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LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
ON THE ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

According to the provisions of Articles 78-79 and 2 of the Final and Transition Provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, the Parliament adopts this Law:

CHAPTER I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. The fundamental principles of the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) The President of the Republic of Moldova shall be elected by the citizens of the Republic of Moldova by a universal, equal, direct, secret and freely expressed vote.

(2) Only a citizen of the Republic of Moldova who, by the day of the election, has reached the age of 35, has lived on the territory of the republic for no less than 10 years, speaks the state language and, in accordance with this Law, is nominated as a candidate for the President of the Republic of Moldova — may be elected President of the Republic of Moldova.

(3) This Law provides for the method of nominating a candidate and the method of campaigning for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(4) A candidate shall be declared elected if he gains at least half the votes of those who participated in the election.

(5) In the event that none of the candidates obtain at least half the votes of those who participated in the elections, a run off shall be held between the two candidates receiving the most votes in the first round. The ballot order shall be arranged by the number of votes received in the first round.

(6) The candidate who receives more votes in the second round is elected if the number of votes received is larger than the number of votes against this candidate.

(7) The date of the election as well as the date of the second round shall be established by this Law. The results of the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be confirmed by the Constitutional Court.

(8) Within 45 days of the election the candidate whose election has been validated by the Constitutional Court in the method established by this Law shall take the oath in the presence of Parliament and the Constitutional Court in accordance with the text provided in Article 79 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova and Article 34 (1) of this Law. The term of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be for 4 years and shall be exercised starting the day of taking the oath. The President of the Republic of Moldova shall exercise his mandate until the newly elected President takes the oath.

(9) The term of the President of the Republic of Moldova may be extended in the event of war or calamity in the method established by the Law on the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(10) The same person may not hold the office of the President of the Republic of Moldova for more than two consecutive terms.

Article 2. Principles for conducting the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) The election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be carried out by universal voting. Citizens of the Republic of Moldova who, by the day of the election includingly, have reached the age of 18, have the right to participate in the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(2) Citizens of the Republic of Moldova shall fully enjoy their voting rights irrespective of their race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, gender, opinion, political affiliation, property or social origin. Any limitation of the right of citizens to participate in the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova based on the above mentioned criteria is prohibited.

(3) Citizens who are mentally ill, declared by the court to be incompetent, as well as individuals sentenced to incarceration based on a judicial decision, or those who may not participate in the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(4) Citizens who have not reached the age of 35 by the date of the election, those who have lived in the republic for less than 10 years, those who do not know the state language, as well as those who are mentally ill and declared incompetent by the court, individuals sentenced to incarceration based on a judicial decision do not qualify as candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(5) The election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be carried out by equal voting. Each citizen who participates in the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova has one vote.

(6) The election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be carried out by direct voting. The President of the Republic of Moldova shall be elected directly by the people of the Republic of Moldova.

(7) The election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be carried out by secret voting. Influence on the will of the voters by methods that contradict the law and the control over the expression of their will is prohibited.

(8) The election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be carried out by freely expressed voting. Citizens of the Republic of Moldova shall decide on their own whether or not to participate in the election and for whom to vote.

(9) A citizen has the right to vote in only one precinct.

(10) During the election campaign, the state shall guarantee equal rights to all candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

Article 3. Electioneering during the preparation and holding of the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) The election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be organized and conducted openly and publicly.

(2) The state guarantees the citizens of the republic the right to campaign for or against any candidate for the President of the Republic of Moldova. On the day of the election electioneering in any form is prohibited. All decisions of local public administrations regarding the preparation and holding of the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be published in the method established by current laws within 2 days of their adoption.

(3) No later than 2 days after their formation, the electoral commissions shall promptly inform the population of their composition, the location of their offices and the working hours of the polling places .

(4) Higher level electoral commission representatives, representatives of parties and other social-political organizations, trustees of the candidates for the President of the Republic of Moldova, as well as observers from abroad and international organizations shall have the right to attend the electoral commission meetings, the voting, the tallying of the votes at polling stations, as well as the determination of the election results. Internal observers may be any individuals nominated by the leaders of public organizations dealing with human rights which register in the established method by the date the elections are determined and confirmed by the Central Electoral Commission. Credentials of the persons mentioned above shall be confirmed by documents established by current laws. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall invite international observers as well as representatives from international organizations and shall arrange their accreditation.

(5) The mass media shall report on the course of the preparation and holding of the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova. Access to election-related meetings by members of the media shall be guaranteed in the method established by the Law on Media and this Law.

(6) Interference with the electoral commission activity by persons who, under this article, have access to electoral commission operations, is prohibited.

Article 4. The right to nominate candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

Candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be nominated by parties and social-political organizations officially registered prior to the date of the election is determined as described in this Law, and by electoral blocs which shall be organized and registered under current laws. Independent candidates shall be eligible to put forward their candidacy under the provisions of this Law. Nomination of candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be implemented under the terms provided in this Law.

Article 5. Financing the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) Expenses connected with the preparation and holding of the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be borne by the state.

(2) The amount of these expenses shall be established by Parliament within the limits of the provisions of the Law on the state budget for the year when the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova is determined and held. The proposals on the actual amount of expenses shall be determined by the Central Electoral Commission and submitted to the Government. The Government shall examine them and then present them to Parliament for confirmation. Within 45 days of the election the Central Electoral Commission shall submit to Parliament a report on the management of the allotted sum along with the statement of the Court of Accounts.

