Elections

Press release
Chisinau, 8 April 2009

The leaders from European Academy of Civil Society, First Club of Council of Europe and Young Journalists Agency „AMP-International”, NGOs from the network of the World Organization of Talented Children, who is monitoring the parliamentary elections, held a press conference on the report of monitoring the election day.

National observers from European Academy of Civil Society, First Club of Council of Europe, Young Journalists Agency „AMP-International” have registered a huge number of grave violations of election code – as a proof that at many voting offices, the final results were influenced.

Renata Verejanu, the leader of European Academy of Civil Society spoke about a range of serious violations, such is:
At the majority of voting offices, monitored by our observers from the NGOs from WOTC network, had over 50-60 percents of the members of the commission from PCRM party, usually the president and vice president.
The observers from OSCE that passed very briefly through some voting offices, said that they are surprised about the great number of observers. This was the bait. The crowd of observers and representatives of political parties were an excellent tool for enabling many violations of election laws.

The observers from European Academy of Civil Society and First Club of Council of Europe have stated that at parliamentary elections from 5 April 2009 were registered from behalf of election candidates and from different organizations incompetent trust persons and observers, or, what’s even worse, that were uninterested of what’s happening inside voting office in the election day. This incompetence and indifference (in most cases – both) were used fully by the members of voting office commissions, that had certain interests, violating without shame election code and Regulations (especially voting offices no.15, 18, 20, 25, 26, 31, 39, 59, 262, 263 and many others)

Some observers admitted that they had no idea of what a monitoring means. Being asked by the observers from First Club of Council of Europe why thay are so indifferent in the moments that the violations were made, 2 observers from 2 different political parties gave next answers:
1.I don’t see any violation, if you see, put them in your report.
2.I have a life and I don’t want to loose it or make enemies. On their side is the army, justice, police, they will win anyway. If you think that you have more than one life, then you are free to do with them whatever you want (voting office no.59).
Only the observers from PCRM were very active persons, most of them not students but adults who were defending brutally the members of the comission that were questionned by national observers (voting office no.18, 59 etc.)

We registered situations when in the electors lists were included deceased persons. At voting office no. 49, national observer saw when a mother discovered in the list her son that was dead more than 3 years ago. Also, at voting office no.49, observers were sitted in a row beneath a wall and they weren’t allowed to stood up and to approach for hearing what the members of the comission speal with voters. The box was placed among representatives from PPCD, who stood there untill 5.40 p.m., when our mobile team entered the office.

National observers were witnesses at cases when several persons voted for a certain party in exchange for a glass of vodka. At voting office no.18 national observer saw that many voters were drunk, and when exiting the voting cabin, they waved their voting bulletin, like showing to the president of the commission his voting option. Madam president wasn’t placed at the same desk as the rest of the members, but she stood on the opposite side, near the cabins, near the box, beside a wall, were no national observer could see her. A tour observations, she gave us a rough answer and that’s it. Then our observer exit the office and saw a little shop nearby, where young men served the voters if they will vote with PCRM. Our observer looked for a policeman, but he was missing, then he invited other observers. Only after half a day, the young men dissapeared, intimidated by the presence of the observers. At vote counting the stamp was placed not inside the circle, but on its logo – on the logo of PCRM. This bulletin was considered valid. But when the same mistake was discovered on the bulletin of PL, the bulletin was considered invalid. Three of the members of the commission were absent during entire day. The president of the office was reluctant in offering any details about their absence. At any of our questions she reacted very badly, intimidating our observer. On the other side, the observer from PCRM had funny and often discussions with president and vice president of voting office, allowing them to name other observers with bad words.

We also discovered many cases when the members of the voting office had double standards in their behavior. When the head of the building entered the office (school principal, or station chief) the members of the commission and the president were very respectfully (voting office no.59), but as soon as our observers made a request to fill an application of violation, the members of the bureau became very agressive in words and gestures, and always the PCRM observers acted like their counsellors.

Some members even tryied to be aggressive with our observers, to threaten them. At voting office no. 15, a member of the office (possible a karate instructor) grabbed our young man of his arm, intimidating him and scaring him. After our observer invited the leader of the NGO that he represented there, and in the presence of 3 observers from European Academy of Civil Society and First Club of Council of Europe, this karate instructor said to our young man «do you really think that we don’t meet again». We were forced to retire out observer from that station, replacing him with another. At this particular voting office the observers were placed at a distance of at least 20 meters from voting cabins and box. The stamps were not in the cabin, a member of the comission held them and gave to each voter, and then they returned the stamp to him. This member of the commission spoked with EVERY voter something, possibly influencing his voting opinion.
In order to hear what indications of this member, our observer approached at 3-5 meters, but he was brutally removed. At the observer request to take a picture of the premises, he was refused. All these « rituals » continued untill after 8 p.m.

At most voting offices monitored by the observers from European Academy of Civil Society and First Club of Council of Europe were encountered violations, when 2 persons entered voting cabin in the same time, multiple cases when the voters exited the cabin waving their voting bulletins so that the members of the commission could see their political choice, which is a serious violaton. And what’s most grave, the rest of the observers from other organizations didn’t contested (voting offices 15,18, 20, 25, 26, 49, 59 etc.).

Our national observers registered many cases when different persons left the voting office with voting bulletins, without any intervention from the members of the bureau’s commission, or at least from policeman (voting office 49).
At many voting offices the representative of PCRM was making propaganda inside voting office, and outside. A tour observations, no attitude was taken (voting office no.18, 20, 59 etc.).
At the same voting office the representative of PCRM made propaganda during entire day, speaking with every voter, promising something to everyone. A couple of times she even ran after voters, holding in her hand the wallet.

During counting of votes the members of the commission didn’t allowed our observers to approach the table where the counting was going on (voting office no. 20, 49, 59, 264 etc).
At voting office no. 26 the president of the bureau also didn’t allowed our observer to show voting bulletins and the voters’ choice.
Also wasn’t allowed us to observe the bulletins that were considered invalid, the cabins were not covered good enough. When a voter wanted to sign in the voters list, in order to receive his bulletin, he discovered that someone already voted in his place and signed instead of him.

Were observed voting offices where the boxes weren’t sealed up (voting office no. 266, from village Băcioi). At the request of our observer, they replied that they don’t have special material to use in sealing the box. So that boxes remained unsealed.

National observers that during elections day registered serious violations were intimidated by the president of the bureau, who refused to release them a copy of the total counting process, even if he was entitled by law to receive such a copy. Only after the leaders of our NGOs intervened, our observers received the copies (voting offices no. 49, 59 etc.). At voting office no. 59 our observer received the copy of the document only after all other observers left the building, and our observer was forced to promise that he won’t place on the Internet the pictures he made with several violations from inside that voting office. That observer left the voting office only after 2 a.m., that was already Monday morning.

The entire report can be found at http://mictofonliber.wordpress.com
The report was sent to Central Election Commission and, in English, to Council of Europe.

Reporter
AMP-International
E-mail : ampinter2002@yahoo.com

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