On October 29th, the Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office filed one more criminal case against the former leader of the Democratic Party of Moldova (DPM), Vladimir Plahotniuc, for illegally obtaining a second passport of the Republic of Moldova, with a second identity. The criminal prosecution was started based on accusations of “abuse of service, committed in the interest of an organised criminal group or a criminal organisation,” according to the Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office information.
The offence based on which the criminal investigation was initiated is punishable by imprisonment from three to seven years, by the deprivation of the right to hold certain offices or to carry out a certain activity for a term of 10 to 15 years.
The chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on National Security, Defence and Public Order, Chiril Moţpan, confirmed at a press conference that the former leader of DPM Vladimir Plahotniuc had a dual identity in the Republic of Moldova. “We have come into possession of a document that clearly indicates that the citizen Vladimir Plahotniuc has one more identity in the Republic of Moldova. That information also reached the Prosecutor’s Office and a criminal case was filed,” declared Moţpan.
No personal details about the second identity of Plahotniuc was provided, as these data were classified. According to the declarations of Chiril Moţpan, the document would have been obtained when Sergei Răilean, the godson of the current DPM president, Pavel Filip, held the office as the director of the Public Services Agency. According to the chairman of the Parliamentary Commission, the Democrat Sergei Iaralov (one of the most important persons of the Plahotniuc’s trusted circle) has also two Moldovan identities.
The police used excessive force against the Transnistrian war veterans protesting in the city centre of Chisinau
On July 16, just before the start of the Parliament sitting, a few dozen veterans of the Transnistrian war took part in a protest in front of the Parliament and the Presidency of the Republic of Moldova. Their intention – to show their disapproval regarding the passivity of Moldovan authorities regarding the 37 illegally installed border checkpoints in the Security Zone.
The former combatants decided to block the main street of the capital city, asking to be allowed in the Parliament and discuss the problem. After several hours, the police intervened using force.
As a result, nine persons were taken into authorised custody. Two of them needed medical help, being transported to the Emergency Medicine Institute.
Head of the General Inspectorate of Police, Marin Maxian, announced that a criminal case has been filed in relation to the actions during the veterans’ protest. “The persons who protested violently, who assaulted the police and showed non-subordination to the requirements of the police employees were taken to a police office where they gave testimonies,” declared the police representatives.
President Igor Dodon claimed that people who participated in the protest illegally blocked the street and that policemen acted legally. “Our police officers are very careful and do not exaggerate when compared to those of other states. The policemen are at the service of the state. They do not violate the law, they must ensure public order,” he said.
On the other hand, Amnesty International Moldova issued a statement condemning the use of force and tear gas by the police, as well as the detention of protesters. The organisation noted that the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova guarantees everyone the right to express their opinion and to freely participate in rallies, demonstrations, protests or other forms of public gatherings.
“The use of violence against protesters, their detention without any justified reason is not proportionate to the public interest in promoting the freedom of assembly. […] It is not clear why the authorities used force to a peaceful protest.”
Promo-LEX Association also blamed the aggressive policemen behaviour during the protest organised by the Transnistrian war veterans. The association concluded that the police have very easily resorted to the use of physical force and have been involved in avoidable violence. “The police officers reacted violently to the intention of some protesters to set up a tent. The incident escalated into a riot, which eventually resulted in the use of physical force, tear gas and violent detention of several participants,” it is said in the statement of the association.
“We mention that any actions of protesters that are peaceful and do not endanger somebody’s life or health must be resolved only by peaceful non-violent legal methods. Promo-LEX Association condemns the disproportionate and unjustified use of physical force, tear gas and electric shock by the police. At the same time, we condemn the aggressive reactions of the protest participants.”
Critical changes blocked in Moldovan politics – the Constitutional Court dictated the separation of powers
On July 7, the Constitutional Court (CC) of the Republic of Moldova issued a decision, according to which, the dissolution of the Parliament in the last six months of the presidential term of office is prohibited under any circumstances, even though the president resigns during this period. Moreover, according to the same decision, holding parliamentary elections and presidential elections during the same period is prohibited. Simultaneous local elections are permitted though.
