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After one year and four months, the mayor mandate of Andrei Năstase was validated by the Court of Appeal Chișinău



In June 2018, Andrei Năstase, one of the candidates who was running for mayor of Chișinău, won the local elections. However, his mandate was invalidated. The stated reason was the electoral agitation he made on the day of pre-election silence through a video posted on social media.

After one year and four months, the Court of Appeal (CA) Chișinău completely overturned the decision of the Chișinău Court, which annulled the mandate of Andrei Năstase after the local elections of 2018.

The appeal against the decision previously taken by the judge Rodica Berdilo at the Chișinău Court was submitted last year, the affected parties requesting the confirmation of the legality of the local elections of the mayor of Chișinău and validation of Năstase’s mandate.

Thus, the CA Chișinău issued a new decision confirming the results of the local elections of 2018 and validating the mayor mandate of Andrei Năstase.

Asked by Ziarul de Gardă, the member of Central Election Commission (CEC) Maxim Lebedinschi declared that, by the decision taken today by magistrates, Andrei Năstase can exercise the position of mayor of Chișinău until the validation of the new mayor mandate, who will be elected on October 20th, 2019.

Even though it might sound like a joke, this is actually happening – Andrei Năstase, the mayor of Chișinău elected in June 2018, has officially just 12 days in the office before his mandate comes to an end.


EU official: “It’s been a long time we’ve been patient. We will judge the Government’s actions objectively.”



Director for Russia, Eastern partnership, Central Asia and OSCE, and Deputy Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia at the European External Action Service (EEAS), Luc Pierre Devigne, paid a visit to Chișinău today to participate in the 5th meeting of the EU-Moldova Association Committee.

He addressed a message to the Moldovan government during a press conference, criticising the way the reforms were implemented in the country, especially the way the famous bank fraud from Moldova, called also “the theft of the century” was investigated. Devigne considers inadmissible the fact that, after five years, the persons and companies that were involved in the fraud were not held accountable.

“It is unacceptable that after the theft of the billion was uncovered and deeply investigated by a leading financial investigation team – the Kroll company, whose findings were made publicly available, the investigation was still not finalised on various pretexts. We cannot believe that it is legally not possible to prosecute such a fraud.[…] It is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that justice works in the country. We want to see an open and transparent process that includes not only the Government, but also the consultation of opposition, civil society and the EU institutions recommendations.” said Devigne.

The EU official told the Moldovan politicians: “It’s time for actions. It’s been a long time we’ve been supportive, we’ve been patient. Now, we will judge the Government’s actions objectively.”

“The EU has always supported the Republic of Moldova, but the EU cannot substitute for good governance and the actions that should be taken by the Government. Our support is not unconditional.”

He said that European assistance will depend on how laws and democratic standards will be respected in Moldova. Particularly, Luc Pierre Devigne mentioned that the Republic of Moldova should join the Anticorruption Network for an effective fight against corruption, strengthen independent media and improve the quality of life in the case of the Moldovan citizens.

Luc Pierre Devigne also referred to the subject of the Citizenship by Investment Law, on which the Government applied a moratorium, but only until February 24, 2020. The official was disappointed that people who obtained such kind of citizenship remained anonymous. “We do not see this as compatible with a serious and secure visa liberalisation regime. It’s a security issue.” highlighted Devigne.

One of the central messages of the EU delegation to Moldova concerned the importance of boosting the cooperation between Moldova and the community bloc.

At the same time, the Moldovan authorities reiterated their commitment to comply with the recommendations of international organisations such as the OSCE and the Venice Commission, and to ensure public consultations on major projects.


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Who is going to pay back the stolen billion? President Dodon proposed a new legislative measure



A new legislative initiative was announced by the president of state, Igor Dodon. According to him, the burden of the robbed billion from the banking system placed on the shoulders of citizens will be reduced.

In October 2016, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova voted a bill, called unofficially “the Law of a Billion”, providing for the conversion into state debt of emergency loans of 13.5 billion lei, disbursed by the National Bank of Moldova (NBM) to the bankrupted banks involved in the “Great Moldovan Bank Robbery” that happened in 2014. The state debt, including the interest, was to be returned by the Moldovan citizens out of their paid taxes, over the next 25 years. The first payment of 668 million lei was made in October 2017. In 2018, another 827 million lei were paid. By 2041, a total of 24.5 billion lei will be paid. More details here.

“We promised previously to reduce or exclude the burden put on the shoulders of citizens following the stolen billion. At this stage we found the mechanisms needed to reduce this burden by 5-6 billion lei, so 25% – 30% of it. The project was also discussed with our external partners from the IMF, and is to be approved by the Government in the next few days, as well as submitted to Parliament for approval,” declared Dodon.

The whole mechanism idea is to transfer half of the profit of the National Bank of Moldova to the state budget.

The NBM management declared that the president’s legislative initiative is balanced and that it has been discussed with the experts from the IMF as well. “Such a distribution is possible by amending the Law on the National Bank of Moldova in order to introduce a model of phased and partial distribution of profits to the state budget until the level of 10% of the capital of the NBM is reached. This would be in line with international practices and could ensure the balance between the distribution of profits to the state budget and the gradual capitalisation of the National Bank,” declared the NBM representatives.

The mechanism proposed by President Dodon is not new for the Republic of Moldova. It was previously implemented and afterwards dropped out in 2003. “We already had such a mechanism. After 2003, this practice was stopped, as it was considered that the NBM profit should remain with the NBM in order to strengthen the capacity of the institution, so that it can intervene on the currency or monetary market in case of a crisis,” claimed the economic expert Veaceslav Ioniță.

According to the economic expert, the solution proposed by the head of state could have negative consequences in the event of an economic crisis, when the NBM would have to intervene and the Government would have to cover the NBM’s financial needs. The expert said the president’s solution could raise several questions from the IMF: “I think we will have to provide explanations to the IMF because it was the IMF that said not to take the NBM profit in the state budget, and we are going back to what it was.” 

The Dodon’s initiative was also criticised by the political opposition of the government. “The transfer of some income from one pocket of the state to another does not mean easing the burden placed on citizens. The solution for the Law (of a Billion) is to recover the money from those who stole it. […] The tactic of Igor Dodon is actually removing the money from the National Bank’s reserves to finance the huge expenses of the current government in the election year. The Moldovan Government has never planned to spend so much money, that has uncertain funding sources,” said former Minister of Finance Natalia Gavriliță.

Photo: unknown source

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The Turkish teachers’ expulsion case – is the mystery solved?



Few days ago, Prosecutor General Alexandru Stoianoglo announced in a press conference that a criminal case, filed against the former director of the Information and Security Service (ISS), Vasile Botnari, for abuse of service in the expulsion under supervision of Turkish teachers from Moldova, was sent to the court.

According to the prosecutor general of Moldova, the entire operation of removal of Turkish citizens from the country was arranged, coordinated and managed directly by Botnari. Other persons earlier figuring in the same criminal prosecution – two former ISS deputy directors and the head of the Bureau of Migration and Asylum (BMA) – were declared as executing the ISS director orders without knowing that they were illegal, as Stoianoglo stated.

The former ISS director was the only one who has admitted his guilt, even though the other parts’ involvement in the case is evident, as a article pointed out.

The probation office declared that the ISS has taken over the removal actions in the absence of a written request from the BMA or a collaboration agreement in this regard, that is while the BMA is the only institution competent to organise and carry out the necessary activities in order to remove foreign citizens from the country.

“The fact that Vasile Botnari played a key role in the removal of the seven Turkish teachers from Moldova is clear. The moment he admits his entire guilt as some kind of scapegoat is clear. It is hard to believe though that prosecutors are so naive. […] And is ridiculous that absolutely no one else will be held responsible for one of the most shameful and criminal moments in the contemporary history of Moldova,” stated the article.

The former head of the BMA, Olga Poalelungi, removed from office in September 2019, and accused of expulsion under supervision of Turkish teachers, was reinstated to the former position. That happened despite the fact that her signature stands on the decision of the BMA, according to which the Turkish citizens were declared undesirable on the territory of the Republic of Moldova.


