A plan by Moldova to change the way it conducts elections is “inappropriate”, European rights experts commissioned to study the proposal have concluded, dealing a blow to the ex-Soviet state’s pro-European ruling coalition. The speaker of the Moldovan parliament, an ally of Prime Minister Pavel Filip, said the ruling coalition would take on board some of the technical findings, but took issue with others, saying the experts had overstepped their remit. The prime minister and his allies had been seeking to change the voting system in time for a parliamentary election next year, when his party will be in a tough fight with pro-Moscow rivals, led by President Igor Dodon, who reject closer integration with Europe.
The experts’ opinion was commissioned by the Venice Commission, a body which rules on rights and democracy disputes in Europe and whose decisions member states — which include Moldova — commit to respecting.
… At the moment, Moldova elects its parliament under a proportional representation system. The Democratic Party, to which the prime minister belongs, wants a mixed system, with some lawmakers elected, as now, on party lists, and others running in first-past-the-post constituency races.
Supporters of the change say having legislators represent particular constituencies would enhance the link between parliament and voters. Opponents say it is an attempt to skew the electoral system in favor of the Democratic Party.