Protecting the integrity of electoral campaign financing
The European Union-funded ‘Level Up: Political Finance with Integrity’ project is implemented by International IDEA in partnership with the Moldovan Centre for Continuous Electoral Training (CICDE). The project supports reforms in political and campaign finance in Moldova by providing advisory services related to reforming the country’s political finance system and its practical enforcement. While the project coincided with increased political polarization and instability in the country, it brought rival political parties together to discuss regulatory and practical solutions to harmful practices. For example, International IDEA hosted an interparty event to develop a common Code of Conduct to protect the integrity of electoral campaign financing, together with the Moldovan Electoral Commission and the CICDE.
After the event, International IDEA supported the development of the text of the Code of Conduct to address these practices ahead of the parliamentary elections held in February 2019. The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) opened the Code of Conduct for signature in January 2019. It ensured wide media and public circulation of its call for all electoral contestants to sign the code and uphold its principles in the upcoming elections.
While the use of illicit funds and indirect forms of vote buying are deeply rooted problems in Moldova, the process of engaging parties from across the political spectrum and putting a high-level focus on the issue of thirdparty financing, for the first time in the country’s history, yielded incremental but important outcomes.
Political parties showed more confidence in using official channels of legal recourse, as several complaints were lodged with the CEC during the ensuing campaign. The CEC in turn demonstrated a higher level of awareness of and expedience in addressing these appeals. Also, as some observers noted, the process positively influenced the electoral campaign since all contestants committed to uphold the integrity of their campaign finances and demonstrated a higher degree of self-restraint.
By organizing events and providing advisory services, International IDEA supported oversight agencies and policymakers in Moldova to prevent and mitigate the threats to democracy posed by illegal and illicit money in politics.
Read more stories about International IDEA's results in our Annual Outcome Report 2019: Democracy In Action.