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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) 28 November 2010
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament following the premature dissolution of this body on 29 September 2010. Elections had previously taken place on in July 2009.
In November 2010, Moldovans went to the polls for the third time since April 2009. At stake were 101 seats in the unicameral parliament, which elects the country's President.

In the April 2009 elections, the Party of Moldovan Communists (PCRM) of the then President Vladimir Voronin won 60 seats in the 101-member parliament. In June, its presidential candidate and then Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii failed three times to secure the three-fifths majority (61 votes) in parliament that is required to be elected as the country's president. As a consequence, in accordance with the Constitution, parliament was dissolved on 15 June in view of early elections to be held in July 2009. In the meantime, on 10 June, former Speaker, Mr. Marian Lupu, resigned from the PCRM and joined the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM).

In the July 2009 elections, the PCRM came in first with 48 seats. The four other parties which won the remaining 53 seats announced that they would form a coalition government called the Alliance for European Integration (AEI). They were: the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM, 18 seats), the Liberal Party (PL, 15 seats), the PDM (13 seats) and the "Our Moldova" Alliance (AMN, seven seats). In August, Mr. Mihai Ghimpu (PL) was elected as the new Speaker. In September, the Constitutional Court confirmed him as Acting President, and he in turn appointed Mr. Vlad Filat (PLDM) as Prime Minister.

The presidential election in parliament set for 23 October 2009 was postponed since there was only one candidate, Mr. Lupu (PDM). His candidature was endorsed by the coalition government. On 30 October 2009, parliament passed constitutional amendments to allow presidential elections to take place even in cases where there is only one candidate. The article requiring the dissolution of parliament after two unsuccessful presidential elections was also modified. Henceforth, Parliament can not be dissolved within 365 days of the previous dissolution (15 June 2009).

After an unsuccessful presidential election in November 2009, Acting President and Speaker Mihai Ghimpu established a commission on 1 December 2009 to draft a bill amending the Constitution, which would stipulate that the President could be elected with 52 votes (50% plus one) instead of the current 61 (three-fifths). AEI members 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.

On 6 July 2010, the Constitutional Court approved the holding of a constitutional referendum to review Article 78 of the Constitution in order to allow direct presidential elections (see note 1). The following day, parliament adopted a resolution to hold the referendum on 5 September. Former president and PCRM leader Vladimir Voronin called for a boycott of the referendum.

On 5 September, although 87.8 per cent of voters supported the constitutional referendum, turnout did not reach the required 33 per cent (1/3 of the registered voters) to validate it: only 29.05 per cent of the 2.6 million registered voters turned out.

Acting President and Speaker Ghimpu subsequently asked the Constitutional Court to confirm the procedure for dissolving parliament. On 21 September, the Constitutional Court ruled that a failure to elect a president in two subsequent elections provides sufficient grounds for the dissolution of parliament, and thus parliament must be dissolved and a date for an early parliamentary election set. On 29 September, Mr. Ghimpu dissolved the parliament, calling fresh parliamentary elections for 28 November. All parliamentary parties, including the PCRM, welcomed the early elections while the ANM argued that the elections should be held much later.

The unsuccessful 2010 referendum revived differences within the AEI coalition. On 15 September, Mr. Lupu signed a political partnership in Moscow between his PDM and the United Russia, the party of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Mr. Lupu reportedly did so without informing his partners in the AEI.

On 23 September, prosecutors asked parliament to lift former president Voronin's immunity. They held that while he was in office, his negligence had led to the death of a protester and police brutality during the street protests against his government following the April 2009 elections. On 11 October, the parliament rejected the request for lack of evidence. Mr. Voronin consequently led the PCRM in the 2010 elections.

The new electoral code passed by parliament on 19 June 2010 allows multi-party electoral blocs to participate in the polls. However, they need to surpass a higher threshold to win parliamentary representation: 7 per cent for electoral blocs comprising two parties, and 9 per cent for those with three or more parties. In comparison, a political party needs 4 per cent (down from 5%) and independent candidates need 2 per cent (down from 3%). The new seat distribution method replaces the previous d'Hondt system, which generally favours large parties (see note 2). Persons in detention (including convicts) are allowed to vote. Students can also vote without a residence permit or visa in the area where they study. The PCRM criticized the new electoral code.

