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Moldova’s Constitutional Court Strikes Down Ban on Opposition Candidates

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Moldova's Constitutional Court has overturned the government's ban on opposition candidates, ruling it unconstitutional. The ban, which aimed to exclude individuals associated with the SHOR Party from elections for three years, was deemed invalid in a significant decision.

This decision follows a series of events since June 19, 2023, when the SHOR Party was dissolved by the Constitutional Court, leading to laws targeting its members. The recent ruling underscores the importance of upholding democratic principles and ensuring political inclusivity in Moldova.

The legal challenge, led by former MPs of the SHOR Party, argued that the legislation was vague, imprecise, disproportionate, and lacked foreseeability. The Court's decision highlights the need to protect individuals' rights to participate in the democratic process and uphold the rule of law.

Criticism of the exclusion of opposition parties and candidates from international bodies, including the Venice Commission and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), further highlighted concerns about the government's actions.

In response to the Court's ruling, the legal team representing the SHOR Party welcomed the decision, praising the Court for its commitment to justice and citizens' rights. The decision is seen as a victory for democracy in Moldova, ensuring that all citizens have the opportunity to participate in the political process without hindrance.

The ruling comes amid ongoing legal challenges for the Sandu Government. Earlier this month, the European Court of Human Rights decided to hear arguments in a case brought by the SHOR party against Moldova, indicating its potential impact on Moldova and the Convention system.

However, concerns remain regarding the Sandu government's actions, including the banning of opposition parties from local elections, the crackdown on opposition activists, and the closure of media outlets not aligned with government policies. Such actions are viewed as threats to freedom of expression and democratic values in Moldova.

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As Moldova progresses on its democratic path, it is essential for the government to uphold inclusivity, transparency, and respect for human rights. The international community, civil society, and Moldovan citizens must remain vigilant in defending democracy and ensuring accountability.

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