OSCE notes interference from abroad in Moldova local elections – Reuters

The Organization for Security and Co-Operation In Europe (OSCE) said on Monday local elections in Moldova on Sunday were managed efficiently though interference from abroad and suspension of candidates of the Chance opposition party had a negative impact.

Ahead of the elections, Moldova's President Maia Sandu accused Russia of "buying" voters by funnelling $5 million over two months to "criminal groups" led by fugitive oligarch Ilan Shor, whom authorities see as a proxy for Moscow.

The Chance party, linked to Shor, was barred on security grounds two days before the vote. In its preliminary report, OSCE said this decision "lacked effective legal remedy, limited voters’ choice, and resulted in uncontested races in some smaller localities".

It added that this contradicted OSCE commitments and international standards.

"In general, the influx of illicit and foreign funds and the monetary incentives used to influence voters’ choice distorted the campaign," it said in the report.

This article first appeared on Reuters.

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