Mayoral elections in Chisinau: EU must prevent Moldova from sliding into autocracy
The Liberal and Democrat Group in the European Parliament is highly concerned about the situation in Moldova following the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate mayoral election results in Chisinau that had shown a victory for a pro-Western candidate. The Court says both candidates addressed voters on social media on the day of the elections, after the legal end of campaigning, which illegally affected the outcome of the race. The results had shown Andrei Nastase, an anti-corruption activist and pro-EU politician, with 52.5 percent of the vote – enough to defeat Socialist Party candidate Ion Ceban, who has called for closer relations with Russia.
ALDE MEP, Petras Auštrevičius (Liberal Movement of Lithuania), European Parliament’s rapporteur on Moldova, said:
“The Supreme Court's decision yesterday makes me extremely concerned about the functioning of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary in Moldova. It is obvious to me that the ruling coalition is facing great difficulties in performing properly its duties assumed as an Associated Partner of the European Union. I wish to remind Chisinau about the joint statement of July 4, 2017 by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, which clearly stated "a pre-condition for granting macro-financial assistance is that the beneficiary country respects effective democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system and the rule of law and guarantees respect for human rights". This is to say, that the EU's financial assistance to Moldova is currently frozen. Moreover, I am sure that the European Union will use all its leverage in order to prevent Moldova's sliding into autocracy.”