The CC took this decision after 2 members of the Parliament (MPs) submitted 2 notifications in this regard. The institution explained its decision by the fact that the separation of powers is needed, that meaning the temporal separation of the presidential and the parliamentary election campaigns.
“We are on the verge of social revolts due to the deepening poverty, as well as the injustice in the country. The Constitutional Court issued a decision that leaves no room for interpretation. From now on, a Government capable of relaunching the economy and ensuring the safety of the people of Moldova must be formed,” claimed Andrian Candu, the member of Pro Moldova (a political party formed after the separation of democrats).
The vice-president of the Dignity and Truth Platform Party, Alexandr Slusari, declared that the CC decision was predictable. “It was clear for us from the the very beginning that simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections is a wrong and strictly political path. […] If several MPs had acted in unison, without making use of a hidden agenda, the Chicu government would have long gone down in history,” he said.
Socialists consider the current Parliament as being compromised, as it ‘sunk’ into many corruption scandals and the opposition boycotted legislature’s plenary sessions for several times already. “We addressed the CC to make this clarification. We would have liked to save the citizens’ money and to hold the snap parliamentary elections on the same day as the presidential elections, on November 1,” is mentioned in a press release published on the page of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova.
“In this context, we support the idea of President Igor Dodon that, the first decree signed by the head of state after the autumn presidential elections must be about the dissolution of the current compromised Parliament and holding snap parliamentary elections,” is also declared in the press release.
The socialists’ dissatisfaction is especially reasoned by 3 failed attempts of the Parliament to meet in plenary session, during which the bills for which Chicu’s Government took responsibility before the Parliament were supposed to be communicated. Opposition MPs urged the Government to withdraw its bills from Parliament and register them for parliamentary scrutiny.
Photo: Facebook| The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova
The effect of Russia’s constitutional changes on the Transnistrian region
A nationwide referendum is held in the Russian Federation between June 25 and July 1 in order to amend the constitution of the country.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the opportunity to vote during several days was provided. The voting process is held outside and, in addition, contactless voting at home, electronic voting and voting using the Mobile Voter mechanism are available.
In the Transnistrian region, voting was allowed for three days, from June 28-30, the whole process being organised under similar conditions as in Russia, the Tass News Agency announced.
According to a survey conducted at 800 Russian polling stations from June 25 to June 28, the majority of voters opted for the amendments, 23.6% opposed them and 0.4% invalidated the ballot paper,
Beside the amendment offering the possibility of prolonging the presidential term of Vladimir Putin (until 2036 instead of 2024), there are a a few controversial amendments to the Russian fundamental law.
Russian federal territories
One of the most important articles of the Constitution of the Russian Federation that could be amended is article no. 67, which provides for creation of federal territories in Russia and introduction of the expression “subjects of the Russian Federation”.
“By making this change, Putin wants to make sure that certain federal subjects do not leave the Russian Federation, such as Chechnya, Tatarstan or Crimea, the latter being illegally occupied by the Russian Federation. The territory of the Republic of Moldova doesn’t belong to the Russian Federation. However, taking into consideration the priorities that President Dodon and socialist have, one could draw a parallel.
During the propagandist Moscow parade, Putin mentioned in his speech that all neighbours ‘are part of the Russian world’. Moldova, according to Vladimir Putin, is part of his strategic interest. The fact that 11% of the Moldova’s territory is hosting occupation troops proves it one more time,” said security policy expert Rosian Vasiloi.
Previously, President Igor Dodon claimed that federalisation is the only solution to solving conflicts in the Republic of Moldova, including the Transnistrian one.
Russia as the legal successor to the Soviet Union
In the same article, a paragraph was introduced, saying that the Russian Federation is the legal successor of the Soviet Union. Another amending paragraph states that the Russian Federation honours the memory of the “Fatherland’s defenders” and ensures the protection of historical truth. “The diminution of the importance of the act of heroism in the defence of the Fatherland is not allowed.”
Historian Andrei Cusco mentioned that the victory in World War II is a myth that represented the main pillar of the regime’s ideology after Putin came to power in 2000. “Russia has taken certain moments from the Soviet communist narrative and reinterpreted them to serve the interests and visions of the current regime,” Cusco said.
The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation prohibits the dissemination of information that expresses a clear disrespect regarding the days of military glory and memorable dates in Russia related to the defence of the Fatherland, as Meduza informed.
A good example is the reaction of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Moldova to the TVR Moldova declaration that June 22, 1941 was the day when Romania entered the World War II to liberate the Russian-occupied lands in the summer of 1940. “For Romanians, this date went down in history as the day of starting the fight for the reunification of the nation. The President of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon, is not of the same opinion, as he stated that today is the day when the occupation of Bessarabia began,” it is said in the article.
The Embassy of the Russian Federation qualified the material as “uncivilised and extremely dangerous, because it justifies the war criminals.”
“Such tricks offend most Russian citizens who remember the common heroism of the Red Army that saved Europe from the Nazi plague.”
The perfect Russian child
One more completion to the constitution refers to children education, namely patriotism, citizenship and respect for the elderly.
The same approach existed during the USSR, when the principles of a very cultured man were considered love for the socialist homeland, friendship, companionship, humanity, honour, love for socialist work, etc.
Marriage of a man and a woman
Another newly introduced amendment provides for the protection of the family, maternity, paternity and childhood, defending the institution of marriage as a union of a man and a woman, creating the conditions for a decent upbringing of children in a family, as well as for the fulfilment of the obligation to take care of parents.
Yet, another video promoting the amendment of the constitution promotes homophobia as well.
Crime against Russians
The Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner believes that the way of voting the amendments is not democratic. “There are many proposed amendments. Among them, there are those that I would be willing to support, but there are those that I am against of. Unfortunately, everything is organized in such a way, that either you order the entire dinner or none of the dishes,” he said.
Liubov Sobol, a Russian politician and lawyer at the Anticorruption Foundation, claimed that resetting Putin’s mandates to zero is a crime against Russians. “20 years were enough to implement all the reforms needed for our country. We saw that Putin failed. Corruption is flourishing in the country, we have a low level of education. There must be a change of power, and all eligible candidates must be allowed to run for president. People have to make a choice.”
This text is a translation. The original article here.
Photo: Facebook| The Center for the Study of the Transnistrian Conflict Consequences
Moldova’s response to COVID-19 – why are the taken measures not so efficient?
During the last week, 344 contraventions related to non-compliance with anti-COVID-19 requirements were recorded in the Republic of Moldova, as the...
Promo-LEX: “The peacekeeping operation in Transnistria continues to be inappropriate, inefficient and dangerous for people.”
28 years ago, the peacekeeping mission in Transnistria was formed. On this occasion, Promo-LEX Association issued a communication, assessing the...
The IMF staff and Moldovan authorities agreed on a new economic program
On July 24-27, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, led by Ruben Atoyan, held remote discussions with the Moldovan authorities. As...
Robert Ford, Director of Heritage International School: „We are working hard to make sure that we are back in September fully”
In its third year in Moldova, Heritage International School had to act quickly and firmly to make sure the educational...
Poor people from Moldova are the most vulnerable to COVID-19
“COVID-19 has exacerbated existing global and national inequalities and has created new disparities that are hitting the most vulnerable people...
10 cultural heritage sites from the left and right banks of the Dniester to be restored with the help of the EU
Following a call for application addressed within an EU project, via Confidence Building Measures Programme (EU CBM) and implemented by the...
The Bureau for Reintegration Policies from Moldova: 15 border checkpoints eliminated from the Security Zone
Tiraspol authorities eliminated 15 border checkpoints out of a total of 37 illegal checkpoints installed in the Security Zone, as...
Record remittances sent to Moldova during the COVID-19 pandemic – expert’s explanation
The remittances sent by Moldovans from abroad reached a record level in May 2020. The last time there was a...
Survey// Popular COVID-19 fake news in Moldova and people’s (dis)information sources
More and more Moldovans have to deal with fake news every day. Unfortunately, a part of population believes them. According...
Older people’s rights and dignity must be protected amid the COVID-19 pandemic
By Alanna Armitage Across Europe, from Spain to Serbia, care homes for older people have become hotspots of COVID-19 infections....