At the invitation of the authorities of the Republic of Moldova, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe deployed a mission to observe the local elections held on 5 November 2023 throughout the country. The Congress mission was led by Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP/CCE) and involved 19 Congress observers including 13 Congress members, one expert and five members of the Secretariat.
The deployment on the ground on election day was preceded by preparatory meetings on 3 and 4 November in Chisinau with the Minister of Justice, the President of the Constitutional court and the Chair of the CEC. The Congress delegation further met media representatives, domestic and international observers, as well as candidates and representatives of various political parties. A briefing with the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Core Team was organised together with the delegation from the European Parliament.
On election day, nine Congress teams were deployed to different districts across the country. “We saw a calm, orderly and transparent election day from opening to counting, with some minor procedural issues. We welcome the revision of the Electoral Code which closed some previously identified legal loopholes and addressed our recommendations notably on campaign finance, independent candidates and gender quotas”, said Gunn Marit Helgesen.
“While we welcome the pro-active efforts of the authorities to address electoral corruption, a new approach is needed if the state of emergency is extended again, with specific attention given to the timing and application of restrictions. We look forward to ongoing political dialogue with Moldovan authorities to implement those recommendations.”, stated Vladimir Prebilic (Slovenia, SOC/G/PD), Deputy-head of delegation at the joint press conference with OSCE/ODIHR and the European Parliament on 6 November 2023.
The Congress draft report and recommendation will be submitted for adoption at the 46th Congress session in March 2024.