Thank you Madam Chair. I would like to thank the esteemed delegation of the Republic of Moldova for updating the Permanent Council on the early parliamentary elections held in their country on 11 July. We congratulate the people of Moldova on the successful conduct of these elections.
We would also like to thank ODIHR for observing these elections and for its statement of preliminary findings and conclusions.
We welcome the findings that the elections were well administered, competitive and that fundamental freedoms were broadly respected. That candidates had ample opportunities to campaign and voters were provided a wide range of alternatives. And that Election day itself was calm, transparent and the process was assessed overwhelmingly positively. We commend those who contributed to achieving this, especially the administrators of polling stations.
However, we regret to note that persistent challenges remain. Decisions regarding the number of polling stations to be established abroad and for voters residing in localities in the Transnistrian region of Moldova raised questions about impartiality of the Central Election Commission. We deplore the use of financial inducements to encourage citizens from the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova to vote, and call on those responsible to desist from this practice. Moreover, the Observer Mission’s preliminary statement also noted that while there has been some progress in addressing previous ODIHR and Venice Commission recommendations, further improvements are needed in particular to the legal framework on the complaints and appeals process and on campaign finance oversight.
We look forward to the valuable recommendations to come in the Election Observation Mission’s final report. We encourage the Government of the Republic of Moldova to implement these and previous OSCE/ODIHR recommendations, in order to make full use of this valuable tool provided by ODIHR to make further improvements to the electoral process.
The UK will continue our close partnership with Moldova, including through support for reforms which reinforce the rule of law and democracy, and promote prosperity. We will also continue to take steps designed to help create conditions conducive to a peaceful and sustainable resolution of the Transdniestrian conflict.
Thank you Chair.