Amending the electoral system is not a novelty in Moldova. The country has previously used both majoritarian and proportional electoral systems. In the first parliamentary elections of 1990, deputies of the National Assembly were elected by a purely majoritarian system through single-member constituencies. This system became fully proportional in the parliamentary elections of 1994, with the entire country being considered one nationwide constituency. The proportional system has remained in place since 1994, but specific provisions have been adjusted through the introduction of different thresholds for parties, independent candidates and electoral coalitions, as well as with a change in the seat allocation method. In this respect, an amendment to the Election Code was made in June 2010, which changed the method for allocating seats in party-list proportional representation from the D’Hondt formula to a new method (see more details below, on the description of the electoral system). The introduction of this new mandate allocation formula occurred some four months before the early parliamentary elections, which took place on 28 November 2010. These amendments raised concerns as they seemed to work to the advantage of the incumbent parties. While the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR issued an opinion on draft amendments in June 2010, the changes to the seat allocation formula took place after the opinion was adopted.
Joint Opinion on the Draft Working Text Amending the Election Code of Moldova, Opinion No. 576/2010,CDL-AD (2010) 014.