Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Legal but not constitutional

In a first for Moldovan democracy, the anticipated elections are to be held on a weekday. This date (April 29th) has been declared a holiday in Moldova to facilitate voting. It is perfectly legal under electoral law for the election to be held on a weekday.

The problem is that it is not a holiday in other parts of the world where Moldovans live and work and from where they send home money to support their families. For these people, voting is already difficult enough, as they have to travel to a city in which there is a Moldovan diplomatic representation (and there aren't many of these).

Now they are supposed to do this mid-week. For many this will be impossible due to commitments to their employers.

This is not an accident. Overseas Moldovans voted overwhelmingly for the opposition on April 5th, and the Communists are now trying to disenfranchise them. That is evident from the fact that the parliament found time to make certain amendments to the electoral code but did not find time for making it easier for overseas Moldovans to vote (e.g. through postal or internet voting or through setting up other polling stations).

Note, however that the constitution demands demands that the vote be 'universal', i.e. that all eligible citizens are able to participate. Through their actions, the communists have undermined this basic constitutional right by denying overseas Moldovans the opportunity to vote. This action should be condemned by the western powers and attacked at the ECHR.

No comments:

Post a Comment