(3) The method of distribution and spending of funds, as well as of publication of the final expense report, shall be established by the Central Electoral Commission under the conditions provided for by this Law. Public authorities, enterprises, institutions and organizations shall make office space and equipment necessary for the election available for use by the electoral commissions.

(4) State mass media shall publish the materials presented by the electoral commission, electoral programs of the candidates for the President of the Republic of Moldova and other materials free of charge.

(5) Direct or indirect funding and material support in any form of the electoral campaign of the candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova by foreign countries and international enterprises, institutions, organizations, including banks, is prohibited, as is funding by individuals who are not citizens of the Republic of Moldova.

(6) Direct or indirect financing and material support in any form of the electoral campaign of the candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova by enterprises, institutions and organizations, including banks, of the Republic of Moldova, as well as by individuals, citizens of the Republic of Moldova, shall be done only after the announcement in local media about these sources and after the candidate for the position of the President of Moldova has filed a copy of the sources with the Central Electoral Commission.

(7) Within 5 days of registration, a candidate/or the position of the President shall open an account at the Bank of Savings which will be specified as "Electoral Account." The candidate shall transfer his own money and funds granted by organizations, local commercial and private enterprises and Moldovan citizens to this account. These funds shall be transferred to the account with the candidate's preliminary consent.

(8) The Bank of Savings will notify the Central Electoral Commission of funds transferred to the candidate's account within 24 hours of the day of the transfer.

(9) In the event that the candidate has transferred undeclared funds from abroad or has used such funds, the Central Electoral Commission shall ask the Supreme Court to suspend the registration of the candidate. The appeal will be examined within 5 days and immediately on election day.

(10) To check the sources of income, the correctness of the record and the spending of funds by candidates, the Central Electoral Commission may turn to the Court of Accounts or the Fiscal Inspector and ask them to review these documents.

Article 6. Penalties for illegal activity involving the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) Individuals who, by violence, fraud, threat or other actions violating the law, hinder the free exercise of the right of citizens of Moldova to elect and be elected as President of the Republic of Moldova and hold a pre-election campaign; and members of electoral commissions and other official persons who falsify electoral documents, have deliberately tallied votes incorrectly, have disclosed the voting secret, or have committed other violations of this Law shall bear penal, administrative, civil or disciplinary responsibility in accordance with current laws.

(2) Individuals who have published or broadcast by other means, false information about candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall bear penal, administrative, civil or disciplinary responsibility in accordance with current laws.

(3) If a candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova violates the provisions of this Law, his registration shall be suspended in the method established by Article 5 (9) and, in other cases, the candidate shall bear the punishment according to current laws.

(4) Any person who prevents either directly or indirectly the collection of signatures of candidate supporters performed according to this Law, shall bear the punishment in accordance with current laws.

(5) Representatives from the local public administration authorities who directly or indirectly refuse to certify the petitions or delay their certification, shall bear the punishment in accordance with current laws.

CHAPTER II.

ORGANIZING AND HOLDING THE ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA.

Article 7. Determining the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) The election of the President of the Republic of Moldova is held on the third Sunday of the month of November of the year preceding the year when the term of the mandate of the President of the Republic of Moldova expires.

(2) The election of the President of the Republic of Moldova (organization of the first and second rounds of the election) is announced by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova by a resolution no later than three months before the day of the first round of the election.

(3) If none of the candidates gain at least half of the votes of the voters who participated in the elections, on the first Sunday of the month of December of the year preceding the year when the mandate of the incumbent President of the Republic of Moldova expires, the second round shall be held between the 2 candidates who received the most votes in the first round. The ballot order shall be determined by the number of votes received in the first round.

(4) In the event that the President of the Republic of Moldova is elected in the first round of the election, the Constitutional Court shall confirm the results of the election on the last Saturday of the month of November of the year preceding the year when the mandate of the incumbent President of the Republic of Moldova expires.

(5) If the President of the Republic of Moldova is elected in the second round of elections, the Constitutional Court shall confirm the results of the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova on the third Saturday of the month of December of the year preceding the year when the term of the incumbent President of the Republic of Moldova expires.

(6) The candidate whose election for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova has been confirmed by the Constitutional Court shall take the oath in the presence of Parliament and the Constitutional Court on the day when the term of the incumbent President of the Republic of Moldova expires.

(7) In the event of resignation, dismissal, definite incapability to exercise his authorities, or death of the President of the Republic of Moldova, or if the results of the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova have not been confirmed, within 3 months of the day when such a vacancy of the President of the Republic of Moldova occurs, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and current laws, shall determine the day of a repeat election of the President of the Republic of Moldova (the date of organizing the first and second round of the election, the date of confirmation of the results of the election and the date of taking the oath by the candidate who will be confirmed by the Constitutional Court).

Article 8. Electoral Commissions for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) In order to organize and hold the election for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova the following commissions are formed:

a) A Central Electoral Commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova;

b) District electoral commissions (of municipalities, autonomous territories with special status, and regions) for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova;

c) Precinct electoral commissions for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(2 Authority of District and Precinct Electoral Commissions expires on the day of confirmation by the Constitutional Court of election results. Authority of Central Electoral Commission expires upon taking the oath by the candidate elected President of Moldova.

Article 9. Formation of the Central Electoral Commission.

(1) The Central Electoral Commission is formed by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova no later than 90 days before the determined day of the election and shall have the following composition:

a) 3 members from the Supreme Court of Justice;

b) 3 prosecutors from the General Prosecutor's Office;

c) 3 representatives from the Supreme Council of Magistracy;

d) one representative entitled to a consultative vote from each candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova, registered in accordance with this Law.

