Thursday, August 6, 2009

You are wrong, Mr Stirbu

President of the Central Electoral Commission, Eugene Stirbu made the following statements earlier today:

1. The Electoral Code prescribes use of the D'Hondt formula for allocating seats.
2. No-one except parliament has the right to interpret the electoral code.

Mr Stirbu is wrong in respect to item (1) because the electoral code makes no mention of the D'Hondt formula. In Art. 87(1) there is a reference to 'successive division', however the wording of this article is so vague and confused it is of little use to anyone.

Furthermore, the electoral code in two places repeats the requirement of the constitution with respect to votes being of equal value. Because they have constitutional support and protect a fundamental right of Moldovan citizens, these provisions must take prevalence over Art. 87(1), which is merely a (flawed) mode of implementing the requirements of the constitution.

More troubling is Mr Stirbu's assertion that it is Parliament's job to interpret the electoral code. This displays a degree of ignorance which is astounding for someone who has achieved such a high office, and should lead to questioning of his fitness to fill the role.

Like most modern and democratic constitutions, the Moldovan document separates powers, ascribing to parliament the power to write laws while giving the court system the power to interpret them.

Mr Stirbu should consider that the complaints of AMN and the PL about the inequality of the D'Hondt formula relate to a fundamental consitutional right. That means that the two parties can appeal decisions all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, a court which has proved time and again that it will take no nonsense from Moldovan officialdom.

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