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OSCE urges Chisinau and Tiraspol to talk to ensure that voters in disputed area can participate in elections

CHISINAU, 2 April 2009 - The central authorities in Chisinau and the regional authorities in Tiraspol must hold talks to find an understanding that enables Moldovan citizens in Corjova to exercise  their right to vote, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office’s Special Co-ordinator, Petros Efthymiou, and the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Philip Remler, said today.

“We continue to urge both sides to find a mutual understanding to allow voters from Corjova to exercise freely their right to vote in the Moldovan Parliamentary Elections this Sunday,” Efthymiou and Remler said in a joint statement in Chisinau. “We urge them to avoid incidents that can also have consequences beyond the election process.”

Jurisdiction over Corjova is disputed between the central authorities in Chisinau and regional authorities in Tiraspol. During the 2005 parliamentary elections, voting took place in Corjova, following an understanding between the central authorities in Chisinau and regional authorities. However,

Transdniestrian authorities blocked attempts to carry out mobile voting for home-bound voters.

During the 2007 local elections in Corjova, Transdniestrian law enforcement bodies prevented voters from entering the polling station. When the central authorities attempted to organize repeat elections, the Transdniestrians closed down the polling station by force.

“We are in direct contact with the sides. We have urged them to meet and discuss the issue, and we have offered to facilitate meetings. We strongly believe that a solution can be found, as the 2005 experience proves,” Efthymiou and Remler said.

The OSCE Mission to Moldova is prepared to monitor if an agreement is reached, Remler said.

“However, monitoring does not guarantee security. It is the responsibility of both sides to take mutual steps to ensure there are no incidents,” Remler and Efthymiou concluded.  “These can only result from direct discussions. We are concerned that no talks have taken place.”

tags: OSCE | Corjovo | vote

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