(2) The aforementioned 3 members of the Supreme Court of Justice shall be elected at a Plenum of the Supreme Court of Justice from among the members of the Supreme Court of Justice. The results of the voting are entered in a record which shall be signed by the Chairperson of the Supreme Court of Justice. The Chairperson of the Supreme Court of Justice shall announce the date of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of Justice through the mass media no later than 48 hours before the session.

(3) No later than the day of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of Justice, the Collegium of the General Prosecutor's Office and the Supreme Council of Magistracy shall nominate to the Central Electoral Commission by resolutions 3 Prosecutors from the General Prosecutor's Office and 3 representatives from the Supreme Council of Magistracy.

(4) Within 3 days of the date of the public session of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of Justice, the composition of the Central Electoral Commission shall be confirmed by a vote of Parliament.

(5) Within 3 days of the date of the confirmation by the Parliament of the composition of the Central Electoral Commission, the members of the commission shall elect by secret vote a commission chairperson, vice-chairperson and a commission secretary from among themselves. The persons who shall receive the majority of commission member votes shall be considered elected to these positions. The results of the voting shall be entered in the record which shall be signed by all voting participants.

(6) If the candidate for the position of the chairman, vice chairman or secretary of the commission has not gained the majority of votes, another round of elections shall be organized in which the members that had been nominated for the same position in the previous round may participate.

(7) The Central Electoral Commission has the right to exercise its full authority even when not all representatives of candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova have been appointed to the commission.

(8) Within 2 days of the date of confirmation, the Central Electoral Commission shall make its list of members, the location of its office and the way of contacting it public.

(9) The Central Electoral Commission shall adopt resolutions by a vote of the majority of members who have been confirmed by the date when the decision is adopted.

(10) A candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova registered in accordance with this Law must appoint a representative to the Central Electoral Commission within 3 days of the registration date; approval shall be confirmed by a vote of the Commission.

(11) The staff of the Central Electoral Commission shall be approved by the Government.

Article 10. Responsibilities of the Central Electoral Commission.

The Central Electoral Commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova has the following responsibilities:

a) overseeing the implementation of this Law;

b) conducting the activity of district electoral commissions;

c) distributing funds allotted for holding the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova; overseeing the provision of electoral commissions with offices, transportation and telecommunication; and consideration of other issues of technical and material support for the election;

d) establishing the form of the ballots and voter rolls, the records of the meetings of the electoral commissions and other documents for holding the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova; designing the voting boxes and stamps of the electoral commissions;

e) considering the communications of state and public bodies on issues of preparation and holding of the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova;

f) solving issues regarding participation in the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova of those citizens of the Republic of Moldova who are outside of the Republic of Moldova at the time of voting;

g) registering candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova and their trustees, and issuing corresponding documents;

h) summing up the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova and writing the report on the results of the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova for the Constitutional Court.

i) solving issues regarding the organization and holding of the second round of the election, and of the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova in case of a vacancy of the position;

j) considering statements and complaints regarding decisions and actions of district and precinct electoral commissions and decision-making regarding them. Decisions of the Central Electoral Commission made according to this Law may be appealed to the Supreme Court of Justice no later than 5 days of the day of adoption of the decision or of receiving the answer from the Central Electoral Commission.

Article 11. Formation of the district electoral commissions.

(1) District electoral commissions shall be formed by decisions of the respective local authorities of local public administration in municipalities and regions within five days of the determination of elections.

(2) In regions where the regional law-court is operating with up to 4 judges at the date of formation of the district electoral commission, a commission shall be formed consisting of 1 judge from the regional law-court, 2 representatives of the regional Prosecutor's office, 3 representatives of the regional council and one representative of each candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova, registered in accordance with this Law.

(3) In regions where the regional law-court is operating with 5 or more judges at the date of formation of the district electoral commission, a commission shall be formed consisting of 2 judges from the regional law-court, 2 representatives of the regional Prosecutor's office, 2 representatives of the regional council and one representative of each candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova, registered in accordance with this Law.

(4) In municipalities that are not divided into sectors, the district electoral commission shall be formed of 2 judges of the municipal law-court, 2 representatives of the municipal Prosecutor's office, 2 representatives of the municipal council and one representative of each candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova, registered in accordance with this Law.

(5) In municipalities that are divided into sectors, the district electoral commission shall be formed consisting of 3 judges from the municipal law-court, 3 representatives of the municipal and district Prosecutor's office and one representative of each candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova, registered in accordance with this Law.

(6) The names of judicial members selected for the district electoral commission shall be established by the regional, municipal and district law-court meetings no later than 48 hours before the date of the commission's formation.

(7) The candidacies of the Prosecutor's office members for the district electoral commission shall be nominated by meetings of the corresponding Prosecutor's office members no later than 48 hours before the date of the commission's formation.

(8) Before the commission can be formed the names of regional and municipal council representatives selected for the district electoral commission shall be established by the decisions of appropriate councils according to the laws on local public administration.

The representatives of district and town councils in the district electoral commissions may not be councilors, affiliated with any party or social-political organization or be related by blood or by law to candidates.

(9) The district electoral commissions, within 3 days of final formation, shall elect by a secret vote from among its members a chairperson, vice-chairperson and a secretary, in the method set forth in Art. 9 (5), (6). The Central Electoral Commission shall be promptly notified of the results of these elections.

