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Four MEPs distance themselves from Ilan Shor, EPP warns it does not support Shor party

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The five MEPs meeting with Ilan Shor, the "operator" of the Grand Moldovan Theft

24 January 2018- In a statement, four Italian members of the European Parliament from the EPP group denounced the way the Shor Party and some press outlets reported their recent visit to Orhei, the Moldovan city where the infamous banker Ilan Shor is mayor. The MEPs are Fulvio Martusciello, Stefano Maullu, Alberto Cirio and Salvatore Domenico Pogliese.

According to them, the visit was used to attack the center-right opposition in Moldova, to discredit the European People’s Party and to misguide the public opinion:

“We deeply regret the malicious manipulations by the Shor party and the press regarding our last visit to Moldova. This visit to Moldova was conducted in our private capacity and does not represent, in any way, the European People’s Party’s (EPP) intention nor wish to express support or to work with Ilan Shor or with the Shor party.The use of the visit by the media – controlled by the Shor party and the ruling party – to attack the opposition, shows a desperate attempt to discredit the EPP, the center-right opposition in Moldova and to misguide the public opinion. ”

The decision to distance from Shor comes after the EPP group declaration on the visit of the four Italian MEPs and another Czech EPP MEP, Tomas Zdechovsky.  According to the Foreign Affairs Coordinator of the EPP, Cristian Preda, the visit itself and the declarations of the given MEPs do not represent the position of the EPP in matters of foreign policy:

“The European People’s Party does not have anything in common with Mr.Shor and his party”, stated the Romanian MEPadding that Maia Sandu’s Action and Solidarity Party and Andrei Năstase’s Platform “Dignity and Truth” truly represents the pro-European, democratic forces with engagement to the anti-corruption fight Moldova needs.

The four MEPs and the EPP can have the right to be concerned about how Shor’s media reflected their visits: they allegedly pledged to support Shor in his political career, appreciated his projects in Orhei, even promised support in the investigation of the banking frauds, questioned the Kroll report.

Ironically, just after the release of the EPP statement, the Shor party issued a report on its Vice-President, Marina Tauber (Shor’s former business partner), meeting the Vice-President of the European Parliament, EPP-affiliated FIDESZ MEP, Livia Jaroka. The meeting was reportedly focused on “the role of women in politics” and the issues of “anti-semitism and xenophobia”.

EPP can issue statement after statement condemning Shor, but eventually, lobby groups will do their best with Shor’s money to make EPP MEPs or other figures available for meetings and discussions with the former banker or his associates.

Ilan Shor has other “supporters” in the European Parliament: French MEP Jean-Luc Schaffhauser (who helped French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen obtain a 9 million euros loan from the First Russian-Czech Bank), Italian MEPs Elisabetta Gardini (VP of EPP, supporter of lifting personal sanctions against Russian officials), Lorenzo Fontana (Lega Nord). Schaffhauser, Fontana, and the above-mentioned Alberto Cirio visited the separatist entities in Eastern Ukraine, while Gardini failed to visit illegally-occupied Crimea. His sudden visits to the EP drew quite some attention in the international and national press.

A central figure of the Kroll report on the “Billion Theft”, Ilan Shor was sentenced to 7,5 years in prison for particularly large scams, money laundering. Shor is accused of obtaining more than 5 billion lei from Banca de Economii in loans, from 4th to 25th of November 2014, the sum being confirmed by the Kroll report, and then laundering them through offshore companies. Ilan Shor has been under preventive arrest since 22 June 2016 but then released in June 2017. He is currently the mayor of Orhei, a city in the center of Moldova.

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

Politics

Action and Solidarity Party submits complaint to Moldova Constitutional Court on uninominal districts

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The new uninominal districts of Moldova, Source: Government of Moldova, processed by Radio Free Europe Moldova

16 February 2018- The Action and Solidarity Party (PAS), with the help of MP Grigore Cobzac, submitted a complaint to Moldova’s Constitutional Court on the non-constitutionality of Government’s decision on the uninominal electoral circumscriptions (Decision Nr. 970/2017 from 15.11.2017).

