strategy in order to further strengthen local self-government in the country and ensure effective administration at the grassroots’ level.