(10) Within 2 days of the date of its formation, the district electoral commission shall make its list of members, the location of its office, and the way of contacting it public.

(11) Candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova have the right to appoint, within 5 days of the date of their registration, 1 representative to the district electoral commission, who 'shall be confirmed by a commission decision and who shall participate in its work with a right of consultative vote.

(12) The district electoral commission adopts decisions by the majority vote of its members confirmed by the date of its approval.

(13) The composition of the district electoral commission is determined by a vote of the commission, and is to be made public within 3 days of the date of its approval.

(14) The staff which shall assist the district electoral commission is to be approved by the Central Electoral Commission.

Article 12. Authority of the district electoral commission.

The district electoral commission has the following authority:

a) overseeing the execution of this Law;

b) conducting the activity of precinct electoral commissions;

c) distributing the allotted financial funds among the precinct electoral commissions;

d) examining communications of local public administrative bodies and directors of entities regarding the preparation and implementation of the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova;

e) exercising control over timely posting of the voter rolls and making them public;

f) ensuring supply of forms for voters lists, protocols and electoral ballots to precinct commissions;

g) summing up the election, submitting respective documents to the Central Electoral Commission, and publishing its results in the local press;

h) considering statements and complaints made about decisions and actions of precinct electoral commissions, and making decisions regarding them;

i) exercising other authority in keeping with this Law.

Article 13. Establishment of precincts and precinct electoral commissions.

(1) To conduct the voting and count the votes, the electoral constituencies will be divided into precincts.

(2) The precincts will be established by district electoral commissions on administrative and

territorial principles based on the recommendation of the mayors of villages (communes) and towns (cities) no later than 30 days before elections. Each precinct will have no less than 3,000 voters.

(3) Precincts may be established at hospitals, san-atoriums, maternities, asylums for elderly and dormitories. They must have at least 30 voters.

(4) Those in the military will vote at the general precincts where the military units are located.

(5) Precincts will be formed at Moldovan diplomatic and consular missions for the workers of these representatives and the members of their families, as well as for the Moldovan citizens traveling to these countries, regardless of their number. These precincts shall belong to the Chisinau Electoral Constituency.

(6) The district commission shall number its precincts and provide information about the decisions of each precinct commission, their address, the place where the polling station will be located and a telephone number for additional information.

(7) The precincts will be numbered in alphabetical order in the locality where the district commission is situated and continue with the ones in towns, villages and communes.

(8) The municipal government will provide data, information and the necessary assistance to precinct commissions to ensure a proper fulfillment by the latter of their duties stipulated in this Law.

(9) The precinct commissions will be formed no later than 20 days before the election with the following membership: a chairman, a vice chairman, a secretary and 5 members.

(10) The chairmen of precinct commissions, at the proposal of villages, communes, towns, city councils (or the mayor in the event the council has not been established), shall be confirmed by the district commission within 5 days of the day of the formation of the precinct.

(11) The members of the precinct electoral commissions will be appointed by a vote of the village, commune, town, city council (or the mayor in the event the council has not been established), within 10 days of the formation of the precinct.

(12) The precinct electoral commission will elect, within 3 days of its formation, a vice chairman and a secretary of the commission from among its members and will immediately notify the district commission.

(13) At diplomatic missions and consulates, a chairman and the secretary of the precinct shall be elected to conduct the voting. At diplomatic missions and consulates with less than 3 workers the voting will be done by diplomatic mail. The ballots must be sent to the Central Electoral Commission by election day.

(14) Candidates for the President of Moldova, registered in the method established by this Law, may appoint 1 representative in the precinct electoral commissions within 3 days of the formation of the commission who will participate in the activity of the commission with a consultative vote.

(15) Under the provisions of this Law the Central Electoral Commission may form precinct commissions as well as precincts in any other places.

(16) The members of the electoral commission may not be councilors in Local Councils, affiliated with any party or social-political organization or be related by blood or by law to the candidate.

Article 14. Responsibility of the precinct electoral commissions.

(1) The precinct electoral commission has the following responsibility:

a) making up the lists of voters and make them public, ensuring integrity of the lists and of the electoral ballots, taking responsibility for their correct and complete development;

b) considering statements about mistakes in the lists and making changes in them, issuing certificates of the right to vote to voters who, on the day of the election, will leave their place of residence;

c) developing supplementary voter rolls containing the names of the persons who have a voting certificate because they will be absent at their place and persons who, for various reasons, have not been included on the original lists of voters;

d) notifying the voters of the day of the election and the polling place, preparing the premises for voting and the installation of ballot boxes and booths, organizing the voting on the scheduled day in conditions of public order;

e) summing up the election in the precinct, completing the protocols and submitting them along with all ballots to the district electoral commission;

f) considering requests and complaints regarding issues of election preparation, voting organization and decision making regarding them which shall be attached to the commission protocols;

g) exercising other authority in keeping with this Law.

(2) The chairman of the precinct electoral commission shall, no later than 15 days before the election, submit to the Central Electoral Commission the samples of signatures of the members of the precinct commission. Otherwise, the Central Electoral Commission shall declare the protocol on the results of voting in the precinct null.

Article 15. The method of modifying the composition of commissions established for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova

(1) A person who is a member of the electoral commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova may be relieved of job duties on the commission at his own request or when recalled or relieved of his authority.

(2) The public administration authority and the persons who have nominated or have appointed the person to the electoral commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall have the right to remove this member.