In September 2018, seven Turkish teachers from Orizont Lyceums were arrested in a joint operation conducted by the Moldovan and Turkish secret services. They were taken directly to Chisinau Airport, where a charter plane was waiting for them and immediately took them to Turkey. Their families had no knowledge of their fate for several weeks.

Reputable international media portals, such as Reuters, wrote about the case of the expulsion under supervision of seven Turkish citizens. “The detainees were teachers and officials at a network of schools originally set up by the movement of U.S.-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, which Turkish authorities hold responsible for a failed 2016 coup in Turkey,” is mentioned in the Reuters article.

Moldova’s ISS stated, at that moment, that foreign nationals were expelled because they posed a threat to national security. It is worth mentioning that all Turkish citizens who were improperly removed from the territory of the Republic of Moldova were sentenced to prison in Turkey. “The Moldovan authorities didn’t just violate these individuals’ rights once by deporting them – they put them on a fast-track to further human rights violations such as an unfair trial.” said Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia in a statement.

By its decision of June 11, 2019, the ECtHR found a violation of Articles 5.1 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and forced the Government of the Republic of Moldova to pay 25 000 euros for five Turkish citizens, whose rights were violated, the total amount for the compensation of the moral damage being of 125 000 euros.

Igor Dodon and (his) Presidency

On December 31, 2019, during the visit of the President of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon, in Ankara, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, officially thanked Dodon for the fact that the Moldovan authorities expelled the Turkish teachers from Moldova and brought them to the Turkish authorities.

President Igor Dodon several time denied that expelling citizens at the behest of the Turkish authorities was one of the conditions attached to Ankara’s donation to the renovation of the Moldovan presidential building.

The renovation of the presidential building was carried out by a Turkish construction company called Sonbay, according to an announcement of the Embassy of Turkey in the Republic of Moldova. The Embassy stated that, “the repair of the Presidency building represents a donation offered to the Moldovan people by the Turkish people,” as it was cited by ZdG.

The renovated Presidency building| source:

Initially, the construction company announced that a sum of 7 180 000 euros will be used for reconstruction. Shortly after the Moldovan press announced the amount of the investment, the information was deleted from the company’s website.

Children’s hunting

Bușra Zeynep Șen, a teacher of Turkish origin from the International High School of Informatics in Bucharest, who is also Turgay Șen’s daughter – the former president of the Orizont Lyceums from the Republic of Moldova – was detained by police, based on a warrant issued by the Turkish authorities in December 2019.

Turgay Șen was detained at Chisinau Airport in March 2018, then heard for 7 hours at the Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Organised Crime and Special Cases and banned from leaving the country for a period. At that time, Turgay Șen declared that the criminal case against him was filed at the indication of the Moldovan leaders, in the interest of the Turkish authoritarian regime, in response to the donation for the restoration of the Presidency building.

Bușra’s lawyer explained to the Romanian media that the teacher was accused of being part of a terrorist group, while she already was employed as a teacher in Bucharest. Moreover, the Turkish citizen was tried in her absence in Turkey.

Fortunately, the extradition of Bușra Zeynep Șen was rejected. “From studying the warrant, I appreciate that extradition is required for political and social reasons, which violates human rights. The Prosecutor’s Office called for the extradition request to be rejected,” claimed the case prosecutor.

Bușra Zeynep Șen said for that all Turkish citizens living abroad became extremely vigilant after all the Turkish Government’s actions. However, Bușra never thought that the Turkish authorities would go through these procedures for her. “I am a 24-years-person. I lived in Turkey four years only, when I studied at the university. What could I have done to make them work so hard to get me back?” the woman wondered.


According to a press release published on the website of the State Information Agency from Moldova, the national mechanisms that regulate the status of foreigners are focused on identifying the reasons for removing the foreigners from the Republic of Moldova, rather than ensuring the necessary protection for them, the legal norms do not offer effective guarantees to the applicants for protection, and the administrative bodies often abuse the assigned prerogatives.


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