Maia Sandu Promulgates Amendments Banning “Șor” Elections’ Candidates

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Moldovan President Maia Sandu promulgated amendments to the Electoral Code, adopted by the Parliament the day before, that essentially ban many candidates from the “Șor” party, declared unconstitutional, from running in local elections on 5 November. In particular, the amendments establish individual criteria for those ineligible to participate in the 5 November local elections and the possibility to challenge these administrative decisions before the Appeals Chamber. The Electoral Code was supplemented by provisions bringing it into line with the Constitutional Court considerations. In particular, persons who have the status of defendants, suspects or accused of crimes, indicated by the court as a reason for declaring the party unconstitutional; directly carried out the actions that gave rise to the Constitutional Court’s decision to declare the party unconstitutional; were disqualified from participating in previous elections as a result of the legal financing principle violation committed intentionally, or come under international sanctions, mentioned in the Court’s decision, will be banned from the elections of 5 November 2023. The document was drafted by the Action and Solidarity party’s group of deputies and refers to the provisions on the exclusion from participation in election campaigns of persons who, at the time when the Constitutional Court ruled that a political party was unconstitutional, were members of the executive body or held elected office on behalf of the party declared unconstitutional. Thus, in the context of the views expressed by the Constitutional Court, the draft authors proposed to modify the Election Code to clearly establish who are the persons not allowed to participate in elections. The law supplementing the Election Code also provides for an effective judicial remedy - the possibility to appeal administrative decisions applying restrictions in the Chisinau Court of Appeal. The law comes into force after its publication in the Official Monitor. It is noteworthy that Maia Sandu signed the decree promulgating the adopted amendments while abroad.