26 june

Electoral legislation of Gagauzia must be adjusted to national one

The national legislation on elections does not regulate the electoral periods and the elections in the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia. For the electoral legislation to meet the international standards, the central power must become involved and harmonize the local legislation to the national one. The subject was discussed in a roundtable meeting staged by the Gagauz Youth Center “Piligrim-Demo” in partnership with the OSCE Mission to Moldova, IPN reports.

“Piligrim-Demo” executive director Mihail Sirkeli said the holding of free elections in accordance with the international standards requires financial resources, but Gagauzia does not have money for the purpose. In this respect, the Central Election Commission in Chisinau and the commission that is created in Gagauzia in the electoral periods must cooperate.

Mihail Sirkeli added that the central authorities must make sure that the national legislation provides that in Moldova elections are held in the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia, to choose the Bashkan of Gagauzia and referendums on problems faced by Gagauzia. The legislation should be harmonized so that it does not diminish the powers of the Gagauz administration.

In Gagauzia, a working group is drafting a bill on elections. Mihail Sirkeli said that the bill will be ready in several weeks add will be submitted to the People’s Assembly for adoption.

Central Election Commission deputy chairman Stefan Uratu said the impressing now is that the leaders in Gagauzia want the national legislation to be adjusted to the legislation of Gagauzia, not vice versa. The central authorities work hard to harmonize the national legislation with the international one and satisfying the demands of those from Gagauzia would mean a step backward. The accuracy of the electoral rolls is also a problem. Each entity offers different data and the discrepancy between the figures is sometimes very wide.

Svetlana Mironova, head of the central electoral authority of Gagauzia during the 2012 People’s Assembly elections, said the list for the general elections contained 116,000 voters, while the list compiled for the elections of the Bashan in two weeks included 106,000 voters. The electoral legislation of Gagauzia hasn’t been amended since it was adopted in the 1990s, while the Electoral Code of Moldova has been modified for several times. The Electoral Code should at least provide that the elections in Gagauzia are held in accordance with the local legislation as this will solve many problems.

OSCE Mission’s Senior Human Rights Adviser Jacqueline Carpenter said that Gagauzia holds interest for the OSCE because the stability in this region can lead to the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, which is the major preoccupation of the Mission.