Diaspora expresses outrage! Many polling stations ran out of ballot papers. What experts say

Anticoruptie.md
13/11/2016
Stratford, Londra. Foto: Irina Nani

Many polling stations abroad ran out of ballot papers several hours before the polls closed. It has happened in London, Dublin, Bologna, Bucharest, Paris or Moscow. Moldovans who came to cast their vote and queued for hours, expressed outrage.

For instance, the polling station in Stratford, London has run out of ballot papers at about 15:00 and people were redirected to the second polling station that was opened at the diplomatic mission in the capital of UK.  Polling stations in Dublin, Ireland ran out of ballot papers as well.  The Moldovan Embassy in Bucharest ran out of ballot papers 2 hours before the polls closed and people were redirected to the Consulate.  The same happened in Parma and Mestre, Italy. "There are only two computers, ballot papers are almost over, people still queuing. Responsibles from the polling station urge people not to leave, but to write appeals", said Daniela Carlan. Polling stations in Modena, Italy ran out of ballot papers, though people are still queuing.

Voters express outrage everywhere

Messages on Internet  encourage citizens settled abroad not to go home if there are no enough ballot papers, they should fill in a request to inform about the violation of their right to voting. "It's very important, because a high number of these appeals can influence the outcome of elections and the Constitutional Court would be obliged to declare the election as void. Simultaneously, the Court recommends amending the legislation on the maximum number of 3,000 ballots issued to a polling station", reads the message. 600 appeals were signed in London

Constitutional expert Nicolae Osmochescu argues that a massive number of appeals can be impactful. "MPs change the legislation, but of course, there is an influence on behalf of people as it is about a very large number of people. Everything depends on Parliament. Currently, the citizens must submit an appeal to the Prosecutor’s office about violation of a political right to elect and to be elected ", commented the expert.

Also, Igor Munteanu, director of IDIS Viitorul believes that the only solution  is to initiate an internal investigation on this case and determine the gravity of the responsibility of officials who took the decision to set a  ceiling of 3,000 ballots for a polling station. "Someone has to demonstrate that setting  a number of 3,000 ballots was a deliberate intention to restrict the right to vote, or CEC may  come up with the argument that  similar cases were not registered in previous elections and prior registration of voters from abroad (non-compulsory) did not prove necessary arguments  to double or triple the number of ballots. CEC is subordinated to Parliament or parliamentary factions may require investigations", said Igor Munteanu.

121.00 Moldovan citizens settled abroad voted so far. According to CEC, most of them are Moldovan citizens in Italy– 42.000, Romania – 14.000, France – 9.243, Russia – 8.332.

 

Anticoruptie.md
13/11/2016

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