(3) The person who is the member of the electoral commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be relieved of his authority if he violates any provision of this Law or consistently does not exercise his duties determined by the public administration authority and the persons who have nominated or have approved his appointment on the electoral commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(4) If a member quits the electoral commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova, another member can be nominated or appointed in the method established by this Law.

Article 16. Organization of the activity of the commissions for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova

(1) The meetings of the electoral commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be called and conducted by the chairperson, and, in case of his absence and at his request, by the vice-chairperson. Also, the meeting can be called at the request of at least one member of the commission.

(2) The meeting of the electoral commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova is considered legitimate with at least 2/3 of its members present. The decisions of the commission shall be adopted by open voting of a majority of its members. In the event of a tie vote, the chairperson's vote shall decide. The members of the commission who do not agree with the commission's decisions have the right to put their own opinion in writing which is to be attached to the records of the commission meetings.

(3) The decisions of commissions for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova adopted within their authority must be complied with by all public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organizations and all citizens. Such decisions can be appealed to the higher level electoral commission, which, within 3 days, issues a grounded decision to the appellant.

(4) The decisions of the district electoral commissions and the decisions of the precinct electoral commissions can be appealed to the regional, municipal and district law-courts in the manner established by the Code of civil procedure.

(5) Appeals against the Central Electoral Commission shall be examined by the Supreme Court of Justice within a 5-day period.

(6) With the approval of the commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova some members may be released from performance of their professional duties during the period of organizing and holding elections. They shall receive from the electoral fund a wage which is 25% greater than the average monthly wage at their basic place of employment.

(7) Members of the commissions for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova do not have the right to campaign for or against candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova and may not be affiliated with any party or social-political organization or be related by blood or by law to the candidate.

Article 17. Providing support to commissions for conducting the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) Public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organizations, official persons, parties and other social-political organizations and their organs shall be obliged to provide support to electoral commissions in fulfilling their duties and supplying information and materials necessary for their functioning.

(2) In matters related to the preparation and holding of the election, electoral commissions for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova have the right to address public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organizations, official persons, parties and other social-political organizations and their organs which shall consider the matter and respond within 3 days of the day of the commission address.

Article 18. Voter rolls.

(1) Voter rolls of the precinct will be developed at the respective precinct. The rolls will be checked with voters who are on the lists at their domicile. Then the rolls will be signed by the mayor of the commune, village, town or city and made public no later than 10 days before election day.

(2) Local public administration authorities will provide the record of the voters and convey the data on the voters residing in the respective territory, necessary for compiling the voter rolls, to the precinct electoral commissions.

(3) The voter rolls will include the voters from each street located in the area of the respective precinct in house number order and will include the voter's last name and first name, year of birth, place of residence and the type and number of this voter identification document.

(4) The lists of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova in the military residing in military units, and members of their families, will be compiled on the basis of data submitted by the head of the military unit. The military residing outside military units will be included in voter rolls generally at their places of residence.

(5) The voter rolls for the electoral precincts in rest homes and resorts, hospitals and other curative institutions shall be complied on the basis of data presented by the above mentioned institutions. The precinct electoral commission will verify this information at the voter residences.

(6) The voter rolls for the electoral precincts constituted outside the Republic of Moldova shall be complied on the basis of data presented by the heads of diplomatic missions and consulate officers who operate on the soil of respective countries.

(7) A voter may be included only in one voter roll and at only one electoral precinct on the basis of the residence visa.

(8) In the event that the voter changes his residence within the period from the day of roll and election day determination, the precinct commission, at the voter's request and upon presentation of his passport or some other form of identification, will issue the voter a voting certificate. The voter who receives such a certificate shall sign the electoral list next to his name.

(9) Based on the voting certificate, the voter is included on the supplementary list at the respective precinct.

Article 19. Methods of nominating candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) The nomination of candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova starts 90 days before election day and ends 30 days before election day.

(2) The following have the right to nominate a candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova:

a) parties and other social-political organizations officially registered and, by the day of determination of elections, established in accordance with their statutes and the current laws of the Republic of Moldova shall submit at least 20,000 voter signatures gathered in at least 1/3 of the regions and municipalities of the republic.

b) electoral blocs, formed on the basis of decisions adopted according to the statutes of parties and other social-political organizations, and, within 15 days of their formation, registered with the Central Electoral Commission, shall submit at least 20,000 voter signatures gathered in at least 1/3 of the regions and municipalities of the republic;

c) citizens of the Republic of Moldova — if they have gathered at least 20,000 voter signatures in at least 1/3 of the regions and municipalities of the republic.

(3) In keeping with paragraph 2 of this article, regions and municipalities in which no less than 1,000 signatures have been collected, shall be not be considered.

Article 20. Initiative group proposing a candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova by initiative.

(1) Where the initiative for proposing a candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova comes from citizens, an initiative group for proposing a candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be formed including no less than 25 individuals with the right to vote.

(2) No later than 55 days before the election, the person nominated as candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall submit membership lists of the initiative group to the Central Electoral Commission and indicate the head of the group. The list must contain the last and first name, year of birth, profession, position (occupation), place of employment, place of residence and party membership of the person proposed as candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova, as well as the last and first name, year of birth and place of residence of the members of the group.

(3) The Central Electoral Commission shall register the initiative group and, within 5 days of the presentation of the list of members, issue them certifications.

(4) Collection of signatures for the support of a candidate is carried out only by the members of the initiative group.

