Constitutional Referendum - Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Constitutional Referendum - Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Constitutional Referendum – Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Mr GHILETCHI (Moldova) – On behalf of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova and the “Alliance for European Integration”, I thank the Assembly’s President, Mr Çavuşoğlu, and the Council’s Secretary General, Mr Jagland, for their great efforts to help all political parties in the Moldovan Parliament to overcome the constitutional and political crisis. I also thank the ad hoc committee led by Mr Vareikis, which had permission to observe the constitutional referendum in Moldova.

The report presented by Mr Vareikis is fair, accurate and impartial. Despite the fact that the constitutional referendum was not valid because of a low turnout – a little over 30% – we believe that it was a good and necessary democratic exercise. The absolute majority of people who participated in the referendum – about 90% – were in favour of amending the constitution, which means that the referendum was a potential solution to the crisis that we are in. I agree with Mrs Durrieu in that regard.

Another positive outcome of the referendum was that the ballot was well organised and took place in a calm and orderly manner, as the ad hoc committee rightly mentioned in its report. It is also worth mentioning that this was the first referendum held in Moldova since 1999 and the first referendum and electoral campaign organised by the government of the “Alliance for European Integration”. The way in which the referendum was administered, including the voting in the 75 precinct election bureaux that were opened abroad, gives us confidence for the early elections that we are going to face at the end of November.

At the same time, the referendum has provided a series of good but hard lessons for all parties, especially those four parties that are members of the “Alliance for European Integration”. One of those lessons is the inaccuracies of voters’ rolls. Another is the lack of effective co-ordination and communication between different political forces who share the same values. We believe that these hard lessons will be taken into consideration during the early parliamentary election campaign in November.

We regret that the Communist Party decided to boycott the referendum and agree with the conclusion of the ad hoc committee “that while boycotting the referendum may be regarded as the choice of a given political force for expressing its disagreement with the referendum, that choice nevertheless commits the responsibility of the political forces which have discouraged their electorate from exercising its right to vote.” I am glad to see our former president in the Assembly. I would like to remind the Assembly that Mr Voronin is here due to the vote in the “Alliance for European Integration”, which is proof of an authentic democracy in Moldova. I also remind you that the Communist Party has in the past refused to include the leader of the opposition in its Parliamentary Assembly and Council of Europe delegation.

I would like to conclude with a statement by Søren Kierkegaard, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” After 20 years of independence, Moldova is still struggling to become a free and democratic nation. It has been a painful and difficult process for us during all these years. Although our democracy is in some regards still in painful birth, we believe that we are closer to the European and democratic values than ever before. That is why in our efforts to join the EU we are counting on the continued support of the Council of Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly.