Members of Moldovan civil society have joined together to condemn a series of new laws that would allow parliament to remove constitutional court judges and that raise the threshold percentage of votes necessary for political parties to enter parliament, eliminating smaller parties. The organizations cautioned that the laws, passed on May 3 with “excess speed” and with no opportunity for public review or discussion, would have a “negative impact on the rule of law,” and that the new thresholds would “severely limit the rights of voters and of electoral contestants.” They go on to say that amendments allowing parliament to revoke the mandate of Constitutional Court judges, who rule on the constitutionality of laws, are “openly unconstitutional” and “severely affect the principle of separation of powers.”
The organizations appealed to President Nicolae Timofti and members of parliament to reject the recent changes and take steps to foster greater transparency in the legislative process, such as making the text of important bills public prior to voting. They also asked that political parties redirect their focus to political party and campaign finance reform rather than allowing their partisan disagreements to “jeopardize the national interests of Moldova.” Moldova has been seeking to sign an association agreement with the European Union this fall. The European Parliament’s rapporteur for Moldova said on May 15 that the current political crisis, of which the news laws are a part, makes this “highly unlikely.”
Among the signatories of both statements is Promo-LEX, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which has previously received support from NDI to conduct long and short-term election monitoring in Moldova.
Published May 10, 2013
Updated May 22, 2013