(5) The petitions for collecting signatures for the support of a candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova must contain the last and first name, year of birth, profession, position (occupation), place of employment, place of residence and party membership of the candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova, as well as the last and first name, year of birth and place of residence of the member of the initiative group who collects the signatures. Petitions shall contain signatures of voters who live in the same locality.

(6) Voters who support the candidacy shall indicate on the petition their first and last name, year of birth, place of residence, type and number of identification document, date of signing, and signature.

(7) Each voter has the right to sign the petition of only one candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(8) The member of the initiative group who gathers the voter signatures must sign every petition in the presence of the head of the local public administration authority in which territory the signatures have been collected. The petition shall be certified by stamping it with the official stamp of the respective local public administration.

(9) No later than 40 days before the election the petitions shall be submitted to the district electoral commission, which, in a 5-day period, shall verify the authenticity of the signatures. A report shall be prepared regarding the number of voters who signed the petitions for proposing the candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova. This report shall be immediately submitted to the Central Electoral Commission.

(10) Gathering of signatures for the support ot candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova nominated by parties, social-political organizations, and electoral blocs shall be implemented using the guidelines described by points 2-8 of this article.

(11) The Central Electoral Commission shall verify the authenticity of the data on petitions and shall issue a ruling on the registration or rejection of the candidate for the position of president.

(12) The members of the initiative group which gather signatures shall be responsible for the authenticity of the data on petitions, Petitions which contain signatures by persons without the right to vote, petitions on which signatures have been written before the official start of the nomination of candidates or petitions which have not been signed by the members of the initiative group, or have not been certified by the stamp of the local public administration authority shall be considered null and void.

Article 21. Registration of candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) To register a candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova/ the following documents must be submitted to the Central Electoral Commission no later than 30 days before election day:

a) an official record of the meeting of the supreme body of the party, other social-political organization, or electoral bloc regarding the nomination of the candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova;

b) petitions with signatures in support of the candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova;

c) biographical data about the candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova;

d) the candidate's declaration of commitment to run for President of the Republic of Moldova;

e) a declaration of income over the 2 years preceding the year when the election is carried out;

f) a health certificate of the candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova issued by the Medical Commission established by the Central Electoral Commission.

(2) The Central Electoral Commission shall register the candidates for the position of President of Moldova within 5 days of the date of presentation of the above enumerated documents.

(3) Candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova and their trustees, may not be nominated to any electoral commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(4) Within two days of registration, the Central Electoral Commission must issue a certificate to the candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(5) Refusal of the Central Electoral Commission to register a candidate for the President of the Republic of Moldova may be appealed to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Republic of Moldova which shall examine the complaint within 3 days. The decision of the Supreme Court of Justice shall be final.

(6) The Central Electoral Commission shall publish the ruling to register a candidate/or the position of President of Moldova in the state mass media within 3 days of adoption.

(7) Upon expiration of the registration term, the Central Electoral Commission shall publish the list of candidates for the position of President of Moldova providing their first and last name, address, political affiliation, profession, occupation and the party or social-political organization that has nominated them.

Article 22. Trustees of the candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) Candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova may have up to 10 trustees in each precinct. The trustee shall assist the candidates in conducting their electoral campaign, campaign for them and represent their interests in relations with public bodies, the voters and the electoral commissions.

(2) Candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova will independently choose the trustees and notify the Central Electoral Commission of their choice. The Central Electoral Commission shall register the trustees and issue them certifications.

(3) Candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova may, at any time before the election, suspend a trustee's authority, or replace him with another person in the method established by law.

Article 23. Guaranteed rights of candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova and their trustees.

(1) Once registered with the Central Electoral Commission, the candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall participate in the election campaign on an equal basis and have equal access to mass media, including radio and television, in the Republic of Moldova.

(2) All candidates registered for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be guaranteed equal access to technical and material support and funding of the electoral campaign.

(3) Candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be relieved from their job duties at their basic place of employment throughout the electoral campaign and shall be paid an average salary registered at their basic place of employment from the electoral funds allotted by the state. This provision also refers to the trustees of the candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(4) Candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova have the right to use all means of transportation (except taxi) free of charge on the soil of the Republic of Moldova.

(5) During the electoral campaign, the candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova and their trustees may not be fired or transferred to another place of employment or position without their consent.

(6) Candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova may not be charged with criminal, administrative or disciplinary penalties, arrested, detained or subjected to administrative sanctions whose establishment is under the court's jurisdiction without the consent of the Central Electoral Commission.

(7) Candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova may any time before the election, withdraw their candidacy by addressing in writing a declaration to the Central Electoral Commission.

(8) The candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova who has withdrawn his candidacy before the election is obliged to return the material and financial support which he had been allotted from the state budget to conduct his electoral campaign.

(9) Throughout the election, the state guarantees the candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova equal personal security with the assistance of state security organs.

(10)The trustees of candidates for president are paid from the budget allotted for elections the average salary at their places of employment, but no more than 300 lei per month. This sum shall not be subject to taxes. The trustees who are unemployed or pensioners will be paid at the level of average salary registered in the republic at the time of elections.

Article 24. Pre-election campaigning.

(1) Citizens of the Republic of Moldova, parties, social-political organizations, political blocs, and trustees of the candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova have the right to put forward for free discussion under all aspects of the candidates' electoral programs the political, professional and personal qualities of the candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova, to campaign for or against the candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova at meetings, reunions, meetings with the electorate, using means of mass information, and other forms that do not break public order.

