KYIV, Ukraine /Send2Press Newswire/ — The Maidan International Election Observation Group (the Maidan Group) believes that some parts of the Parliamentary Election in the Republic of Moldova were free and democratic but with violations reported in several parts of the country.

The Maidan International Election Observation Group consisted of representatives of Ukraine’s independent nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the press, and political experts. Although the Maidan Group did encounter some difficulties accessing polling stations in Chisinau, it was generally assisted by the government, Moldova’s nongovernmental organizations, and representatives of electoral contestants throughout the country.

The team observed the Elections in the central and southern areas of the country, including the Gagauz Autonomous District. The Maidan Group did not witness any intimidation or coercion of voters or observers; however, representatives of Moldova’s NGOs and intergovernmental organizations had problems of accessing the polling stations.

Electoral flaws observed by the Maidan Group included:

– the lack of informing voters about election contestants’ programs and views throughout the entire election campaign,

– the unclear procedure for marking voters’ passports with stamps that led to varying application of the law at different polling stations,

– the inconsistent application of legal procedure for counting ballots were varying at different polling stations, opening possibilities of election fraud,

– secrecy of the vote of imprisoned people and those detained by police was not enforced,

– election committee members attempted to restrain domestic and international observers in moving around polling stations, and

– at a few locations, visual campaign materials of the election contestants were not removed from public sight on the Election Day, particularly of the Democratic Moldova Alliance, the Party of Communists of Moldova, and the Patria -­ Rodina Party.

The Maidan Group is particularly concerned about significant deviation of the official outcome of the Election and the data provided by an independent exit poll conducted by a consortium of Moldova’s NGOs. The exit poll showed the difference of four percent more of the total votes cast for the Popular Christian Democratic Party and the difference of four percent less of the total vote cast for Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova, as compared to the preliminary results declared of the Central Election Commission.

The Maidan Group is also concerned about the fact that the Elections were completely sabotaged by the separatist government of the Moldovan Transnistrian Republic in the east of the country. Therefore, the voters living in the Moldovan Transnistrian Republic were denied representation in the national parliament.

“In general, we see opportunities in improving the democratic procedures here,” says Andriy Savchaenko, a Ukrainian volunteer observer. “The difference between the exit poll result and the official data indicates significant problems with conducting the Elections.”

“While Ukrainian voters experienced a flood of fraud and abuse of power from the side of the government during the first two rounds of the recent Presidential Election in Ukraine, Moldova’s Elections have been conducted in a more transparent way. However, possible election fraud last Sunday presents a significant challenge,” Andy Ignatov, the Maidan Group coordinator says.

“As Moldova is getting closer to join the European Union, more serious attention should be paid to strictly following all democratic election procedures.”

For more information, please visit us at http://eng.maidanua.org or email us at forum(AT)maidanua(DOT)org.

News issued by: Grassroots Info Center Maidan

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Original Story ID: (146) :: 2005-03-0307-002

Original Keywords: Grassroots Info Center Maidan, Ukraine Moldova democracy election observation maidan, International Election Observation Group, Moldovan Parliamentary Elections, KYIV Grassroots Info Center Maidan

News Source: Grassroots Info Center Maidan