Transnistria and Gagauzia


20 march, 2019

The decision to put off the gubernatorial election in the southern Moldovan autonomous region of Gagauzia until June 30 from the initial May 19 is but an attempt to grant a respite to the exhausted team of ex-Democrat Nikolai Dudoglo, believes political analyst Sergey Manastirli.

Commenting on the election postponement decision, he stated to Infotag that it was a decision taken by the Democratic majority in the Gagauzia Popular Assembly [regional legislature].

"This past February 24, the Dudoglo team lost the Moldovan parliamentary election in the single-member constituency here [by receiving only 27% ballots against 65% won by a Socialist]. That was Dudoglo's third electoral defeat in succession - after he had lost the Gagauzia gubernatorial election in 2015 and the Comrat mayoral election later in the same year", said the analyst.

"So, Dudoglo and his team need time to recover from the recent defeat and to get prepared for a new campaign - the gubernatorial election of mid-2019. That is precisely why his supporters in the Gagauzia Popular Assembly have in fact extended the plenary powers of incumbent Bashkan [governor] Irina Vlah until summer. But the election date postponement is nothing more than a smokescreen distracting the public attention from a more important nuance: on Monday, the GPA Democrats railroaded a legal instrument so vitally important for them: they compelled the Gagauzia Central Election Commission to work by using the all-republican voter registers - the ones that were prepared for the February 24 parliamentary election", explained Sergey Manastirli.

He further held saying that until now, the Gagauzia CEC used to work with its own Gagauzia voter rolls.

"Now the Democrats in Chisinau and in Comrat may try and organize an electoral victory for the "eternally second" Dudoglo - thanks to the manipulations with the said voter lists ahead of the elections", presumes the expert.

Gagauzia Popular Assembly Speaker Vladimir Kyssa stated at a news conference on Tuesday that according to the law the Monday's amendments must be necessarily signed by the Gagauzia Bashkan - without fail.

"In conditions when election bodies were supposed to start tomorrow, on March 20, the registration of candidates for the Gagauzia Bashkan post, the Popular Assembly decided to put off the elections. That decision gave the Bashkan extra time for scrutinizing the said amendments to the Election Code and for signing them", said the Speaker.

Kyssa stressed that Irina Vlah was present at the Monday's GPA session and was offered to sign the amendments, but she refused to sign them in the wording proposed by the majority.

On Tuesday, Moldova President Igor Dodon received Gagauzia governor Irina Vlah who informed the head of state about the situation developing in the autonomy.

The head of state wrote on his Facebook page afterwards: "Only one day before the official start of the Bashkan election campaign, the regional legislation cancelled the election holding on May 19", and expressed concern about a possible destabilization of situation in Gagauzia.

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