The provisions of electoral legislation, including the need to regulate online election agitation, and the proportionality of sanctions applied to new local elections in Chisinau were discussed at today’s meeting of the legal commission on rules and immunities, the parliament’s communication and public relations department has reported.
Raisa Apolschii, head of the legal commission on rules and immunities, said that the talks will continue in committee, and MPs will consider the expertise and views to make proposals to improve electoral law.
Attending the event were MPs, representatives of civil society, notorious lawyers, as well as the head of the Central Electoral Commission and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice. According to data, by this time there were 36 cases of invalidating elections in the Republic of Moldova, especially in the local elections.
Also, they discussed instruments to regulate electoral agitation on social networks without limiting the right to free speech. CEC member Iurie Ciocan drew attention that talks about the need to regulate electoral agitation on social networks are being held around the world. According to him, it is certain that social networks influence the voter’s position, and regulations are needed for the pages. Another proposal was limiting the costs of visual advertising.
For his part, Sergiu Sarbu, member of the legal committee on rules and immunities, said that it has to be taken into account that the Internet has reached the second place, according to surveys, by popularity. “We are not talking about interdictions, but about clear regulations ensuring the integrity of the electoral process and strengthening the electoral rights of the citizens of our country,” he said.
Vasile Bolea, member of the legal committee on rules and immunities, proposed to set up a sub-committee in parliament, which after every election, jointly with the electoral authority, consider the irregularities and difficulties and propose if needed adjustments to the legislation.
Pavel Postica, Program Director, Promo-LEX Association, said he opted to abolish the prohibition of electoral agitation on election day, excluding polling station and environment.
On the other hand, Igor Botan, a representative of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, said that it would be good to keep the day of silence, because we are a society in transition.
Under the parliament decision of 12 July 2018, the legal committee on rules and immunities was empowered to examine, expertise and assess electoral legislation in line with international election standards, referring to the premises and legal motivation that led to the invalidation of new local elections, including the use of social networks and proportionality of sanctions. The commission is expected to submit to the parliament within 60 days conclusions and proposals, including improvement of the relevant normative framework to ensure the integrity of the electoral process and the consolidation of the electoral rights of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova.