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Moldova Parliament speaker points at possible “evaluation of damage made by Russian troops presence”, Russia officials enraged

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In an interview for Latvijas Avize, quoted by Newsmaker, the speaker of Moldova’s Parliament, Andrian Candu, declared that the Moldovan authorities intend to contract an international juridical firm to evaluate the damage made by the military presence of the Russian troops in the last 25 years.

The Democrat told the Latvian online paper that the Russian Federation holds around 2000 soldiers in the Transnistrian region of Moldova, calling the troops- “occupation troops”:

“The Russian military units represent a security threat because of its illegal presence, as it happens with the presence of the Russian army in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Eastern Ukraine”, says Candu, mentioning that Russia violates the international law and caused damages of billions. Asked by the Latvian journalists about the evaluation of Soviet occupation damage, the Parliament speaker confessed that it might be a sensitive issue for the society, despite deportations, famine and other crimes committed by the Communist authorities.

The first Russian official to react to Candu’s statement was Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s Deputy Prime-Minister and Putin’s Special Representative for the Transnistrian conflict:

“Over the past year, the Moldovan authorities have taken so many Anti-Russian actions, so many mistakes have been made in their foreign policy, that now it is not clear how they are going to take it all back”, said Rogozin in a Facebook post.

The members of the Russian Federation Council also had to say something on the topic. Frantz Klinkevich declared that it is Russia who needs to propose a “paycheck” to Moldova on the work of the peacekeepers in Moldova:

“I think that Russia is right to give Moldova a reciprocal paycheck. The Russian peacekeepers are fulfilling an important function in this region, preventing an inevitable armed conflict in their absence, which is obviously related to financial expenditures, not some small ones”, said Klinkevich, pointing out that Moldova is a bankrupt country and cannot pay the services of the peacekeepers.

Another member of the Federation Council, Aleksey Pushkov, tweeted that the Moldovan authorities want billions for a “mythical occupation of Transnistria”:

“In Moldova (they) want to get billions from Russia for the mythical “occupation of Transnistria”? A typical logic of parasites: to fake a pretext and to cry “give money”! Attempts meant for failure. They shouldn’t even think. This way, one can get out of the Russian market and lack it totally”, said the senator from Permskaya oblast.

Note: Besides the 402 so-called peacekeepers, Russia holds the Operative Group of the Russian Forces in the Transnistrian region of Moldova containing approximately 1200 regular soldiers, mainly recruited among locals. The Group is the new shape of the former 14th Guards Army of the Soviet Union that is illegally stationed in Transnistria after the collapse of SU. The Group and the Peacekeeping Mission are strongly interconnected through the rotation of troops between them and both contain local Transnistrian men with Russian passports, despite their neutrality claims.

The Republic of Moldova addressed the United Nations with the request to include the issue of the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping forces from Transnistria to the agenda of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. In a letter from the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the UN, Victor Moraru stated that the presence of Russian troops “constitutes a danger to the maintenance of international peace and security.” The subject was due to be discussed in the plenary session of the UN General Assembly on 23 October but then was delayed by the Moldovan Representative to the UN.

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

Politics

Head of Moldova’s Security and Intelligence Service resigns after 2 months

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20 February 2018- Vitalie Pîrlog asked the Parliament of Moldova to initiate the procedure of dismissing him from the position of the director of the Security and Intelligence Service (SIS). The resignation was submitted on February 19th.

Pîrlog motivated his resignation with his activity within INTERPOL:

“The option of withdrawing myself from the position of director of SIS and acting only on the INTERPOL dimension has at the basis the will to continue those important reforms at whose start I participated in the Commission for the Control of Files of Interpol”, reads the resignation letter, which is to be processed by the Juridical Commission of Moldova’s legislative.

Vitalie Pîrlog was appointed by the Parliament in the position of director of SIS for 5 years in December 2017.

Between 2001 and 2006, Pîrlog was the representative of the Moldovan Government to the ECtHR. In the Communist government between 2006 and 2009, he held the seat of Justice Minister. In 2013, he was a potential candidate for the seat of Prosecutor General of Moldova but was reportedly rejected by the Liberal-Democratic Party.

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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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