How Moldova Removed Russian Agents from Elections and Why It Poses Risks

How Moldova Removed Russian Agents from Elections and Why It Poses Risks
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The elections in Moldova last Sunday will undoubtedly go down in the country’s history. However, their interpretation varies.

Some will say that these were elections that saved Moldova from falling under the control of Russian agents, and they will be right.

But others will argue that these elections occurred with unprecedented violations of democratic standards, and they will also have a point.

It seems that pro-Russian forces lost control of Chişinău. President Sandu’s party made decent gains in local government and will now seek allies without whom they cannot succeed in future elections.

Read more in the article by Sergiy Sydorenko, EuroPravda’s editor – Lawlessness Pointed at Russia: How Moldovan Government Removed Russian Agents from Elections.

The Moldovan government realised that it might lose this battle, as the local elections were approaching.

Populism is not an illegal political strategy. But there is no way to combat it effectively.

Candidates from populist Chance, of course, had no chance in the educated city of Chişinău, but they gained popularity rapidly in many villages and depressed towns.

Ilan Shor bought this party because his previous party, Shor, was declared “unconstitutional” in Moldova in the spring. It was suggested that Russian intelligence agencies were financing the key opposition party – Shor.

Therefore, Chişinău didn’t understand how to legally counter populist Chance.

So, they decided to take illegal actions.

First, the Moldovan Parliament passed a law to deprive all former Chance members of the right to run for any public office. This decision surprised both Western partners and even the Constitutional Court, which suspended the implementation of this law.

Therefore, the government dared to take an even more drastic step, which does not align with the principles of a European democratic state.

On a Friday evening, less than two days before the elections, Moldova’s Prime Minister, Dorin Recean, signed a decision to remove Chance from the elections and cancel the registration of all its candidates. The formal justification was a report from the Moldovan intelligence agency SIS (accountable to President Sandu) regarding the threat to national security posed by Chance. Based on this report, the government’s emergency commission decided to intervene forcefully in the electoral process, and the Prime Minister approved it.

Legally, the Moldovan government simply “punished” the opposition.

This raises questions about the fairness and legitimacy of the entire election process. After all, there are no exceptions for pro-Russian or populist parties in electoral standards.

Of course, Ukraine can only be pleased with Moldova’s boldness and creativity in dealing with Russian agents. But are its consequences solely positive? Unfortunately, no.

The government’s blatant interference in the elections will be mentioned again in connection with President Sandu’s team.

It’s no secret that the Ukrainian authorities considered the possibility of holding elections at a state of war, even though both Ukrainian legislation and international standards prohibit it.

Moldova also held elections during a state of emergency, although their constitution prohibits it. This ban had to be bypassed through several parliamentary decisions.

This may provide arguments for those who believe that elections can be held without issues in Ukraine as well. But Zelenskyy seemed to clarify the situation: this is not the time for elections. We should focus on the fight against occupiers.

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