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“The crab, the pike and the frog” – a fable about the Moldovan politics

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The crab, the pike and the frog is a fable written by Alecu Donici, a Moldovan poet, fabulist and translator. It tells the story of the 3 mentioned characters who tried to carry together a bag full of wheat in the lake. Because none of them didn’t cooperate, as they are different by nature – the pike swims, the frog jumps and the crab walks sideways, they never managed to do the work together.

Why am I telling you this story and what is the link to what happens today on the Moldovan political stage? Well, the story seems to be fully replicated to the political reality of Moldova. For several weeks, all 3 political entities that entered the Parliament, having the highest number of seats – the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), the Democratic Party of Moldova (DPM) and the political bloc ACUM, have been ‘investigating the field’, while bringing new and new conditions to the ‘not held negotiations’ (as they declare, there were discussions only).

These days, the political bloc ACUM came up with new draft laws within the pale of their discussions with the PSRM. First, they proposed the creation of a working group consisting of representatives of both factions, delegated to discuss by April 25th the initiatives regarding the de-oligarchization of the Republic of Moldova and the  improvement of quality of life for the Moldovan citizens. ACUM came up with 5 new draft laws related to the General Prosecutor’s Office, the National Bank of Moldova, the Electoral Code and the citizenship by investment law, according to the declarations made during a press conference held by the political bloc ACUM.

Thus, the leader of the Dignity and Truth Platform Party (DTPP) and one of the ACUM’s leaders, Andrei Năstase, declared that the ACUM Bloc is still waiting for a firm and public commitment from the PSRM regarding the non-admission of a coalition with the DPM. “The Bloc ACUM reiterates the primordial necessity of releasing all state institutions from captivity as a prerequisite for fulfilling commitments made to voters. We also advocate for not allowing early elections in the context of oligarchic control over law and regulatory institutions, including the Central Electoral Commission, the Audiovisual Council, the Prosecutor’s Office, the National Anti-Corruption Center, “ stated Andrei Năstase.

On the other hand, Maia Sandu, the leader of the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) and the second leader of the political bloc ACUM highlighted again the lack of intention to build any coalition with the PSRM: “We do not make a coalition. We want to discuss and understand if there is a commitment from the PSRM faction to participate in the process of de-oligarchization. We also want to hear whether the socialists commit themselves to vote in the Parliament,” added Maia Sandu.

In the meantime, all members of the PSRM, including the president of the faction, Zinaida Greceanîi, went today to Moscow for a one-day visit to the Russian State Duma. According to a press release published on the PSRM official website, the Socialists will have bilateral meetings with the State Duma members, as well as with the representatives of the largest parties of the Russian State Duma. “We remind that the PSRM signed a cooperation agreement with the governing party of the Russian Federation” Edinaia Rossia “, as well as with the political party in the State Duma” Spravedlivaia Rossia “, the PSRM press release stated.

Moreover, after the ACUM bloc came up with the draft laws and repeatedly declared that no majority government based on the ACUM-PSRM coalition will be created, Vlad Batrîncea, the executive secretary of the PSRM, published a reaction in which he mentions that the working group creation does not make any sense, as long as the representatives of the bloc are not available to discuss the initial conditions from which to start negotiations on the creation of a ruling coalition.

“We regret that the representatives of the ACUM bloc continue to show political egoism. They insist on this impossible formula when a political party gaining the third position after the number of seats in the Parliament calls for the speaker and the prime minister to be voted together with a minority government of their faction, just like the agenda proposed by ACUM tates, without taking into account the PSRM proposals. ACUM also shows irresponsibility, while trying to avoid the creation of a functional governing coalition with the PSRM, which would allow the demolition of the current government and exclude the risk of snap parliamentary elections,” said Batrîncea.

In such a way, the ACUM bloc insists on the creation of a minority government, where Maia Sandu would be the Prime Minister, and Andrei Năstase would be the Speaker of the Parliament of Moldova. On the other hand, the PSRM proposes the creation of a parliamentary majority, in which Zinaida Greceanîi would be the Speaker, and the prime minister would be elected  from the ACUM bloc.

