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Violation of democratic norms and rule of law backsliding in the Republic of Moldova

Written declaration No. 786 | Doc. 15853 | 23 October 2023

Mr Constantin STARÎŞ, Republic of Moldova, UEL ; Ms Sibel ARSLAN, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Vlad BATRÎNCEA, Republic of Moldova, UEL ; Ms Semra ÇAĞLAR GÖKALP, Türkiye, UEL ; Ms Laura CASTEL, Spain, UEL ; Ms Sevilay ÇELENK ÖZEN, Türkiye, UEL ; Ms Sevim DAĞDELEN, Germany, UEL ; Mr Emmanuel FERNANDES, France, UEL ; Mr Paul GAVAN, Ireland, UEL ; Ms Nicole HÖCHST, Germany, EC/DA ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr George LOUCAIDES, Cyprus, UEL ; Mr Frédéric MATHIEU, France, UEL ; Mr Simon MOUTQUIN, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Marco NICOLINI, San Marino, UEL ; Mr Berdan ÖZTÜRK, Türkiye, UEL ; Ms Adela RĂILEANU, Republic of Moldova, UEL ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Ms Jódís SKÚLADÓTTIR, Iceland, UEL ; Ms Nataša SUKIČ, Slovenia, UEL ; Ms Ketevan TURAZASHVILI, Georgia, NR

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

In January 2023, the Parliamentary Assembly adopted Resolution 2484 (2023) “The honouring of obligations and commitments by the Republic of Moldova”. Its recommendations concerned justice reform and the development of democratic institutions.

The fact that Mr Iulian Muntean, a member of the Supreme Council of Magistracy, has passed through the filters of the Pre-Vetting commission despite his criminal record, and the unprecedented act by the President of Moldova to dismiss the Prosecutor General Mr Alexandr Stoianoglo despite pending cases before national courts and the European Court of Human Rights, demonstrate the failure in the implementation of Pre-Vetting and justice reform.

Ignoring the Venice Commission recommendation and the Moldovan Constitutional Court's decision, the authorities have changed the electoral legislation in the pre-election period despite the rule prohibiting any changes to the electoral law one year before the elections. This deprives citizens of their right to be elected, as a punishment for belonging to a party declared unconstitutional. It also creates disproportion between citizens’ constitutional rights, clearly discriminating between those supporting the government and those who do not, and enabling abuse, especially since the ruling party has illegally launched its campaign for local elections before the start of the electoral period.

We urge the authorities to ensure that reforms are made according to the rule of law and Council of Europe standards, with the involvement of parliamentary opposition and civil society, paying attention to the situation in Moldova in the run-up to 2023 local, 2024 presidential and 2025 parliamentary elections.