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Moldovan local elections: international and national observers speak of shortcomings

International observers said on June 4 that the local elections offered Moldovan voters "a genuine choice" and that the vote was "generally well-administered," but also concluded that "other aspects of the electoral process fell short of some international commitments on democratic elections."

In a statement issued on June 4, the Council of Europe said that intimidation of some candidates was one of the major shortcomings. Officials from the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities were among the 200 international monitors; others came from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), part of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Dieter Boden, who headed the ODIHR mission, said "there were a number of cases throughout the country where candidates faced pressure or dismissal or suspension from their jobs as a result of their political activities."

A team of local observers, the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, noted additional failings, such as campaigning on election day, voting without identification documents, and bias in electoral commissions. It concluded that the elections were neither free nor fair.

In additional comments reported by the news agency IPN, Mihai Godea, the head of the Civic Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, said there were more violations in these elections than in the parliamentary elections in 2005.