The third ‘fable character’ – the DPM, was lately, at least officially, ignored during the ACUM-PSRM discussions, so they decided to remind about their existence. The DPM spokesman, Vitalie Gamurari, asked in a Facebook post the parliamentary parties to “come back down to earth” and to focus on the real agenda of the citizens, as well as their immediate needs, instead of “only on the desperation to get positions and take control of several state institutions”, as Gamurari said. According to the DPM agenda, such things as increase of wages and pensions, job security and better roads must be a priority. “This is why working groups need to be created, not for sharing the functions,” added the DPM spokesman.

Vitalie Gamurari forgot to mention, though, that no real social, economical or judicial reforms are possible without the liquidation of the oligarchic regime, existent in the Republic of Moldova thanks to the party Gamurari is a member of. As it seems, every parliamentary faction is interested in creation of better living conditions for the Moldovan citizens. It’s just that somebody wants to start with the hardest reforms (fighting like a pike to get to the water), others want to follow the already tested options (jumping up like a frog, but without any leap forward) and the third ones prefer to pretend that they have the solution and blame others for their own fails (walking sideways like a crab).

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Parliament asks prosecutors to indict Moldova’s ex-PM, central bank governor, and 2 ex-ministers for negligence over 2014 frauds

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The Parliamentary committee on the investigation of the circumstances around the devaluation of the baking system requested the Moldovan prosecutors to initiate penal cases against the former PM Iurie Leancă, central bank ex-governor Dorin Drăguțanu, former Parliament speaker and economy minister Andrian Candu, as well as the ex-minister of finances, Anatol Arapu.

The committee found that the above-mentioned officials can be charged with negligence at work (329th article of the Penal Code).

Acording to committee head Alexandru Slusari, the three banks involved in the 2014 frauds did not have any special state management and siffoned millions out of Moldova’s banking system, even after the Government covered the 9,5 billion lei of emergency loans given by the National Bank to these banks.

“Thus, the leadership of the Government and the National Bank acted during that period with negligence, to say the least, without imposing state control over BEM, Unibank and Banca Sociala immediately after the issuance of the state warranties. We would like to remind that the warranties were eventually transformed into state debt with a 5% interest rate on the shoulder of citizens”, Slusari declared.

Concidence or not, former PM Iurie Leancă was stopped on 1 August by the border police from crossing Moldova’s borders after attempting to physically transfer 50 thousand euros to Romania. Leancă claims that the money is mentioned in his property declaration.

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Maia Sandu urges Tiraspol to lift the travel ban for officials of the Republic of Moldova

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Prime Minister Maia Sandu had a meeting with representatives of the mediators and observers in the “3+2” negotiation format. The discussions focused on the evaluation of the current stage of the Transnistrian settlement process.

Maia Sandu requested assistance from the “3+2” representatives in determining the Transnistrian party to eliminate in the near future the ban on traveling to the left bank for all citizens of the Republic of Moldova.

According to a government communiqué, the prime minister stressed that the “5+2” negotiation format for the Transnistrian settlement should become a platform to help fight corruption and smuggling.

“We have also discussed this in Kiev and I am glad that we have the same position in relation to this issue. The fight against corruption and smuggling in the Transnistrian region must be a priority. We will ensure that both state institutions and government officials will no longer be involved in corruption and smuggling schemes with Tiraspol, as it had happened in the past. As long as the Transnistrian region will be a major source of illegal enrichment for some people, there will be no real progress in identifying a political solution.”

In this context, Maia Sandu mentioned the need to prolong the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM).

The head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Claus Neukirch, reiterated that securing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, with a special status for the Transnistrian region, is the key factor in the mission’s work, but also the main goal of the “5+2” format.

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Financial support provided by USAID will be increased by $29 Million

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Yesterday, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, and the Deputy of the USAID for Europe and Eurasia Bureau, Brock Bierman, signed two letters confirming the intention to increase the contribution to the development assistance agreement with the value of 29 million US dollars.

According to Maia Sandu, the money offered by the American people will be used for good governance, tourism, information technology, and media projects.

“Support from the US over the years has been important for strengthening democratic institutions and processes in Moldova. US support has been and is important for building the rule of law for reforming justice, building a state to represent and defend Moldovan citizens. This financial support will be used as efficiently, transparently and correctly as possible, especially in the interests of all citizens,” said Maia Sandu.

The expected funding for democratic governance will facilitate the creation of functional institutions and involve citizens in decision-making, promote the efficiency and transparency of local governments, improve access to municipal services, and promote decentralization and judicial reforms. Other key areas are creating favorable conditions for civil society organizations and the media.

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