(2) Candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall organize meetings with the electorate. Electoral commissions and local public administrative bodies shall oversee the organization of such meetings on equal conditions.

(3) After registration of candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova by the Central Electoral Commission the parties, social-political organizations, electoral blocs or initiative groups for proposing the candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova have the right to post their slogans, declarations, electoral graphics, etc. (further referred to as posters). The content of posters is determined without authorization.

(4) The local public administration must, within 5 days of the registration of the candidate, establish special places for electoral posters. The area for electoral posters shall be equal for all candidates.

(5) Campaigning on the day of the election is prohibited.

Article 25. Electoral ballot for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) The design and text of the electoral ballot for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be approved by a vote of the Central Electoral Commission.

(2) The ballot shall be divided into as many rectangles as there are candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova. The size of the rectangle must be large enough to include the first and last name, date of birth, occupation and place of employment of the candidate, as well as the name of the party, social-political organization or electoral bloc that has nominated him or the specification "independent candidate".

(3) On the left of the rectangle the electoral sign or symbol of the party, social-political organization or electoral bloc that has nominated the candidate or the electoral sign of the independent candidate at his desire shall be printed. Identical signs or symbols shall be avoided. The electoral signs and symbols shall be presented to the Central Electoral Commission by the day of registration of the last candidate.

(4) On the right of every rectangle, and at an equal distance from the top and bottom margins, a 15 mm diameter circle shall be printed in which the voter who is voting "for" a candidate draws two crossed lines.

(5) Electoral ballots shall be made up in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Moldova "On functioning of languages spoken in the Republic of Moldova".

(6) The ballots will be delivered to district electoral commissions 5 days before the election. The district commissions will deliver the ballots to the precinct commissions 2 days before the election. A protocol will be made up.

CHAPTER III.

VOTING AND DETERMINING THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTION FOR THE POSITION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

Article 26. Time and place of voting.

Voting is carried out on election day between 08:00 a.m. and 08:00 p.m. The precinct electoral commission shall make the time and place of voting public no later than 10 days before election day.

Article 27. Organization of voting.

(1) Voting shall be carried out at specially equipped places with offices for ballot issue, voting booths or rooms for secret voting and voting boxes which must be placed in such a way that to approach them the voters shall go through the voting booths to vote in secret.

(2) Precinct commissions shall be responsible for the organization of the voting, secret expression of voters wills, equipping of premises and maintenance of order at polling stations.

(3) On the day of the election, before starting the voting, the voting boxes shall be checked and sealed by the chairman of the precinct electoral commission in the presence of all members of the commission.

(4) Every voter votes in person. Voting for other individuals is not allowed. The precinct electoral commission shall hand ballots to voters based on the voter list upon presentation of a form of identification. Voters shall confirm having received of the ballot by signing the voter roll.

Article 28. Conducting of voting.

(1) The ballot is filled in by the voter in a secret booth or room. Marking the ballot in another person's presence is prohibited. A voter who is unable to fill in the ballot by himself may allow someone into the booth, except for the members of precinct commission or trustees of candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(2) On the ballot, the voter shall mark two crossed lines in the circle of only one candidate, which shall mean that he has voted for this candidate. The circles of the rest of candidates shall remain unmarked.

(3) Voting for more than one candidate is prohibited.

(4) A voter will drop the marked ballot into the ballot box in the presence of a member of the precinct electoral commission.

(5) In cases when, due to health or some other reason, the voter is unable to come to the polling place, the precinct electoral commission shall, at his request, send a group of three members of the commission to conduct the voting in the place where the voter is located. They will move with a special box and other instruments necessary for voting to the place where the voter is to conduct the voting. Supplementary lists will be determined based on the original lists. The current number on the original list will be included and the indication that the voter has not voted at the precinct will be made in writing.

Article 29. Summing up of the election by the precinct commission.

(1) After the chairman of the commission has declared voting over, the precinct electoral commission shall open the voting boxes. It is prohibited to open the boxes before the voting is over. Prior to opening the ballot box, the precinct electoral commission shall count and cancel all unused ballots and enclose them in an envelope on which the number and the name of the precinct and the number of unused ballots shall be written. The envelope shall be sealed and signed by the chairman of the precinct electoral commission in the presence of the members of the commission.

(2) Based on voters rolls, the precinct commission shall establish the total number of voters on the rolls and the number of voters who have received electoral ballots. Based on the number of ballots in the voting boxes, the commission shall establish the number of voters who have participated in the election, the number of votes for each candidate for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova, and the number of ballots declared invalid. Based on the act of receiving the ballots, the electoral commission shall establish the number of ballots received and the number of unused ballots.

(3) Ballots other than the one described herein shall be declared invalid, as well as ballots where two crossed lines have not been drawn in any circle or ballots where two crossed lines have been drawn in several circles or additional names have been written. In case of a dispute regarding the validity of a ballot, the commission decides by voting.

(4) The results of counting shall be entered into the protocol which is signed by all members of the commission and submit to the district electoral commission no later than on the second day after the elections. The election results shall be recorded in a protocol which is to be signed by all members of the commission and the candidates' representatives. The protocol shall be presented to the district electoral commission no later than the second day after elections, shall be accompanied by a report on the holding of the election and shall provide a brief description of complaints and the methods used to resolve them.

Article 30. The summing up of the election by the electoral commissions.

(1) The district electoral commissions, based on data delivered by precinct commissions, will determine the total number of voters on the original and supplementary lists, the number of voters who have participated in the election, the number of voters who received ballots, the total number of valid votes, the number of votes cast for each candidate for the position of the President of Moldova, the number of ballots delivered to precinct electoral commissions, the number of ballots declared invalid and the number of unused ballots.