In all, 20 parties and 19 independent candidates contested the 2010 elections. No electoral blocs ran. The major contenders included Mr. Voronin's PCRM and the three parties in the AEI: Prime Minister Filat's PLDM, former Speaker Lupu's PDM and Acting President Ghimpu's LP. The remaining party in the outgoing coalition, Mr. Serafim Urechean's AMN, was reportedly losing ground.

The PCRM promised to make State universities free of charge by 2015. It accused the AEI coalition of massive fraud in 2010, an accusation denied by the AEI.

Speaker and Acting President Ghimpu urged voters to support the parties in the AEI coalition in order to allow the country to elect a new President. The AMN wooed voters by promising a democratic coalition government after the 2010 polls.

PDM leader Lupu publicly criticized Prime Minister Filat, arguing that the latter had focused on personal success rather than good governance. Mr. Lupu pledged to implement more "leftist" economic policies so as to resolve social problems.

Prime Minister Filat (PLDM) dismissed the allegation and accused Mr. Lupu - a former PCRM member - of being unable to break up with the PCRM. The PLDM launched a campaign entitled "Commitment to Youth", promising to improve the life of the youth through more jobs, quality education and easier movement within the European Union. The PLDM's youth wing launched a campaign called "The truth about poverty". It included a film entitled "8 years of lies", which criticized the previous PCRM Government. Prime Minister Filat rejected any future cooperation with the PCRM after the 2010 elections.

In all, 63.37 per cent of the 2.7 million registered voters turned out at the polls.

The PCRM pointed out instances of multiple voting, intimidation and voter bribery. Observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said the election had met most OSCE and Council of Europe commitments.

According to the final results, neither the PCRM nor the AEI coalition won the required two-thirds majority to elect the new President (61 of the 101 seats). The PCRM remained the largest party but its share of seats shrank from 48 to 42. In contrast, the PLDM more than doubled its share, from 14 to 32. The PDM followed with 15 seats, up from 12; and the LP took the remaining 12 seats, down from 15. The AMN failed to win seats. In all, 19 women were elected.

On 30 December, the newly elected parliament held its first session and elected Mr. Marian Lupu (PDM) as its new Speaker and appointed him as Acting President.

Note 1:
Under the proposed amendments, presidential candidates need to secure 50 per cent of votes to be elected in the first round. In run-off elections, the candidates with the highest number of votes are declared elected. Presidential candidates have to be over 40 years old and resident in the Republic of Moldova for at least 10 years preceding the election.

Note 2:
The country introduced the d'Hondt method in 1994 under which the votes of parties that fail to surpass the threshold are distributed proportionately based on each party's tally (i.e., the party with higher number of votes in the rest of the tally received a higher portion of the votes, and consequently more seats). The parties in the AEI coalition - in particular the LP and the AMN - argued that the d'Hondt method ran counter to Article 38 (1) of the Constitution, which stipulates that every vote is equal. The coalition subsequently reviewed the method of seat distribution in the electoral code. Article 87 (5) of the new Electoral Code (Law No. 119, June 18, 2010) provides that "MPs' mandates remaining undistributed shall be distributed sequentially, each by one party, other socio-political organization, each electoral bloc, starting with the electoral candidate who obtained the largest number of votes in descending order."
Voter turnout
Round no 128 November 2010
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
1'733'051 (63.37%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Party of Moldovan Communists (PCRM) 676'761 39.32
Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) 506'365 29.42
Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) 218'847 12.72
Liberal Party (PL) 171'434 9.96
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Party of Moldovan Communists (PCRM) 42 -6
Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) 32 14
Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) 15 2
Liberal Party (PL) 12 -3
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
Distribution of seats according to profession
Legal profession 20
Research/sciences 15
Economist 12
Architect, surveyor, engineer 10
Education profession 10
Civil service and local authority administration 10
Entrepreneur 5
Civil society activity 4
Physician, dentist 4
Journalism, broadcasting, media 3
Finance, management or business 2
Agriculture/farming 2
Writer, literary, artist 2
Nursing 1
IT/technology 1
Central Electoral Commission (20.12.2010)
IPU Group (17.12.2010, 10.01.2011, 17.03.2011, 01.01.2014)
BBC Monitoring
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights

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