The Action and Solidarity Party shows character. Marina Tauber, the candidate of the Shor Political Party in the second round of local elections in Bălți, was eliminated from the race for the use of undeclared funds in the campaign. A similar case occurred in the 2016 presidential elections with Inna Popenco, another candidate of the same Shor Party, whom the Central Electoral Commission removed from the race with a big scandal for the same reasons. In the case of Popenco, the Shor Party boycotted the elections; there is no final decision in the case of Tauber. Regardless of the decision, Tauber surely stepped on a rake, and the Shor Party either forgot the 2016 election sanctions or sought to test the Action and Solidarity Party.
In any case, Tauber was penalized not because it was or was not convenient for either party, but because the law requires it. It’s high time we held responsible for our declarations. For 30 years our political leaders have been talking about democracy, the rule of law, European standards, integrity, transparency, and the fight against electoral and political corruption, free and fair elections. However, at the earliest opportunity, they seek to avoid or even ignore them if they do not fit into the frame of their personal, party or group interests. Our politicians have reconciled with the habit of circumventing the law, for them the norm is no longer the norm but the anti-norm. In their case, it is money that matters, not the law.
The second round of elections for the mayor of Balti, which was to take place on Sunday, December 5, has been suspended. The Central Electoral Commission adopted the decision at its extraordinary sitting on Sunday morning, less than an hour before the opening of polling stations. They acted as if in an exceptional situation, which is an unprecedented case in our electoral practice. The decision came after several court hearings, which continued late into Sunday night and following it, Marina Tauber, one of the two candidates who were to duel in the second round, was excluded from the race. Subsequently, the Central Electoral Commission found it impossible to hold the second ballot with a single candidate, given that the electoral legislation requires the participation of two candidates in the second round.
What made the Central Electoral Commission so harshly demand the removal of Marina Tauber from the race? It is money. Tauber is member and vice-president of Shor Political Party, in which a lot of dirty money is spent on political interest. The whole Shor Party policy is based on big money. It is not just the stolen billion, in which Ilan Șor is the main defendant, or the laundering of other millions through schemes, for there are more persons in Moldova who own big dirty money. What the Shor Party is doing and what Tauber tried to do in Bălți is called electoral corruption, which may lead to harmful political consequences, given the fact that the party ideology aims to make Moldova a second Crimea.
Following operative investigations, the Central Electoral Commission found that Marina Tauber used undeclared funds in the campaign in the amount of at least 34,000 lei, and about 10,000 lei more exceeding the limit of the electoral fund. Is it honest or dirty money? No doubt it is dishonest money if it was not declared. The Central Electoral Commission announced that it has got evidence, proving that Tauber hired several volunteers from the northern districts of Moldova for the first round, and paid for their accommodation in Balti, as well as their daily allowance and made them work in her electoral (political) interest.
Using undeclared funds and exceeding the electoral limit are cases of electoral fraud, which, according to the Central Electoral Commission, fall under the sanctions provided by the Electoral Code, Article 75 and involve cancelling the registration of the electoral competitor and removing it from the race. This is exactly what happened in Balti.
Tauber denies the charges, blames the authorities of dictatorship and declares herself the victim of political conspiracy. The government’s reaction also remains harsh and categorical. “Regardless of how much money some individuals may have, state institutions must retaliate in case they break the law and trample common sense. Interest or oligarchic groups cannot be stronger than the state … Our main task in the four years of government is to build institutions, to strengthen the state and to destroy the criminal groups, which undermine its authority,” wrote Sergiu Litvinenco, Minister of Justice, on his Facebook page on Sunday.
In conclusion, while money helped Ilan Șor in the 2015 local elections in Orhei, it failed to do the same for Marina Tauber in Bălți. In 2015, a criminal, enriched by illegal means, was able, bypassing the law, to procure his position of mayor and, after that, a seat in the Parliament for him and his entourage. It is true he could only do it with the blessing of the great puppeteer Vlad Plahotniuc.
The Tauber case is the first step in the fight against electoral (political) corruption. Once compromised, there is no room for these individuals in politics. Without their party, both Tauber and Șor are nobody. Likewise, Dodon is nobody without the Socialist Party, Voronin is nobody without the Communist Party and the list may continue. Grand corruption and the criminal groups are not in the prosecutor’s offices and courts; they are in the corrupt political parties. These corrupt parties criminalized justice and destroyed Moldova.
When will there be an audit of political parties?