(2) These results will be entered in a record which is to be signed by all members of the commission and the representatives of candidates for president, and, no later than 2 days of the election day, will be submitted to the Central Electoral Commission along with a report regarding the holding of the election indicating the complaints and the methods used to solve them."

Article 31. The summing up of the results of the election for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

(1) Based on the protocols submitted by district electoral commissions, the Central Electoral Commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall, within throe ten days of the election, complete a protocol containing the following data:

a) total number of voters;

b) total number of voters who have received voting ballots;

c) total number of voters who have participated in the election;

d) total number of valid votes cast for each candidate;

e) total number of ballots declared invalid;

f) total number of unused ballots.

(2) The protocol shall be signed by the chairman, the vice chairman, the secretary and members of the Central Electoral Commission.

(3) The candidate who receives at least half of the votes of the voters who have participated in the elections shall be considered elected President of the Republic of Moldova.

(4) Elections shall be declared null in the event that less than half of the voters on voter rolls have participated in elections, as well as in the event that all candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova have withdrawn their candidacies.

(5) The decision to declare the elections null shall be adopted by the Central Electoral Commission for the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova and may be appealed to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Republic of Moldova within 3 days of the publication of election results.

Candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova have the right to appeal the decision to declare the election null and void.

(6) The election shall be considered valid when more than half the voters entered on voter rolls have voted.

(7) The Central Electoral Commission shall submit to the Constitutional Court a report on the results of the elections within three days of the record of the results of the election has been signed.

Article 32. The second round of voting.

(1) If none of the candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova has gained at least half the votes of those who participated in the election, then a repeat election shall be organized between the two candidates who received the most votes and arranged by number of votes gained in the first round.

(2) The second round of voting shall be carried out within 2 weeks of the day of the first round of the election in keeping with the provisions of this Law. Information on conducting the second round of voting shall be published within 3 days of the determination of the day of voting.

(3) A candidate who has received more votes than the other shall be declared elected on condition that the number of votes received is larger than the number of votes against him. In the event that both candidates have received the same number of votes, the candidate who gained more votes in the first round of voting shall be considered elected.

(4) In the event that a candidate withdraws his candidacy, the candidate who remains shall be elected if he receives at least half of the votes of the voters who participated in the elections.

(5) Election in the second round shall be considered valid if more than one third of the voters listed on voter rolls have participated in the election.

Article 33. Confirmation and publication of the results of the election for the position of the President

(1) Within 3 days of signing the protocol on the results of the election, the Central Electoral Commission shall submit the report on the results of the election to the Constitutional Court.

(2) In public meeting the Constitutional Court shall examine the report submitted by the Central Electoral Commission and adopt a decision within the terms provided by Article 7 (4) and (6) of this Law.

(3) The Constitutional Court may not confirm the results of the election for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova if violations have occurred during the voting or summing up, and if these violations have affected the final results of the election for the position of the Republic of Moldova.

(4) Where the Constitutional Court does not confirm the results of the election for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, within 3 months of the decision of the Constitutional Court issuance, shall organize a repeat election for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova, in keeping with this Law.

(5) The Constitutional Court shall make public its decision on the results of the election for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova in a special communique, within 3 days of the decision issuance.

Article 34. Taking the oath.

(1) The candidate whose election has been confirmed by the Constitutional Court, shall, in the presence of Parliament and the Constitutional Court and within the period of time described in the Constitution and this Law, take the following oath:

"I swear that I will devote all my power and knowledge to secure the prosperity of the Republic of Moldova, to respect the Constitution and the laws of the country, to protect the democracy, fundamental human rights and freedoms, sovereignty, independence> unity, and territorial integrity of Moldova."

(2) Starting with the day of taking the oath, the President of the Republic of Moldova begins the execution of his mandate.

Article 35. Repeat elections.

(1) If no more than two candidates have run for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova and none of them has been elected and if the second round did not determine who was elected President or if the Constitutional Court has not confirmed the results of the election for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova within 3 months of these events. Parliament shall organize repeat elections.

(2) Formation of election commissions, proposal and registration of the candidates for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova and other activities regarding the holding of repeat elections for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be carried out in keeping with this Law.

CHAPTER IV.

FINAL AND TRANSITION PROVISIONS

Article 36. Effective date

This Law shall become effective on the day of its publication.

Article 37. Who may vote.

Only persons who, according to the provisions of the Law on citizenship in the Republic of Moldova (Article 2), certify, the citizenship by the acts enumerated in Article 3 of the above-mentioned Law may take part in the 1996 election for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova. A voter from the left side of the Nistru river or the town of Bender who, by election day, has not been applied in his passport the stamp confirming his Moldovan citizenship, shall be allowed to vote upon presentation to the precinct commission of the passport which will confirm his permanent address in the Republic of Moldova before June 23, 1990.

Article 38. Amendments to this law

The Government, within a month, shall work out and submit to Parliament, the drafts which shall regulate the organization and holding of the election for the position of the President of the Republic of Moldova, including the election of 1996; shall adjust the normative acts to this Law.

Article 39. Old law is abrogated

This Law shall be entered into force immediately and Law No. 720-XII, enacted on September 18, 1991 on the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova, is abrogated.

Petru LUCINSCHI, Chairman of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova

Chisinau, May 16,1996, No.833-XIII

Source: IFES Moldova