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Parlament (Parliament)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Parlament / Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 29 July 2009
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament following the premature dissolution of this body on 15 June 2009. Elections had previously taken place on 5 April 2009.
On 29 July the Republic of Moldova held its second general elections in 2009 less than four months after the previous elections in April. The announcement of preliminary results of the April election giving 60 of the 101 seats to the ruling Party of Moldovan Communists (PCRM) had led to street protests for fresh elections that quickly turned violent. The Constitutional Court subsequently ordered a recount of the votes but the results remained unchanged. In addition to the PCRM three opposition parties instead of two in the 2005 elections entered Parliament. The Liberal Party (PL) and the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) won 15 seats each while the "Our Moldova" Alliance (AMN) took 11.

The newly elected Parliament was convened on 5 May and elected the outgoing President Mr. Vladimir Voronin (PCRM) as its new Speaker. In difference to the 2005 presidential elections in which some opposition members supported Mr. Voronin's candidacy no opposition members supported the PCRM's candidate in 2009. Consequently outgoing Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii (PCRM) failed three times to secure the required three-fifths majority (61 votes) to be elected as the country's president. Under the Constitution Parliament must be dissolved and early elections called in such a case. In the absence of a new president Mr. Voronin became acting President and appointed Ms. Greceanii as interim Prime Minister.

On 10 June Parliament approved a caretaker government led by Ms. Greceanii. On 12 June the Constitutional Court authorized acting President Voronin to dissolve Parliament and call early elections. Shortly before the dissolution on 15 June the outgoing parliament lowered the threshold for political parties to win parliamentary representation from 6 to 5 per cent. The minimum turnout for a valid election was also lowered from 50 to 33 per cent. The three opposition parties which had proposed to lower the threshold to 4 per cent boycotted the vote. On the same day acting President Voronin signed a decree dissolving Parliament and called new elections for 29 July.

In the meantime on 10 June former Speaker Marian Lupu resigned from the PCRM accusing it of dividing society under the pretext of promoting national interests. He subsequently joined the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) which had failed to win parliamentary representation in the April 2009 elections. President Voronin claimed that Mr. Lupu had defected because he had not been nominated for the post of president.

The July 2009 elections were held against the backdrop of the global economic downturn which had affected the country severely. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) would shrink by 9 per cent in 2009.

Eight parties contested the elections polls. The main contenders were the PCRM the PLDM the PL the PDM and the AMN. Although the three parliamentary opposition parties - the PL the PLDM and the AMN - ran on separate platforms they agreed to cooperate and not to criticize each other during the elections. They also announced that they would form a post-election alliance.

Most parties campaigned on manifestos similar to those of the April poll promising to create new jobs increase wages and pensions fight corruption and attract more foreign investors in order to tackle the economic crisis. During the campaign however the PCRM and the opposition parties - both parliamentary and non-parliamentary ones - focused a lot of energy on blaming each other for the post-election violence and subsequent political stalemate.

The PCRM campaigned under a new slogan Let's defend our Fatherland . It produced a documentary film Attack on Moldova criticizing opposition parties and Romania for the post-election violence. Mr. Voronin urged voters to support his party in order to shield the country from foreign influence. He promised to raise the average monthly wage (from the current 245 euros) to 500 euros by 2013. He stressed the need for a strategic partnership with the Russian Federation. At the same time he promised to work for accession to the European Union (EU). Prime Minister Greceanii urged voters to turn out at the polls arguing that continued political stalemate and a possible third parliamentary election could push the country to the "brink of default". The Constitution stipulates that Parliament cannot be dissolved twice within one year.

PLDM leader Vlad Filat promised to change the Constitution so as to directly elect the country's president. He pledged to obtain EU associate status by 2012 and to forge a strategic partnership with the United States and Romania. The PLDM rebuked acting President Voronin for signing a 500-million-dollar loan agreement on 22 June with the Russian Federation without publishing the repayment conditions. It argued that if the country failed to pay back the loan it would be obliged to pay a "political price" such as making available a military base for Russian troops or cooperating in the conflict in the breakaway Dniester region. It added that such agreements with the Russian Federation would hamper the country's EU bid. The PCRM vehemently rejected the accusations and underscored that the Government was still negotiating the terms of the loan which would be used exclusively for infrastructure projects.

