The right to vote of many Moldovan citizens in the diaspora has been violated, but no one will be punished. The reason - legislative shortcomings
Hundreds of Moldovan citizens in the UK and Germany were unable to vote in the second round of the presidential election because some polling stations ran out of ballots. The Moldovan authorities blame the law and say the current maximum number of ballots for a polling station is five thousand.
Hundreds of Moldovan citizens in the UK and Germany were unable to vote in the second round of the presidential election because some polling stations ran out of ballots. The Moldovan authorities blame the law and say the current maximum number of ballots for a polling station is five thousand. Meanwhile, legislative changes that would allow the right to vote to be guaranteed and polling stations to be unloaded have not been accepted in parliament. The authors of the amendments are not giving up and say they will push for the changes to be approved. Sorin Echim is a student in the German city of Frankfurt and volunteered at the polling station for both rounds of the presidential election. In the first round, the polling station was set up in the Moldovan Consulate in Frankfurt, but due to the large number of voters in the second round, the polling station was located in a stadium administration building. At 06.00 in the morning, more than a thousand voters were waiting to vote. Sorin anticipated that no ballots would arrive this morning. That's because when he arrived at the polling station at 06.00 in the morning, about a thousand people were already waiting in line. After a few hours, it became clear that no ballots would arrive, so they tried to redirect voters to other polling stations in the region. Three hours before the polling station closed, all 5,000 ballots had been used up. Some Moldovans quickly left for other polling stations, but others stayed behind in the hope that something could be done to make up the number of ballots. Eventually, the polling station closed. Although they were outraged, people did not complain or lodge an appeal at the time. Around two thousand Moldovans were unable to vote in London Many Moldovans living in England were also unable to exercise their right to vote. Dumitru Vicol lives in London and says that in the UK capital, three polling stations had run out of ballot papers, so about 2,000 Moldovans were unable to vote. Here, too, people have not lodged complaints or petitions, mainly because of restrictions imposed by the British authorities in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, namely to prevent overcrowding. The CEC does not have a record of citizens who could not vote Rodica Sîrbu, head of the Communication, Public Relations and Media Directorate of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), confirmed that there were no official complaints from voters who could not vote because the ballot papers had run out. The CEC does not have exact information on the number of Moldovans who could not vote because of this. For his part, CEC vice-president Vladimir Sarban says that no additional ballots were allowed to be brought to these polling stations because the law provides for a maximum of 5,000 ballots per station. The Electoral Code must be amended Sorin Echim is convinced that the electoral legislation must be amended urgently to remove the artificial obstacles that have hampered the right of Moldovans to vote. "In my opinion, more polling stations should have been opened in regions where there was a large influx of citizens. This solution should be applied for the next elections and electronic voting should be introduced in the future", concludes the young man. Immediately after the elections, PPDA MPs Vasile Năstase and Dinu Plângău registered a bill proposing several changes to the Electoral Code. The amendments provide for an increase in the number of ballot papers for polling stations abroad from 5,000 to 10,000, the introduction of electronic voting and voting for two consecutive days. However, the amendments failed to get the required number of votes in the first reading, and were blocked by Socialist and Shor Party MEPs, as well as some Democratic MEPs. Deputy Speaker Vlad Bătrîncea said that his faction had refused to consider the amendment for procedural reasons only, because the amendments did not have the government's opinion. In reply, Nastase said that the authors would ask for the opinion of the executive and would insist that the Parliament's permanent bureau put the bill back on the agenda. Lilia Zaharia, Independent Press Association