Moldova: Where the three fight, the fourth wins

Sorin Sclearuc, Foreign Policy Association of Moldova (Chisinau, Moldova)

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The political situation in Moldova has been slowly getting back on track after the February elections. President Igor Dodon met with the leaders of the parliamentary parties to discuss the possibility of establishing parliamentary majority. The players have revealed their breakdown and main ideas. However, the impression is that the players of Moldova’s political arena are engaged in nothing more than a tug of war.    


Who will win?

In order to avoid early parliamentary elections, President Igor Dodon met with the leaders of the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM), the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) and the ACUM electoral bloc to discuss the possibility of establishing a parliamentary majority.

ACUM declared that it was ready to lead the country. It noted that it would nominate Maia Sandu for Prime Minister and Andrei Năstase for Parliament Speaker.

PDM spokesman Vitalie Gamurari noted that ACUM’s statement was unclear: “They should come for negotiations if they want to know our opinion, and we will discuss this. We have repeatedly invited them and all we have heard so far was that they did not want to discuss anything and did not need any positions”.

Zinaida Greceanîi, the leader of PSRM, noted that, first, negotiations between the  parties should start, then the acceptance or rejection of certain positions should be discussed. She added that the party with the most seats in the Parliament should make proposals on certain appointments in accordance with European practices, a source said.

Central Election Commission chair Alina Russu reminded that the MPs must take into account the results of the consultative referendum which took place on the same day as the parliamentary elections. More than 39.78% of registered voters cast their ballots in the referendum. When asked “Do you support reducing the number of MPs from 101 to 61?” 744,529 voters responded “yes” while 266,188 said “no”. The second question “Do you support the option whereby people could recall MPs from their posts in case they do not fulfill their duties properly?” got 808,206 answers in support and 202,497 of the voters said “no”.

In this context, former speaker Andrian Candu stated that the Democratic Party of Moldova would prepare all necessary instruments for amending the Constitution. He added that these procedures are quite complicated and should be discussed with the Venice Commission. “The referendum is a success of the PDM and the citizens of the country”, he said.

This suggests that people have swallowed the bait of the populists thus handing the PDM carte blanche for dismissing those MPs who “would not fulfill their duties” in case this idea comes into force.

No reasons, some opportunities

The National Energy Regulatory Agency (ANRE) reports that there are no reasons for raising natural gas prices for end consumers at the moment.

Russia’s Gazprom has been selling natural gas to Moldova for  $237.46 per thousand cubic meters since January 1, 2019. This is 25% up from the price for the same period last year.

The last time natural gas prices changed in mid-March 2018: the price for end consumers shrank by the average of 20.3% to MDL 4,420 per thousand cubic meters (excluding VAT). The supplier of natural gas demanded a 11.4% reduction of the average rate for end consumers from MDL 5,545 to MDL 4,914.97 per thousand cubic meters.


All quiet

On March 21, Leonidn Manakov, the head of “the PMR official representative office in Russia” participated in the 40th session of the United Nation Human Rights Council in Geneva. However, he was presented as the representative of the International Council for Russian Compatriots at the event.

Leonid Manakov reported on “the statehood (!) of Transnistria as a guarantee of respect for human rights and freedoms”.

In his report he was brave enough to hint that the Republic of Moldova allegedly violates human rights in the region, and that “Transnistrians have been living in constant stress for the last 30 years” because of the current situation.

This infuriated a number of Moldovan experts. More surprisingly, there were no slightest mentions of this incident in Moldova’s media when this article was written. There was no response from the Moldovan authorities, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, or from the National Bureau of Reintegration. Why this was the case remains a mystery.