The PL led by Mr. Mihai Ghimpu promised to work for the country's adhesion to the EU and poverty reduction. It distributed leaflets showing photos of post-election protestors it claimed had been "brutalized by the police". The PCRM accused PL deputy leader Dorin Chirtoaca of active involvement in the post-election violence an allegation that Mr. Chirtoaca vehemently rejected. He is the only opposition member to have been summoned and questioned in that connection.

Under the slogan "The political war must stop!" the PDM called on voters to support peace conciliation and consensus in order to solve the country's economic and social woes. Local media speculated that Mr. Lupu's defection from the PCRM was part of the PCRM's strategy to form a post-election alliance with the PDM and jointly elect the country's new president. Mr. Lupu dismissed the speculation. He also denied forming a coalition with the three opposition parties in the outgoing legislature.

The AMN led by Mr. Serafim Urechean produced its own film in response to the PCRM's Attack on Moldova. It urged voters to oust the PCRM from power under the slogan Let's save the Fatherland from Communists! . It promised to work for accession to the EU while at the same time strengthening cooperation with Romania and Ukraine.

For the first time the country voted on a week day. The caretaker government declared 29 July a public holiday. Opposition parties argued that the PCRM was trying to deprive Moldovans abroad of their right to vote. Deputy Speaker Vladimir Turcan rebutted that polling stations abroad would be open after working hours. In the April poll nearly 17 000 Moldovans had cast their ballots abroad.

The Electoral Commission reviewed the voters' roll ahead of the elections. The new roll comprised an additional 105 223 registered voters. 58.77 per cent of the 2.7 million registered voters turned out at the polls which were monitored by over 300 international observers. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the elections were "well administered allowing for competition of political parties representing a plurality of views". It nevertheless observed that there had been some voter intimidation and unbalanced reporting by the State-controlled media.

The final results gave 48 seats to the PCRM and 18 to the PLDM. The PL the PDM and the AMN took 15 13 and seven seats respectively. 25 women were elected.

After the elections the PLDM the PL the PDM and the AMN announced that they would form a coalition government.

On 28 August the newly elected Parliament held its first session and elected Mr. Mihai Ghimpu (PL) as its new Speaker.

The election by Parliament of the country's President set for 23 October was postponed since there was only one candidate Mr. Marian Lupu whose candidacy was endorsed by the coalition government. On 30 October Parliament passed amendments to allow presidential elections to take place even if there is only one candidate. The article stipulating the dissolution of Parliament after two unsuccessful presidential elections was also modified so that Parliament can not be dissolved within 365 days of the previous dissolution.

On 10 November Parliament failed to elect a new President. The only candidate Mr. Lupu received 53 votes eight short of the required 61. The PCRM boycotted the session. On 1 December Acting President and Speaker Mihai Ghimpu signed a decree establishing a commission to draft a bill amending the Constitution which would stipulate that the President would be elected with 52 votes (50% plus one) instead of the current 61 (three-fifths). However members of the Alliance for European Integration opposed the bill and proposed a constitutional referendum that would provide for direct presidential elections. Consequently the Constitution was not amended. In the second round of presidential elections on 7 December Parliament once again failed to elect Mr. Lupu. Parliament is now due to be dissolved after 16 June 2010 for early parliamentary elections.
Voter turnout
Round no 129 July 2009
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
1'591'757 (58.77%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Party of Moldovan Communists (PCRM) 706'732 44.69
Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) 262'028 16.57
Liberal Party (PL) 232'108 14.68
Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) 198'268 12.54
"Our Moldova" Alliance (AMN) 116'194 7.35
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Party of Moldovan Communists (PCRM) 48
Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) 18
Liberal Party (PL) 15
Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) 13
"Our Moldova" Alliance (AMN) 7
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
21 to 30 years
31 to 40 years
41 to 50 years
51 to 60 years
61 to 70 years
Over 70 years
Distribution of seats according to profession
Legal profession 19
Education profession 16
Architect surveyor engineer 16
Research/sciences 15
Economist 11
Physician dentist 9
Agriculture/farming 5
Political party official 5
Civil service and local authority administration 3
Journalism broadcasting media 2
- Parliament (17.08.2009 17.09.2009 01.01.2010 17.02.2010)
- http://www.cec.md/i-ComisiaCentrala/main.aspx?dbID=DB_REZULTATELE_VOTARII192

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