According to PAS, the decision violates several articles of the Electoral Code and the 239th law from 2008 on the transparency in decision-making. PAS thinks that the formed uninominal districts violated the limits of 55-60 thousand voters per one district. Only 10 districts, all situated in Chișinău, follow the rule. In addition, the maximum deviation of 10% in voting population was violated in some cases.

The party led by Maia Sandu also found a violation at the formation of the circumscriptions for the voters living abroad- the districts were simply approved by the commission members.

In addition, 9 Chișinău districts were formed in the 5 official quarters by dividing them contrary to a condition of non-division of 1st level administrative units.

Putting localities from different (at least 2) administrative districts was exceedingly used as an exception, contrary to the general rule of keeping localities within the same administrative borders.

In regard to the transparency, PAS is accusing the Government of adopting the format of the uninominal districts without organizing consultations or hearings with the civil society.

PAS asks the Constitutional Court to examine the non-constitutionality of the uninominal circumscriptions because of its violation of the “rule of law” principles, written in the 3rd paragraph of the 1st article of Moldova’s Constitution.

According to the new electoral system, 51 MPs would be elected from electoral districts and 50 from party lists. The current edition of the electoral law also stipulates that the electoral districts would be formed by a special Government commission, composed of civil society and political parties’ representatives, as well as representatives of ethnic minorities and expert bodies. The shape of the electoral districts would be published one year before the elections. Voters from Transnistria and from abroad would be represented on the geographical basis, besides their electoral “weight”. 7 electoral debates have been organized to debate the draft on the mixed electoral system, but a large part of the civil society and all opposition parties refused to participate and had little involvement stating that the new system does not address the real problems of the electoral process. The Venice Commission strongly advised the Moldovan authorities not to implement the mixed electoral system at the current moment. The European Union and the United States were disappointed by Moldova Parliament’s decision to disregard Venice Commission, ODIHR recommendations.

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Politics

Dorin Chirtoacă resigns from the position of Chișinău mayor

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Source: privesc.eu

16 February 2018- Dorin Chirtoacă resigned from the position of mayor of Moldova’s capital, Chișinău. Chirtoacă believes that the Chișinău local elections should be held in May 2018.

The Liberal declared that his resignation is a sign of protest against the current government. He says that he received the mandate from the citizens, and not “from Plahotniuc, Dodon, Leancă or from this band”.

The interim mayor, Silvia Radu, welcomed Chirtoacă’s resignation, saying that her job is only a temporary one.

“I don’t see any solution other than snap elections in Chișinău. The locals of the capital need to have a representative at the mayor’s office: good, bad, smart or not so much, but theirs, not elected by Plahotniuc or others”, said Chirtoacă.

At the same time, he pledges innocent in his case.

Liberal Dorin Chirtoacă has been the mayor of Chișinău since 2007, now doing his third term in office. Chirtoacă has been under house arrest since May 2017, being investigated for traffic influence over the parking lot payroll. On July 28th, he was suspended from the position of mayor of Moldova’s capital until a final decision of the court. At the beginning of September, after the proposal of the Socialists, the Chisinau Municipal Council approved the organization of a plebiscite for the dismissal of the mayor, which would take place on November 19th. The referendum failed due to low turnout.

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Economy

Moldova Socialists submit motion on economic policy

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15 February 2018- The caucus of the Socialists’ Party of Moldova submitted to the Parliament a simple motion against the policy conducted by the Economy and Infrastructure, led by minister Chiril Gaburici. The Socialists are complaining about the “disastrous” economic state of the country.

According to Socialist MP Vasile Bolea, the year of 2017 was a total failure because of the over-taxation and cut capital investment policies.

“The submission of this motion represents our will to call on the minister to participate in a debate to explain the causes for economic disaster, to talk about the state of the national economy, jobs, the cut public investment, about the state enterprises that are sold for small money. The policy is going in the wrong direction and does not represent the interests of the citizens”, declared Bolea.

The motion is reportedly being sent to the Government.

Chiril Gaburici was sworn in as Economy minister at the beginning of January 2018.

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