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Snap election: is it a practical solution for the political crisis in the Republic of Moldova?

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Today, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova has an anniversary – 2 months since both the first and the last meeting of the newly elected Parliament was held, 2 months of discussions, negotiations (or their avoidance), declarations and attempts (which were more or less trustworthy) to solve the standstill the Parliament and the entire country has been brought to.

No significant advance was reported since March 21st. There is one more month to go until Moldova’s president would dissolve the Parliament and would call a snap election.

In a last-ditch effort to avoid a snap election, the political bloc ACUM invited the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) to the Parliament’s special session, on 21 May 2019 at 14:00, in order to elect the Parliament’s leadership and vote on the anti-oligarchic legislative initiatives.

In response, the socialists published a press release on their official page where they mentioned that the ACUM proposition is unfounded and does not deserve to be taken into consideration. “This populist initiative of the representatives of the bloc ACUM can not surprise neither the PSRM faction in the Moldovan Parliament nor the majority of Moldovan citizens.” At the same time, the socialists highlighted the fact that in order to overcome the political crisis, it is necessary to create a parliamentary majority or to agree, at least, on the first election of the parliamentary leadership.

In short, none of them is willing to reach a compromise. Therefore, it is very probable that a snap election will be conducted in Moldova soon.

Nonetheless, people are not prepared for it. They already seem disappointed and less motivated to vote again. Over the last few years, the voter turnout in the Moldovan elections became lower and lower. During the 2014 parliamentary election it represented 57.28%, whereas during the 2019 parliamentary election it lowered to 50.57%. It could drop even more in case of snap election.

Moreover, a snap election would not change too much the configuration of Parliament, according to a survey conducted by the Association of Sociologists and Demographers from Moldova. Only 15% of respondents believe that this political crisis could be overcome by snap elections. One third of respondents consider that if snap election were organised, no political party would gain the majority, and the results would be similar to those of February elections.

“We have noticed that the population is tired of elections. If there were snap elections, 48.7% of respondents said they would participate in the elections, whereas one third of the population is uncertain about what to do. This demonstrates once again that people have been disappointed with so many choices and political parties, which could not reach a consensus,” declared Eugen Ştirbu, the director of the International Institute for Monitoring the Development of Democracy, Parliamentarianism and Respect for the Rights of the Citizens of the Member States of AIP CIS.

Experts claim that political uncertainty also affects Moldova economically. Adrian Lupusor, the director of the Independent Analytical Center Expert-Grup claimed that the period of standstill leads to delay of financial support programs and early elections would hit the state budget, as the adjustments after the elections would be painful. The costs of organizing elections in Moldova are inversely proportional to the citizens’ trust in politicians. Therefore, whereas the parliamentary elections in 2014 had a budget of 52 million lei, in 2019 – this budget amounted to more than 110 million lei and it could raise even more in case of snap election.

Justice

Maia Sandu asks the magistrates of the Moldovan Constitutional Court to submit their resignation letters

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PM Maia Sandu was disturbed by the communiqué issued by the Constitutional Court. The report issued by the CC said that the reason for the annulment of the decisions taken on 7-9 June is “the situation in the Republic of Moldova, especially the announcement of the transfer of power to the Government of Sandu and the coalition formed in the Parliament Republic of Moldova”. Note that three of the six magistrates of the Constitutional Court come from the Democratic Party.

“The judges of the Constitutional Court continue their delirium, nationally and internationally shaming the institution they represent. In essence, the Court, rather than recognizing that it participated in the desperate attempt of the Democratic Party to maintain its power unlawfully, justifies its decision only by the fact that this is the situation at present in the Republic of Moldova. I call this approach inappropriate from the perspective of respect for the Supreme State Law. The Constitutional Court must adopt acts in accordance with the provisions of the letter and spirit of the Constitution, and not based on the decisions and behavior of the political actors in the country. At the same time, I ask the judges of the Court to submit their resignations immediately if they still have a little honor and respect for the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova and the citizens of this country,” says Maia Sandu.

Romanian Judge Cristi Danileţ, a former member of the Superior Council of Magistracy in Romania, claims that the decision of the Constitutional Court on the cancellation of the judgments issued on 7-9 June is legally unprecedented.

Previously, the Constitutional Court ruled by Plahotniuc, declared unconstitutional the election of the leadership of the Moldovan Parliament and the vote of the new Government, and later instituted the interim president, after having previously decided that the deadline for a new government to vote was 7 June 2019, not June 9, as previously mentioned in the public space. These decisions have given rise to a number of criticisms and, at the request of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, the Venice Commission was due to comment on the decisions taken by the CC next week.

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Democrats leave government to the new coalition

The decision was taken after today’s National Political Council of the Plahotniuc’s party, announced Vladimir Cebortari, vice-president of the DPM.

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According to Cebotari, DPM’s decision is a clear signal that the Democratic Party no longer holds power in the country.

“However, our decision will not solve the constitutional blockade,” Cebotari said.

“Regardless of what solutions will be found, as long as we have the decisions of the CC in place, the Government that will be installed will operate illegally, and the officials of the institutions will not be legally able to execute the decisions of such a Government and will be in a situation of legal risk. That is why final elections will be reached, as it’s the only way to solve the crisis created by the binomial Socialist Party–’ACUM’ bloc legally and completely,” finalized the DPM vice-president.

Vladimir Cebotari said that the next move on behalf of the DPM should be expected. However, it might be way too early to call it good news just yet.

Two days ago, the leaders of the bloc ‘ACUM’ Maia Sandu and Andrei Nastase asked the Moldovan citizens to come to Parliament for the  “march of the people” on Sunday, June 16th. President Igor Dodon, too, called on the country’s citizens and his supporters to participate in the march, in support of the new government.

Maia Sandu warned that “the Plahotniuc regime will do everything in its power to prevent citizens from coming to the march of the people. They will try to stop public transport, threaten drivers, block the streets.”

“Prepare yourself! Come early, come to your relatives’s place and stay overnight in town. Offer car seats to those who wish, but don’t have the possibility to join. They stop the cars? We walk! They will hear our every step and see that Moldova doesn’t belong to them, but to the people and children of Moldova,” said Maia Sandu at the press conference.

She addressed all police officers who refuse to obey to Plahotniuc’s orders as well as those responsible for national security and citizens to maintain public order and ensure that no citizen of this country would suffer.

Will Plahotniuc’s remaining army find ways to prevent the event from happening? How many of Moldova’s remaining people will attend the rally? That’s for us to find out on the coming Sunday.

Rebranding of DPM’s logo: Constantin Șarcov

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Cristina Balan, the Moldovan ambassador to the US and former DPM vice-president, is ignoring new MFA’s recall for consultations in Chisinau

Moldovan Ambassador to the US Cristina Balan ignored the order of the new Moldovan Foreign Minister in the Government of Maia Sandu, Nicu Popescu, in which she was asked to present herself no later than today, June 14, 2019, at 3 pm, for consultations in Chisinau.

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According to Nicu Popescu, this confirmed that Cristina Balan chose to execute the diplomacy of Plahotniuc’s Democratic Party, instead of the state’s diplomacy.

“I reiterated to the US authorities that from now on, all the steps taken by Balan are made on her own account, and do not reflect in any way the position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova”, claims Nicu Popescu.

He mentioned that he has decided to submit to the Government of the Republic of Moldova the proposal to dismiss Mrs. Cristina Balan from the position of ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to the United States of America.

Cristina Balan is the former vice-president of PDM, where she was responsible for the DPM’s foreign affairs management. Oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc was elected to this position on May 8, 2018.

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