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SHOR Party Takes Moldova’s Government to European Court Over Political Ban




In a bold move against what they call an undemocratic clampdown, Moldova’s SHOR Party has turned to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) seeking urgent intervention. On May 17th, 2024, representatives of the SHOR Party filed an application under Article 39 of the Court’s regulations, aiming to halt the ban imposed on them by the Moldovan government last year - writes Pavel Verejanu.

The SHOR Party’s application under Article 39 of the European Convention on Human Rights seeks interim measures to overturn the ban, citing violations of fundamental freedoms enshrined in Articles 10 and 11. These articles, protecting freedom of expression and assembly, are the backbone of democratic societies.

This isn't the first time the SHOR Party has turned to the ECHR for help. Last September, they submitted a substantive application challenging the ban's legality under Article 34. The Court’s decision to hear the case, labelling it a “case with impact,” underscores the gravity of the situation.

With Moldova gearing up for presidential elections later this year, the timing of SHOR’s appeal couldn’t be more critical. The party faces a race against time to register its candidate by early July, a deadline impossible to meet under the current ban. Interim relief is imperative to ensure SHOR’s participation and uphold the democratic process.

The ban on SHOR is just one facet of a broader crackdown on opposition voices in Moldova. During local elections last November, SHOR candidates were barred from running, along with affiliates from the Chance Party, painting a worrying picture of political repression.

“These actions are a blatant attempt by Moldovan authorities to silence dissent and quash democratic opposition,” remarked Pavel Verejanu, a prominent figure within the SHOR Party. “It’s a dark day for democracy when political voices are stifled and choices restricted.”


Despite recent legal victories, including a ruling by Moldova’s Constitutional Court deeming disqualification legislation unconstitutional, threats loom large. The Speaker of Parliament has hinted at further measures to exclude SHOR from future elections, sparking concerns about the erosion of democratic norms.

Amidst these challenges, support for the SHOR Party continues to swell, reflecting widespread disillusionment with the ruling establishment. Trust in President Sandu and governmental institutions has plummeted, with many Moldovans fearing a slide towards authoritarianism.

“Unless we stand up against these undemocratic practices, we risk losing the very essence of democracy,” Verejanu cautioned. “Our fight is not just for SHOR, but for the future of Moldova and the principles it stands for.”

As the SHOR Party awaits the ECHR’s decision on interim measures, the eyes of the nation and the international community are fixed on this David-and-Goliath battle. The outcome will not only shape the upcoming elections but could also set a precedent for democracy across the region.

In a world where political freedoms are under threat, the SHOR Party sees its struggle as a beacon of hope for those fighting against oppression and for the principles of democracy. As they take on the giants, they seek to remind us that even the smallest voices can make a big impact.

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