Sorin Grindeanu PSD. Legislative elections were held in Romania on 11 December, The new electoral legislation provides a norm of representation for deputies of 73, inhabitants and , inhabitants for senators, which decreased the number of MPs. A total of parliamentary seats deputies, 18 minority deputies, and senators were contested, compared with the parliamentarians elected in The diaspora was represented by four deputies and two senators, elected by postal vote.
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If consensus cannot be reached, Freedom House is responsible for the final ratings. The ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 representing the highest level of democratic progress and 7 the lowest. The Democracy Score is an average of ratings for the categories tracked in a given year. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author s.
Following the breakup, the new government consisted exclusively of ministers appointed by PDM with the exception of three ministries, the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Economy.
During the year, the parliament became a forum for PDM and PSRM to express their geopolitical preferences—with PDM expressing pro-Western views and PSRM expressing pro-Russian sympathies—and champion legal initiatives benefitting their own political futures, such as the mixed electoral system.
Even though there were no elections in Moldova in , the modification of the electoral system from a proportional to a mixed system was one of the most controversial and heavily debated subjects in the country. This electoral modification will likely disadvantage extraparliamentary parties and encourage electoral corruption.
Civil society was quite active in , while relations between the government and the civic sector deteriorated. Attempts to pass contradictory laws or legally mandate funding restrictions from external sources for civil society organizations CSOs have fueled a lack of confidence in the government. Additionally, there were a number of political attacks on CSOs.
The media sector continued to be politicized, facing the same new-old challenges. An outdated legal framework, excessive influence from politicians and oligarchs, limited independence for the broadcasting regulatory authority, unfair competition on politicized advertising market, and the use of the media for political purposes continued to hamper Moldovan media independence.
The justice reform stagnated in High-profile cases, such as those of Ilan Shor and Veaceslav Platon, to which the society requested free and direct access countless times, continued to be examined behind closed doors. Anticorruption initiatives did not contribute to reducing corruption in , as none aimed at depoliticizing public institutions and regulatory agencies. Open competitions for positions of responsibility were nontransparent in most instances, organized not by merit but instead relying on controversial regulations and political loyalty to, or membership of, the ruling political group.
The year saw an excessive politicization of the fight against corruption. Although the number of big corruption cases grew compared to , these concerned current or former senior figures of political parties other than PDM. The reform of National Integrity Authority NIA , which was envisioned as the key anticorruption institution in the public sector, moved very slowly. The NIA director was selected and appointed in late December—after a year of deadlock and several failed attempts.
The ruling coalition also seemed to lack political will to effectively fight corruption in the public sector. While the local public administration LPA is one of most trusted institutions in the society, local governments risk losing independence and are increasingly used as political instruments ahead of the parliamentary elections in the fall of As a result, in LPA representatives, especially those belonging to parties other than PDM, faced intimidation and verbal threats.
The threats seemed to take place because they were reluctant to join PDM or promote certain ideas of the party. The Moldovan economy managed to slightly recover after the decline from and registered a 3 percent growth in However, Moldova remained the country with the lowest GDP per capita in the region.
Moreover, the discrepancies in the industrial and energy sectors increased, as well as of the export and gross capital formation. The Transnistrian conflict resolution saw some progress, including signed agreements on the apostilization of educational documents issued in Transnistria, as well as the opening of the bridge across the Nistru River between villages Gura Bicului and Bychok for traffic of light vehicles.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding MoU signed by EU and the Moldovan authorities, the MAF now includes 28 conditionality measures in areas such as public governance, financial sector governance, energy sector reforms, and tackling corruption.
At the same time, all disbursements under the program are tied to political preconditions regarding respect for democratic mechanisms, the rule of law and human rights, media, and electoral process. PDM and the government will play the role of defender and supporter of pro-Western vector; while PSRM and the presidency will advocate for the pro-Eastern vector.
This will lead to the further polarization of Moldovan society. For extraparliamentary opposition parties—in particular PAS and PPDA—the parliamentary elections will be a test of their ability to consolidate their upward trend in public and political life, at the risk of being excluded from government.
Economic prospects for are uncertain. The main risk for the economy relates to political developments. In , political processes at the national level were dominated by the Democratic Party of Moldova PDM and its consolidation of power. Parliamentary and extraparliamentary opposition groups are actively involved in public debates, protests, and meetings in support of democratic initiatives. He immediately declared his sympathy towards the pro-East vector, making his first official visit to Russia.
Two days later, the government asked the Constitutional Court to temporarily suspend the president. The leader of the Liberals, Mihai Ghimpu, stated that the arrests of PL members had political motivation. At the same time, after the PDM-PL break up and the central administrative reform, the government consisted, with the exception of the three people, of PDM-appointed ministers.
However, opposition parties, in particular PAS and PPDA, did not succeed in capitalizing on the support they obtained in the October-November presidential election campaign. The economic prospects in were uncertain. Discussions linked to the frozen conflict in Transnistria saw some progress, including signed agreements on the apostilization of educational documents issued in Transnistria, as well as the opening of the bridge across the Nistru River between the villages of Gura Bicului and Bychok.
There were no elections in Moldova in However, a very controversial initiative, the modification of the electoral system from a proportional to a mixed one, dominated the year.
