A proposal to change to a mixed electoral system in Moldova would entrench corruption and harm the young democracy. EU and other Western governments should use their economic clout to stop it. If free and fair elections were held in Moldova today, the current ruling Democratic Party would win about 4 per cent of the vote. Under the country’s current proportional representation system, this would not secure them any seats in parliament.
But if they cannot secure a parliamentary presence through popularity, the party seems intent on securing it through technicality. They are proposing an electoral change to a ‘mixed system’ that would secure up to 40 seats out of 101.
The party claims the new system, introducing elements of first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting, will ‘bring policy-makers closer to their constituents’. But the experience of other struggling democracies in Moldova’s neighbourhood, where clientelism and corruption also thrive, shows that such a system in fact inhibits political pluralism and cements corrupt networks of power.