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Dodon called on Moldovan residents not to participate in the referendum on EU membership.

Dodon called on Moldovan residents not to participate in the referendum on EU membership.

Former President of Moldova Igor Dodon in his Telegram channel called on residents of the country to boycott the referendum on joining the EU so that it would fail due to low turnout.

Moldavian President Maia Sandu previously proposed organizing a referendum so that citizens could express their opinion on the country’s accession to the European Union. The referendum could take place on the same day as the presidential election. The Moldovan authorities have repeatedly stated that they set themselves the goal of joining the European Union by 2030. On December 7, Sandu announced the start of consultations with parties on the organization of the referendum.

“This referendum is an attempt to once again mislead our fellow citizens so that they forget about the problems created by Maia Sandu and the so-called “good people” in “good times”. We urge you not to participate in this political event of Maia Sandu, because otherwise In this case, a turnout will be ensured, in which Sandu will draw any result she needs,” Dodon wrote.

He believes that people should vote in the presidential election, but not take a ballot to participate in the referendum.

According to the constitution, the minimum threshold for turnout in referendums is only a third of the total number of voters. If only 33% of voters come to the referendum, this will already ensure its recognition; at least half of them should support joining the EU. In fact, the constitution can be changed by the votes of only 16.5% of the total number of voters.

Despite criticism of Sandu’s power, the Party of Socialists, led by Dodon, created coalitions with his party in a number of districts following the results of local elections held in November. In response to this, the political executive committee of the party demanded that its colleagues in local administrations who supported Sandu’s supporters renounce their mandates.

The EU summit on December 14 decided to launch negotiations on future membership of the European Union with Ukraine and Moldova. In June 2022, the EU granted EU candidate country status to Ukraine and Moldova, setting several strict conditions for the formal start of accession negotiations. The EU has repeatedly admitted that such a decision was largely symbolic in order to support Kyiv and Chisinau in their confrontation with Moscow.

The status of an EU candidate country, as well as the start of negotiations, does not necessarily mean that the country will join the European Union; these steps also do not oblige Brussels to anything. Obtaining candidate status is only the beginning of a rather long journey towards joining the EU. Turkey has been in candidate status since 1999, and has been “conducting” membership negotiations with the EU since 2005, North Macedonia has been a candidate since 2005, Montenegro since 2010, Serbia since 2012. Croatia was the last country to join the EU in 2013; the process took 10 years.