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Amnesty International Moldova asks prosecutors to investigate police behavior at protest in Orhei

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On Wednesday, a group of supporters of Andrei Nastase’s Dignity and Truth Platform along with its activist Gheorghe Petic were hit with tear gas during a demonstration in front of the Orhei Court’s headquarters where the sentence was pronounced.

The incident occurred after the sentence was pronounced while Gheorghe Petic was to be transported by the police forces.

According to Unimedia, six people have arrived at the hospital, where they have been diagnosed with chemical burning of the eyes.

Momentul în care oamenii legii au pulverizat spre mulțime gaze lacrimogene

/STOP CADRU/ Momentul în care oamenii legii au pulverizat spre mulțime gaze lacrimogene la Judecătoria Orhei, unde a fost condamnat Petic

Geplaatst door TV8.MD op Woensdag 20 maart 2019

After the incident, Amnesty International Moldova issued a press release requesting the General Prosecutor’s Office and the General Police Inspectorate to carry out a prompt and objective investigation into “the alleged policemen, during today’s protests in front of the Orhei Court”.

The organization reminded the state authorities of the legislative provisions restricting the use of special means, which can only be used in exceptional conditions.

In addition, those from Amnesty International Moldova referred to Article 40 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, which guarantees every citizen the right to assembly and the fundamental freedom of expression in peaceful protests.

The National Police, however, declared that the tear gas was used by a staff member of the National Patrolled Inspectorate that was “hurt” by one of the protesters. A press release states that the policeman has applied special methods “to resist aggression and to allow safe traffic”.

Reminder: The pressure applied by the Moldovan Government led by the Democratic Party continues to manifest itself hashly on the opposition. The parliamentary candidate on the national list of the “ACUM” bloc, Gheorghe Petic was convicted for rape – three years and six months in jail, serving the sentence in a semi-closed penitentiary, and a fine of 30,000 lei for home violence. The accused does not acknowledge his guilt and claims that his file has been politically produced

Image result for gheorghe peticImage result for gheorghe petic

Important

Media censorship during state of emergency: no personal opinions, no information that is not confirmed by state officials

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In the context of state of emergency declared on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, the president of the Audiovisual Council (AC) of the Republic of Moldova, Dragoș Vicol, issued, on March 24, a provision through which, media outlets from all over the country are obliged to present only the official position of the competent public authorities. Additionally, journalists are not allowed to express their own opinion when reflecting the subjects that concern the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Under the conditions of state of emergency on the territory of Moldova, the official position of the competent public authorities (World Health Organization, the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission, the Government of the Republic of Moldova, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection) will be presented, those being more knowledgeable and more competent institutions regarding this matter,” is mentioned in the provision published on the AC official page.

In its attempt to fight fake news, sensationalism and infodemic situations characterised by overabundance of information that can create confusion, panic and insecurity, the AC risks to violate freedom of speech, opinated Petru Macovei, the executive director of the Independent Press Association (IPA) cited by ZdG.

These provisions are qualified by Macovei as an abuse in the field of audiovisual media services. “These provisions limit the right of journalists to issue value judgements related to the authorities’ efficiency,” stated Petru Macovei.

This is what the AC provides exactly: “During the period of emergency, the presenters / moderators / editors will unilaterally renounce the unannounced statement and favouring of both their own opinion and free formation of arbitrary opinions when reflecting the topics concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.”

At the same time, the regulatory institution affirmed that “the only reliable, truthful, impartial and balanced source of information is that from competent public authorities in the country and abroad.”

During the broadcasts made on the subject COVID-19, the representatives of the authorities should be invited, or at least they should be able to talk over the phone, as well as to present video or audio recordings with the position of a public authority, stated the president of AC for TV8.

In his opinion, everybody should trust the official sources. “Why do you doubt it? Now it is not the proper moment for labelling and considering that someone is hiding the information. I cannot believe that there are tendencies for certain state authorities to hide information,” Dragoș Vicol claimed.

However, experts say it is more about forbidding inconvenient statements and controlling the information flow.

“This decision needs to be reconsidered by the AC because, in its current form, it contains very clear elements of censorship. […] It is important to warn the European Commission about the abuses that occur in the Republic of Moldova under the pretext of state of emergency,” Petru Macovei highlighted.

“Such decisions are counter-productive when referring to the transparency of the authorities and the communication to the public to prevent the spread of the virus and recover the social-economic situation,” mentioned political analyst Dionis Cenușă, arguing that the AC provision still covers important issues related to a correct way of communicating information and dealing with the phenomenon of fake news.

Photo: Wendy Kenigsberg |University Photography

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Crisis measures? Socialists and democrats formed a coalition government

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The Socialist Party of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) and the Democratic Party of Moldova (DPM) have signed an agreement agreement today, establishing a coalition government within the newly formed Social-Democratic Platform for Moldova“We are witnessing a historical moment today. After several discussions and negotiations, we found common ground between PSRM and DPM to form a coalition and to create an absolutely necessary majority government,” said the PSRM leader Zinaida Greceanîi during a press release.

See also: A new (old) coalition government? DPM and PSRM have entered into negotiations

Socialists committed to support the Government in creating new jobs, attracting investments, carrying out national programs regarding public roads, street lighting, extension of the natural gas network,  as well as increasing salaries and pensions. Democrats, in response, promised to ensure the implementation of the Association Agreement, maintain territorial integrity, energy security, continue the strategic partnership with the United States and maintain good relations with the neighbouring countries. “I assure you that we will keep our word,” said Pavel Filip, the democrats’ leader.

In less than an hour since the announcement of the creation of the new coalition government, five democrats took the oath, replacing their socialist colleagues previously holding the following offices: Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration, Defence Minister, Minister of Education, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Economy.

Zinaida Greceanii and Pavel Filip said that this coalition would provide stability to the Government in the current complicated epidemiological period. “Starting today, we have a professional, technocratic Government, but with the solid support of 58 members of the Parliament […] I am firmly convinced that this solid majority will create additional premises to overcome this challenge. People are waiting for results from the Government, the Parliament and each minister separately,” said Igor Dodon.

Prime Minister Ion Chicu said that the members of the Government will continue to work as a team. “We have only one party – the citizens’ party of the Republic of Moldova, for which we work. […] We will overcome this crisis, we will come out of it even stronger, and more united as a society, as a Government and a Parliament,” declared Chicu.

Even though the authorities announced Code Red of alert at national level regarding the risk of infection with COVID-19 on Friday, the measure of establishing the state of emergency throughout the country was proposed to the Parliament only today, after the new parliamentary elections were held in one Moldovan district on Sunday and the PSRM-DPM coalition was formed on Monday.

See also: Is COVID-19 taken seriously? Government’s actions and people’s behaviour

Political analyst Ion Tăbîrţă believes that establishing the state of emergency in the country has been deliberately delayed, as ZdG reported. “If the state of emergency had been adopted a few days before, then neither the elections in Hâncești, nor these governmental changes would have been possible. That is why our authorities have acted in such a way,” argued Tăbîrţă.

The analyst claimed that, the coalition has the stake in assuring the socialists that Igor Dodon would get another mandate, and granting the democrats return to the government and power consolidation of the party.

Photo: cotidianul.md

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A new (old) coalition government? DPM and PSRM have entered into negotiations

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The socialists and democrats representatives participated, on March 5, in the first round of negotiations on the creation of a coalition government. The discussions have focused only on the basic principles of a possible coalition agreement, which could be similar to the one previously signed between the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) and the political bloc ACUM.

Even though the discussions are only at the point of departure, several opinions and assessment declarations were made.

