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International monitors highlight shortcomings of local elections

According to a June 18 OSCE statement, the conduct of the second round of polling was "slightly" better than the first, but "serious shortcomings remained.". The OSCE said its monitors found that "key problems identified during the pre-electoral period persisted, particularly media bias and intimidation of candidates" and that the Moldovan authorities "failed to take remedial action prior to the second round." Election monitors found that the standard of the administration of the elections varied considerably from polling station to polling station. The June 17 polls included reruns of elections in nine areas where the results of the first round were declared invalid or null.

The Council of Europe, which contributed to the international monitoring effort, said in a statement that, as in the first round, it heard "allegations of pressure on, and intimidation of, candidates and voters." It criticized the Central Election Committee (CEC) for delaying publication of the first-round results, for releasing incomplete data, and for failing to take adequate steps to clarify inaccuracies and to iron out "inconsistent practices." It also found that the state media continued to provide the ruling Communist Party with undue coverage, and criticized negative campaigning in Chisinau. The council concluded, though, that the actual vote was "slightly more positive" than the first round.

The biggest problems were in Corjova, a village on the left bank of the river Dniester, where separatist militia prevented villagers from voting.