Ban on Members of "Unconstitutional" Pro-Russian Parties Taking Part in Elections Takes Effect in Moldova
On August 18th, a law came into effect in Moldova prohibiting members of political groups deemed unconstitutional from running in elections for a period of three to five years. The ban takes effect from the moment the Constitutional Court declares the party's illegality, as reported by the Moldovan publication NewsMaker.
The legislation also includes provisions stating that attributes of parties deemed unconstitutional cannot be used by other political parties, electoral blocs, or competitors in elections.
New provisions of the Criminal Code have also come into force, introducing penalties for both passive and active political corruption, including bribery of deputies to switch factions. Passive corruption offenders could face up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to 300,000 lei (15,637 euros), while active corruption carries penalties of up to six years in prison and a fine of up to 200,000 lei (10,425 euros).
The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) now has 30 days to align its regulatory acts necessary for organizing and conducting elections with the new law.
Recalling, on July 31st, the Moldovan Parliament voted in the second final reading for the bill that imposes a ban on participation in elections by elected officials from parties declared unconstitutional. The document initially set a three-year term, but upon the proposal of the parliamentary legal committee, this term was extended to five years.
Representatives of the dissolved pro-Russian party "Shor" challenged this decision in the Constitutional Court.
Furthermore, on June 19th, the Constitutional Court of Moldova ruled on a government request, declaring the pro-Russian party "Shor" illegal. Judge Domnika Manole noted that in making this decision, the Constitutional Court relied on proven facts of illegal funding of the political party, voter bribery, and bribery of protest participants.
The disbanded "Shor" party is implicated in a criminal case related to the financing of the mayoral campaign in the city of Bălți in 2021 and receiving money from a criminal group. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office recently forwarded this case to court.
The leader of the banned party is Ilan Shor – a Moldovan pro-Russian politician and businessman, and since March 9, 2019, a member of the Moldovan Parliament. He is internationally wanted in the case of the embezzled billion dollars from Moldova's banking system.