Moldovans vote in election re-run

In Moldova’s parliamentary election, the ruling Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova obtains a plurality but fails to gain a majority.

The country’s parliament, elected months earlier, was dissolved by president Vladimir Voronin on 15 June 2009, after it had twice failed to elect a new president. Voronin’s party, the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova, gained around 45% of the vote, whilst the other four parties which won seats each gained from around 7% to 16%.

However, combined, the opposition parties to the Communists secured a greater percentage of the vote, and are now in discussion over forming a coalition. This has lead some commentators to declare the election a loss for the Communists.

A swing comparison with the results of the April 2009 Election shows the Communist Party of Moldova losing support (−4.72%) with most of the gain attributed to the Democratic Party (+9.58%), the Liberal Democratic Party (+4.12%) and the Liberal Party (+1.48%).

Other parties that recorded a loss in support include Our Moldova Alliance (−2.42%), Christian Democratic People’s Party (−1.79%), and Social Democratic Party (−1.18%).

Before the dissolution, the electoral threshold was lowered from 6% to 5% and the minimum participation rate was lowered from half the electorate to a third of the electorate. A poll from mid-July gave the PCRM only 29.7%, with the combined opposition (including the Democratic Party of Moldova now led by PCRM defector Marian Lupu) at over 40%. PCRM leader Voronin did not rule out entering into a “grand coalition” with the opposition parties if the election results were inconclusive.

Eight parties participated in the elections: Four which had won seats in the April elections (PCRM, PL, PLDM, PAMN), three parties which had won between three and four percent (PSD, PPCD, PDM) and the Ecologist Party of Moldova “Green Alliance”, which had not participated in the April elections.

Five Ukrainian election observers within the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) where deported from Moldova the day before the elections. According to them out of the 140 observers from ENEMO the Central Election Commission of Moldova registered only 55.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which was observing the election, said that whilst evidence had been found of “subtle intimidation and media bias”, it concluded that major electoral fraud did not occur.

After the results had been announced, Voronin acknowledged that there had been a swing in the popular vote against his party, and said he wants a “principled dialogue with all the political forces.” Neither the Communists nor the opposition parties combined has a majority in parliament necessary to elect a new president without gaining the support of some members of the other side. Michael Schwirtz of the New York Times described the reason why the Communists did not gain a majority of the vote as unknown, though said it could be down to the defection of Marian Lupu, a former parliamentary speaker, from the Communists to the Democratic Party of Moldova, which won 13 seats in this election. Lupu has been suggested as the next president.

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