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High civic activism despite pandemic, but issues at polling stations abroad and organized transportation of voters mar presidential runoff

(November 16, 2020)


Former prime minister Maia Sandu wins the presidential election with 57,74%, according to official figures. Source: (AP/ROVELIU BUGA)


Promo-LEX Observation Mission presents the number of incidents on the second-round election day, reported by static observers from the sample of 608 polling stations, and the number of incidents extrapolated nationally. The main findings with regards to opening and closing the polling stations (PSs), the voting process and incidents reported by observers on the election day are presented, as well as an analysis of the outcomes of vote tabulation done by Promo-LEX OM.

A number of 251 incidents were reported after processing all of the reports received from short-term observers (STOs), appointed in the 608 polling stations from the sample.  On the other hand, the estimated number of incidents extrapolated nationally (on the basis of the sample of 608 PSs) is 734, by 489 incidents more compared to the estimates for the first round of election.

It is important to highlight the voters’ civic activism, who showed up to vote even amidst the pandemic in greater numbers than for the 2016 election.  Especially the people who voted in the polling stations abroad stood out. Unfortunately, the civil activism of Diaspora voters was tarnished by the insufficient number of ballot papers in some polling stations.  Though 5000 ballot papers were allocated to each polling station, at least 6 of them ran out of ballot papers before voting end time. In this context, Promo-LEX Association urges authorities and politicians to introduce alternative voting measures.

During the election day, the voting process was organised efficiently in the monitored polling stations. At the same time, Election SAIS was occasionally out of order. The electoral process in the transnistrian region was characterised especially by suspicious of vote buying and organised transportation of voters. The vote secrecy was impacted significantly by the high incidence of people taking pictures of their ballot papers. The observation was affected by isolated cases of Promo-LEX observers intimidation by the Police and electoral officials. Overall, votes were counted in a quick and calm manner.

A full recording of Promo-LEX’s press briefing can be watched with English interpretation below.

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