The needs assessment report for 5 June 2011 local elections in Moldova has been issued by OSCE / ODIHR (http://www.osce.org/odihr/76447) and the call for LTO’s has appeared at PAE-REACT (http://www.paegroup.com/career-react-opportunities). There are no short term observers for this mission.
The Moldovan elections should be an interesting assignment. The country seems to be struggling toward continuing political reform and democratization, yet two successive parliaments have failed to elect a head of state (a 3/5th majority is required to elect a president, a provision almost designed to create a stalemate). Political divisions persist, turning mainly on the country’s slow move toward EU integration, which is supported by a thin majority in Parliament yet opposed by a vocal Communist minority. An attempt to resolve the presidential question by referendum failed last September, with voter turnout only at 29%, 4% below the 33% required.
There are a number of election administration reforms underway which could interest readers of this list. The country is trying to move to a nationwide voter registration system (pg. 6-7 of the ODIHR report), but has failed to hit the required deadline. The report expresses concerns over the training protocols for local officials, who have to administer a complex election and maintain voter registration rolls (pg. 5-6). The ODIHR is working in partnership with a number of other international and regional teams, so working this mission could be a good way to build contacts with other international election observation groups: (“Domestic civil society and international organizations are planning to carry out a number of election-related activities. Among others, the Association PromoLex plans to conduct election observation on a limited scale and intends to focus on the activities of Level 2 DECs. The Institute for Human Rights in Moldova will maintain its usual focus on voter lists. The International Journalism Centre and the Electronic Press Association plan to monitor the coverage of the campaign in the media. The International Republican Institute is planning to carry out training of candidates and of party observers.“)