Civil society, opposition parties, and the international community heavily criticized the initiative, describing it as a great danger for Moldovan democracy. The adopted version of the law will affect small and extraparliamentary parties disproportionately and benefit the governing parties.
At the beginning of May, without notifying the government and parliamentary commissions, and despite a pending Venice Commission impact assessment and opinion, PDM and PSRM voted on both the majoritarian and mixed electoral system bills in their first reading. Civil society organizations CSOs called this change an inappropriate initiative.
In June, the Venice Commission issued its assessment, criticizing the law. The remaining 50 deputies will be elected proportionally via party lists.
Beginning in , a new funding mechanism was adopted, allowing citizens to directly donate 2 percent from their income tax indicated to a public association or religious organization. The regulatory framework for CSOs has been improving slowly and with delays.
For example, in late , the government approved a draft law on social entrepreneurship. In May , the parliament voted for the law in the first reading but only approved it in November in the final reading. The previous CSDS for — had a very low rate of implementation—only 27 percent of the actions had been implemented.
A controversial draft law on foreign funding received by CSOs also appeared in parliament in In June , the Ministry of Justice added three provisions to the final version of a law on CSOs that had been in preparation for over a year. The proposals were widely considered as an attack on CSOs that actively promote public policies or work on activities related to participatory democracy. According to Amnesty International, the amendments sought to stymie any civic activism opposing the government and risked destroying the civic sector.
Another development in was the overnight registration of some new organizations and the reactivation of a number of so-called dead CSOs, which over the past few years had not carried out any activities. In , a number of new foundations were launched and established. These politicians benefit from the association of their names with the foundations, while the foundations themselves are indirectly involved in promoting political activities. In , the Moldovan media sector continued to face the same challenges as in previous years: an outdated legal framework; excessive political and oligarchic influence; external and internal propaganda and manipulation; a lack of transparency in media ownership; limited independence for the broadcasting regulatory authority; and unfair competition on the advertising market.
The legal framework of the media sector remains flawed. A number of laws are almost two decades old; the Law on Print Press dates back to and the Law on Advertising was first adopted in , while the parliament has amended the Broadcasting Code, originally passed in , more than times without sufficient improvement to the functioning of this legislation. While on paper a de-monopolization and de-concentration have taken place on the media market, in reality politicians and oligarchs, chiefly PDM leader Vladimir Plahotniuc, continue to maintain control over outlets.
The process of license allocations continues to occur without clear and precise criteria. Media owners have formally disposed of their ownership, but they still have effective control over outlets. In October, Law No. These provisions oblige media outlets to ensure that 30 percent of their content broadcast between 6pm and midnight consist of locally produced content.
On the other hand, they could create problems for small media outlets, which currently have a large share of rebroadcasted content and might not have the financial capacity to produce their own. The monopolization of the advertising market remains one of the biggest challenges for the media sector. The largest advertising agency, Casa Media Plus, allegedly controlled by Vladimir Plahotniuc, remains the main player on the advertising market.
The year saw a number of cases involving verbal attacks and harassment of journalists. Examples included the detention of journalists working for Gagauzinfo. Earlier, in April, Newsmaker. In a positive development, during the year several independent media outlets that in and the beginning of faced problems, resumed broadcasting. However, less than three months after its launch, TV8 began to face financial problems.
The BCC, however, refused to approve the changes, arguing that the concession would only be accepted after the Analitic Media Group resolved the court disputes in which it had been involved.
Manipulation and propaganda, especially by domestic outlets also continued in The manipulation techniques aimed at influencing public opinion in favor of the government and legitimizing government actions—particularly regarding the PDM proposal to change the electoral system.
The presence of disinformation and manipulation in the media was documented in the reports of media organizations. However, the BCC restricted itself only to applying a few penalties that proved to be inefficient, as the majority of these media outlets continued to violate the laws. The local public administration LPA remained one of the most trusted institutions in The LPA continued to enjoy the trust of the population, being the second institution in terms of trust 33 percent , following the Orthodox Church in Moldova 62 percent.
During the year, local government representatives faced intimidation in some cases, including arrests of LPA representatives. The majority of those intimidated or arrested were representatives belonging to parties other than PDM. The government instead organized several public discussions debating the reform. In , political pressure on LPA representatives increased, with over 10 documented cases.
Most of these steps relied on an erroneous interpretation of the legal framework and according to some analysts, the real goal behind them was to force local officials to join or support PDM and its policies. According to some political analysts, the sentence pronounced in his case displayed the double standards of justice in cases involving local elected officials.
In May, Dorin Chirtoaca, the mayor of the capital, Chisinau, and the deputy president of PL, was arrested on suspicion of influence peddling and corruption in two separate cases. The Central Electoral Commission declared the referendum invalid. Each government cabinet has included judicial reform and increased independence among its priorities since Even though the legal framework has improved over the years, the independence of judges and the application of legislation leave much to be desired.
In , the major problem was the selective application of the law.
Președintele Igor Dodon propune sistemul mixt de vot pentru Republica Moldova
If consensus cannot be reached, Freedom House is responsible for the final ratings. The ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 representing the highest level of democratic progress and 7 the lowest. The Democracy Score is an average of ratings for the categories tracked in a given year. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author s. Following the breakup, the new government consisted exclusively of ministers appointed by PDM with the exception of three ministries, the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Economy.
2016 Romanian legislative election