Electoral irregularities in Moldova
15 August 2001
ERRC field research has uncovered electoral irregularities in the town of Soroca, approximately 160 kilometres northwest of the Moldovan capital, Chişinau. The ERRC local monitor in Moldova served as an election observer in Soroca for the parliamentary elections of February 25, 2001. The ERRC observed Romani members of the community being accompanied into the voting booth by non-Roma, who apparently showed them how and for whom to vote, in contravention of Article 25 of the Moldovan Electoral Code which specifies that ballots must be secret. Members of the local Electoral Commission were also heard using insulting and racially derogatory terms to address Romani voters. Such irregularities are in contravention of Moldova's commitments under international law. Article 25(b) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, provides inter alia that everyone has the right, without distinctions of any kind, "to vote [...] at genuine periodic elections which shall be [...] held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors." Moldova acceded to the ICCPR on April 26, 1993. The Moldovan Communist Party were clear winners of the election, with just under 50 percent of the vote. For further information on the situation of Roma in Moldova, see www.errc.org.