President Vladimir Voronin and the ruling Communist Party used politicized media regulators to help ensure his re-election. In the weeks before the March election, the Broadcasting Coordination Council expanded the broadcasting range of pro-government stations such as NIT, and the Justice Ministry refused to register newspapers run by opposition parties such as the Social Democratic Party, according to local reports.
In February, Moldovan authorities stationed on the de facto border with the Trans-Dniester region prohibited newspaper deliveries going in either direction. The media has been a pawn in political tensions between the central government in the capital, Chisinau, and the separatist Trans-Dniester region.
In June, financial police officers searched the offices of the Russian-language Chisinau weekly Kommersant PLUS, according to local reports. Editor-in-Chief Artyom Varenitsa said police confiscated documents and computer disks. Voronin's government often uses police to harass news outlets that criticize the government.
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