Opening discussions

First, both political parties expressed their willingness to start discussions on creation a new coalition in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. On Wednesday, March 4, the official pages of the democratic and socialist political forces displayed statements regarding the coming negotiations.

Socialists claimed that there are only 3 options at the moment:

1) maintaining the current situation, with a government without stable political support;

2) political partnership with the Democratic Party of Moldova (DPM), which is the only parliamentary party open to dialogue on this topic;

3) snap parliamentary elections in November, along with the presidential ones.

The option of snap elections was declared inconvenient and undesired, as it could merely harm the citizens of the country, according to PSRM. “As a result, the leadership of the party was given the mandate to conduct negotiations and to conclude political partnerships to ensure a stable government, which will be able to carry out with maximum efficiency its activity program until 2023,” is mentioned in the PSRM statement.

The alternatives were considered by democrats as well, who also excluded the one regarding snap elections. “As socialists expressed their openness for a possible dialogue and a government with shared responsibilities with DPM, we delegated representatives of the Democratic Party to hold discussions with PSRM, under certain conditions,” is said in the democrats’ statement.

At the same time, both political parties eliminated the alternative of creating a government coalition with the political bloc ACUM, claiming a failure of reaching an agreement due to the opposition bloc unwillingness to discuss.

Setting conditions

Democrats and socialists stated that talks have not yet reached the division of influence areas in the Government. However, democrats declared that they would like to take responsibility for four or five ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Economy. Another condition set by the DPM representatives is the acceptance by PSRM of their governing program, which would merely focus on meeting the commitments to the European institutions.

“We have nine ministries. I believe that if the responsibility for 50% of the ministries will be assumed by DPM, it will be a normal thing. […] We already evaluated whether we have people trained for these areas. It is important to find a compromise with those in power,” stated the leader of DPM at a press conference.

The socialists ‘ representative said that, this weekend, new meetings with democrats may be held in order to see if they can reach a common ground regarding the government program.

Existing pitfalls

We are witnessing a situation turnaround, as only several months ago both political parties were denying a possible coalition creation. “I said this in February and in June: socialists do not make any coalition with democrats,” repeatedly claimed President Igor Dodon.

Democrats organised protests against PSRM in June last year. Then, they demanded the resignation of the president whom they accused of treason.

The two parties began, however, to cooperate after democrats voted for the established minority government, mentioning that they were not part of any alliance with socialists.

What has changed? A lot has changed. We live in another country now,” recently said Dumitru Diacov, the DPM honorary president.

There is one more thing: seven MPs from DPM, including Andrian Candu, former speaker of the Parliament, have left the Democratic Party accusing the leadership of wanting to form a parliamentary coalition with socialists. They formed a political group called “Pro Moldova” and intend to register a new political party.

The disapproving opposition

The ACUM representatives affirmed that the two political forces would have already reached an agreement. “In the nearest future we will witness the formalisation of the political ‘marriage’ and we will see how these parties have divided several ministries and state institutions. […] There is a government reconfiguration through which DPM, in exchange for Dodon’s support, will obtain the Ministries of External Affairs, Defence, Education, Economy, as well as Public Service Agency, Medicines Agency, Moldtelecom and Cricova. During the negotiation of this shameful exchange, Filip and Diacov asked for the Ministry of Internal Affairs to guarantee the protection of their criminal schemes. This is how a ‘pro-European’ (Russian-criminal) course is going to be settled in our country,” stated the MP Vasile Năstase.

“It is a coalition so that some of them do not get to jail and others have the possibility to steal further,” claimed the leader “Our Party” Renato Usatîi.

In an official statement, the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) claimed that the party tried to hold discussions with democrats but no results were obtained: “In recent weeks, PAS has made more efforts to find a common platform with DPM, by negotiating declarations on the irreversible course of European integration, condemning the intentions of federalisation of the country and initiating the procedure of dismissal of the current Government. All our attempts have been refused, under different pretexts.”

Photo: Facebook| Parliament

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