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25 years since the start of the Transnistrian war, commemorated by Moldova’s constitutional authorities

On March 2nd, the Republic of Moldova commemorates the start of the armed conflict in the Eastern region, the so-called Transnistria. It is an occasion to commemorate those who fought and died in the armed conflict for defending the integrity and the independence of Moldova against the Russia-backed separatist forces.

On March 2, 1992, the first Moldovan President Mircea Snegur authorized the attack on the separatist groups from Transnistria who were backed by the former 14th Soviet Army, taken under the control of Russia at that moment. On the same date, Moldova was admitted in the United Nations.

razboi-nistru-transnistria

As Moldova didn’t have armed forces at that time, the legal authorities used the police and volunteers to fight the Transnistrian Guard and cossacks residing in Dubăsari, Bender and Tiraspol.

Around 29000 people participated in the armed conflict and some estimate that 287 died. The war ended on 21 July 1992, when Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Moldovan President Mircea Snegur signed the ceasefire, the so-called agreement on the peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.

In 2017, the Transnistrian war, often referred as the war for defending the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, turns 25 years since the beginning. The event was commemorated at Chișinău with solemn marches of soldiers and policemen holding photos of the deceased independence fighters.

The Prime-Minister, Parliament speaker and President went to the memorial monument “Eternitate” in Chișinău and to the meeting of commemoration in Varnița, a village bordering the past battlefield. PM Pavel Filip promised to raise the compensations for the veterans of the war for independence, while President Dodon proposed a day before a platform of reconciliation with Transnistria.

 

Moldovan peace-keepers

Moldovan peace-keepers

On the same day, a civil organization “Honor, Dignity, Motherland” (ODIP) protested in front of the building of the Russian Embassy with slogans like “Putin Vova, take your army from Moldova”, “Russia, do not forget- Moldova is not yours” and “Russian army go home” and fake blood poured on the pavement, presumably signifying the bloodshed made by Russian troops in the Transnistrian war.

A political solution to the Transnistrian conflict was never discussed since 1992. The separatist Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic still relies heavily on Russian financial aid, Russian market and natural gas from an economic point of view, and on Russian peace-keepers and the illegally stationed Operative Troops of Russia in terms of security.

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy.

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CoE Congress of Local Authorities concerned about manner of Chișinău’s mayor suspension

Logo of the Congress belonging to the organizational structure of the Council of Europe, Source: coe.int

On October 19th, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe examined the report by Swedish representative Gunn Marit Helgesen on the situation of Dorin Chirtoacă, mayor of Chișinău. Chirtoacă happens to be the Vice-President of the Congress.

The report presented by Helgesen draws attention that the suspension of Chirtoacă by a judicial authority is not with respect to several articles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, ratified by Moldova in 1997. Moreover, the rapporteur underlines that the replacement of the mayor with an unelected officer (Vice-mayor Nistor Grozavu- Moldova.org) and the organization of a local recall referendum are of concern for the Congress:

“Suspending and detaining a mayor in the absence of a court judgment is a serious matter and constitutes a violation of a fundamental right”, said Ms. Helgesen.

As a result of the report, the Congress decided to organize a fact-finding mission to investigate the suspension of Chirtoacă and form recommendations to Moldova. In addition, the Congress requested an opinion from the Venice Commission, the Commission for Democracy through Law of the Council of Europe, on the constitutionality of the local referendum aimed at dismissing the mayor of the Moldovan capital. The press release mentions that the Congress takes Chirtoacă’s case to account for the general monitoring of the local and regional democracy scheduled for 2018, together with the complaint of the Moldovan Association of Local Authorities which denounced numerous pressures on local officials through court cases.

Meanwhile, Chirtoacă was refused by the court to register in the debate for the referendum regarding his dismissal. Only his Liberal party could apply as an electoral participant, aside from the Socialists.

Dorin Chirtoacă was arrested on May 25th with the charge of influence traffic and passive corruption in a case on city’s parking lots. On July 28th, he was suspended from the position of mayor of Moldova’s capital until a final decision of the court. In the parking lots case, prosecutors found that the mayor gave orders to the vice-mayor to sign the contract with EME PARKLEITSYSTEM without the approval of the City Council. Moreover, Chirtoacă reportedly approved the urban certificates for the company, contrary to the legislation. Aside from this, the mayor, together with the head of the transportation department and ex-classmate Igor Gamrețchi, asked the company willing to win the public listing for Chișinău’s parking lots to share 26% in the company through a Cyprus-based off-shore company. 13% would go to Chirtoacă, 13%- to Gamrețchi.

Chișinău’s mayor risks a sentence of 3 to 7 years.

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Important

Dodon after new Minister of Defense investiture: The Government will fall into the pit it digs for others

Today, President Igor Dodon came with a reaction after the new Minister of Defense announced that the act of investiture “is beyond the limit of political legitimacy and shows how impotence makes the governors commit serious mistakes.”

“By failing to allow those in the Democratic Government to force the President’s hand, I have brought them back to using the last trick that they have – the Constitutional Court.
But the precedent acts that the Democrats have dared to create will become the instrument for which they will all have to suffer. They will be hit by the boomerang they launched,” the head of state declared.”

 

Dodon added:

“And my resignation as a President can only be decided by the people and no one else. The Democratic Government can not dismiss me, no matter how much they want it,”

Under these circumstances, the President specified that he would continue to carry out a large-scale information and signature-gathering campaign in favor of the presidential state. The official also said that he will not give up pressure and will not sign what he disagrees with.

We recall that Eugen Sturza was invested as Defense Minister today. Andrian Candu, Parliament Speaker, has signed, as Interim President, the appointment of Eugen Sturza in office. At the same time, the new minister took the oath in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Pavel Filip.

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Economy

Rural poverty is killing the agriculture of the Republic of Moldova

Rural development goes hand in hand with agriculture, but poorly paid jobs, underdeveloped infrastructure, lack of elementary public services and technologies are driving out the active labor force from the countryside.

In the villages of the Republic of Moldova the living standard is low, plus the road and service infrastructure is either poor or undeveloped. One on top of the other: rural poverty is favored by reduced accessibility to urban centers, poor access infrastructure quality and predominantly agricultural employment of the population are still poorly paid.

“There are very large vacancies on the labor market in rural areas already. It’s becoming a common situation when tractorists are missing,” said the program director, Viorel Chivriga.

Vioril Chivriga has identified some solutions that can develop rural and localities and set off farming businesses. These are innovations and technologies.

“They play an important role in modernizing localities, but the ability to attract technologies is very low and this is due to the weak academic sector. The Global Competitiveness Report shows that we need to act promptly and quickly if we are to change the situation in the country.”

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