Interim Reports - Interim report - IEOM to Moldova for the 2023 Local Elections

Interim report - IEOM to Moldova for the 2023 Local Elections

30. Oct. 2023.

ENEMO’s International Election Observation Mission for the 2023 Local Elections in

Moldova presented the Interim Report

Chisinau, October 30, 2023: “The legal framework was substantially reformed and the

drafting of the new law followed an inclusive and transparent process, in line with ENEMO’s

long-standing recommendation. Elections are competitive, with a high number of candidates

running for election, and are generally being managed efficiently and transparently. However,

widespread allegations of illegal and shadow funding to unduly influence the voters raises

significant concerns about the integrity of the elections.” – this was stated by Mr. Dritan

Taulla, Head of the International Election Observation Mission of ENEMO for the 2023 Local

Elections in Moldova, at the press conference held today at IPN, to present the Interim Report.

ENEMO has deployed four Core Team experts, based in Chisinau and four long-term observers,

in two teams based in Balti and Comrat, covering respectively, the north and the south of the

country. The observers are monitoring the overall political and electoral environment, the right to

elect and stand for election, conduct of election management bodies, campaigning, gender

representation, electoral dispute resolutions and other crucial aspects of the process.

Nino Rizhamadze, Election and Legal Analyst of the EOM of ENEMO, said: “The Electoral law

was amended twice following decisions from the Constitutional Court, with the last amendment

occurring on October 4. Amending the Electoral Code one month ahead of election day and only

two days prior to the deadline for candidate registration is at odds with international good

practice, and could have potentially limited the right to stand for election.”

“The existing legal framework provides a sound basis for the conduct of elections in line with

international commitments and standards. The implementation of many of the positive

amendments to the Electoral Code remains to be observed over the following period.” –

continued Rizhamadze.

“The CEC operates in an open, transparent and efficient manner.” However, concluded

Rizhamadze, “the CEC is coping with tight deadlines and shortage of human resources.”

Ales Jakubec, Political Analyst of the EOM highlighted that: “A high number of candidates are

standing for election, making the election overall competitive.” “The candidate registration

period overlaps with the start of the campaign and EMBs had seven days to examine the files.

This provision limits equal opportunities among candidates and does not take into account

possible complaints and appeals, which leads to some candidates being registered long after

the others have started campaigning. Several parties raised concerns about attempts to bribe

or even pressure their candidates to run on behalf of other political parties.” – continued


“The mission was informed of widespread allegations of vote-buying, pressure on employees,

and misuse of administrative resources. The ban to organize the transportation of voters to

polling stations is noteworthy and its implementation in practice remains to be observed.” –

concluded Jakubec.

Maja Milikic, Media Analyst of the EOM said that: “The country's media regulatory

framework, as outlined in the Electoral Code, seeks to ensure fair and transparent coverage

during election campaigns, but deficiencies in secondary legislation are apparent, particularly

regarding monitoring of online platforms, media ownership, and the absence of mechanisms to

address misinformation from online/print outlets.”

“Recent trends indicate a transition in political information consumption, with online media

and social networks eclipsing traditional broadcast media. The state of emergency triggered by

the Russian invasion of Ukraine, coupled with measures from the Audiovisual Council, has

intensified scrutiny on disinformation and hate speech, simultaneously weakening media entities

disseminating propaganda content originating from Russia. Despite efforts to combat

misinformation, challenges persist, notably on platforms like Telegram and TikTok, where the

spread of fake news, political statements, and pro-Kremlin narratives poses a significant

concern.” – continued Milikic.

The Interim Report issued today is based on ENEMO’s findings on the national level and

throughout the regions observed from October 1st to October 27th 2023. The mission will issue

its statement of preliminary findings and conclusions after the election day and will remain in the

country to observe the second round of elections in the municipalities where no mayor will

secure a majority of the votes in the first round.

The International Election Observation Mission of ENEMO for the 2023 Local Elections in

Moldova is financially supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of

Moldova, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Soros Foundation Moldova.

The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of ENEMO and do not necessarily

reflect the views of the donors.

For additional information, please contact: Maja Milikic, Media Analyst,

maja.milikic@enemo.eu, +37361112554