Moldovan election observers leave country in protest
Spokesperson for the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) Sergei Tkachenko told Interfax Ukraine on Tuesday evening that ENEMO observers would be leaving Moldova in protest at the actions of the authorities as well as the refusal of the Central Election Commission to register 87 observers from countries of the CIS, Central and Eastern Europe.
International election observers travelling to Moldova have been detained and others expelled, RFE/RLs Ukrainian and Moldovan services report.
Oleksandr Chernenko, a spokesman of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, said that his nongovernmental organization sent observers to join the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO), which received permission from Moldovan authorities last week to monitor the July 29 parliamentary elections.
But only 55 of the 140 ENEMO monitors were accredited by Moldovan officials and, on July 27 and 28, Moldovan migration officers detained international observers from Ukraine, Georgia, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan and told them they must leave the country within 24 hours. Eleven Georgian monitors were put on a plane to Istanbul on July 28.
Chernenko told RFE/RL that Moldovan authorities want to have greater control of the elections and the observers they have denied accreditation to, detained, and expelled are veteran election monitors who would help ensure a fair vote.
A Moldovan Central Election Commission official, Iurie Ciocan, said the Georgians were denied entry due to "information from Moldovas intelligence service," though he did not elaborate.
An ENEMO representative in Chisinau, Sergei Tkachenko, told RFE/RL he has hired a lawyer on behalf of the Georgians and will try to "get them in."
He said the Georgians did not have accreditation when they arrived in Moldova, but were supposed to receive it once they reached downtown Chisinau. Georgian citizens do not need visas to enter Moldova.
Moldova expelled several activists and foreign journalists during its April 5 poll, which was followed by street violence and the death of at least one protester.
From information at http://www.rferl.org updated at Interfax