Chairman Cardin, Co-chairman Hastings, distinguished members of the Commission, ladies and gentlemen:
At the outset I would like to thank the Helsinki Commission for inviting me to speak today about the recent parliamentary election in my country and for your interest in Moldova. As you all know, early parliamentary elections have taken place on July 29 of this year. The elections had a turnout of 1,581,517 voters (58,8% of the registered voters) which have clearly expressed their political choice, reflected in the party composition of the new legislative body.
The elections were observed by around 3000 international and local observers. The International Election Observation Mission, consisting of delegations from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, OSCE's Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), and the European Parliament, has evaluated the elections positively on the whole.
Although most of the OSCE and Council of Europe criteria for free and fair elections were respected, the observers have signaled a number of shortcomings which need to be addressed in the context of enhancing the electoral process in Moldova and developing the democratic institutions of the country. The vast majority of shortcomings mentioned by the international observers deal with the process of registration of electoral lists and the overall tense climate of the electoral campaign. Recommendations in this regard consisted in the need to establish a State Electoral Registry, in order to improve the quality of electoral lists, as well as to implement the PACE Resolution adopted after the events that followed the April 5, 2009 elections. The recommendations also include advice on modernizing the electoral process by introducing electronic voting (e-Vote).
Similar conclusions have been voiced by senior European officials (Javier Solana, Benita Ferrero-Waldner) who stated that Moldovan elections of July 29 have met most of the international electoral standards. The EU Commissioners encouraged Moldovan political parties to elect a new President and form a new governing coalition, in the context of an overall constructive dialog. The EU has also reiterated its availability to continue offering political and economic assistance to Moldova’s efforts in implementing democratic reforms.
The significance of these elections for the Republic of Moldova can hardly be overestimated. First of all, they have underscored yet again my country’s dedication to liberty, democracy and modernization, which will enable Moldova to continue to face the challenges inherent to the period of transition to democracy and market economy. Secondly, they have confirmed that there is no alternative for democratic development and European integration of Moldova. Regardless of the make-up of the new parliament and government, the European integration will remain at the core of my country’s domestic and foreign agenda. There is largely shared opinion in my country that the new central authorities that the parliament must soon elect, will continue to struggle for economic and social stability, good governance, political development and territorial integrity of Moldova.
In achieving the mentioned undertakings, the support of the international community, including that of the United States of America, remains crucial. The considerable financial, political, technical and humanitarian support that the United States has been offering to my country since its independence contributes in the most efficient way to Moldova’s democratic stabilization. At this very important historic moment, when the Moldovan society solidifies its choice to return to the European and civilized way of development, the people of the Republic of Moldova is profoundly grateful for the vital and efficient partnership between our two countries. Whatever hope we may derive from the progress of recent years and the prospect of a democratic consolidation, the future of Moldova will depend, among other things, on the continuation of this partnership.
Thank you very much for your attention and I welcome any question that you may have.