Moldova. Crisis. The way to avoid collapse.

in Conflicts 2017 · EN · Moldova 2017 · Nation 2017 · Person 2017 · Skepticism 2017 · State 2017 66 views / 4 comments
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* Is there any sense to increase the presidential power? Tricks and ambivalent laws.

Moldova’s opposition Socialist Party says it is launching a campaign to increase the powers of the president and turn the country’s current parliamentary system of government into a presidential one.

The party of Moldova’s Russia-friendly President Igor Dodon made the announcement as his supporters held rallied in three Moldovan town and cities — Anenii Noi, Balti, and Cahul — on September 24, the same day as the president had been planning to hold a nationwide referendum that could have broadened his powers.

However, the Constitutional Court ruled on July 27 that the vote was unconstitutional, saying the questions that were to be posed in the referendum were “beyond presidential authority.”

In the planned referendum, Moldovans would have been asked whether the president should be allowed to dissolve parliament and announce early elections; whether the number of deputies in the single-chamber legislature should be reduced from 101 to 71; and whether history classes that are called History of Romanians should be renamed History of Moldova.

The September 24 rallies come amid ongoing disputes between Dodon and the pro-Western Democratic Party that dominates parliament.

The president is also frequently at odds on foreign policy and other issues with Prime Minister Pavel Filip’s government, which favors closer ties with the European Union and the United States.

Dodon rejected this month the government’s nomination for defense minister, Eugen Sturza, recommending one of his close political allies for the post — former Defense Minister Victor Gaiciuc.

The president also vetoed several bills previously passed by lawmakers that he said were aimed at limiting his powers as supreme commander of Moldova’s armed forces in the interest of foreign powers.

Meeting in a special session on September 21, lawmakers overrode the presidential vetoes.

Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries, has had three governments since 2015, after the disappearance of $1 billion from the banking system sent the country into a political and economic crisis.

The country has been marred by widespread corruption and high migration, as well as the frozen conflict with Transdniester.

An Association Agreement between the European Union and Moldova, signed in 2014, fully came into force in July last year.

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  1. Facing massive protests, Voronin retreated. Intent on maintaining the pressure, however, the Christian Democratic Popular Party, Moldova’s pro-Romanian party, has since called for early parliamentary elections. While this plea will not be heeded, these events highlight a crisis gripping one of Europe’s forgotten corners.

  2. External pressures form the third strand. Moldova’s external debt is one such weight. In 2002, debt servicing will reach close to 70 per cent of the budget. In addition, the IMF has suspended credit pending a range of reforms that are difficult for the communist leadership to swallow. Failing debt rescheduling by the Paris Club, Moldova is likely to default. Moreover, Moldova’s relations with its neighbours are not smooth. Moldova’s $300 million debt to Russia, which provides it with energy, is a bone of contention.

  3. The EU has a low profile in Moldova. Some shifts occurred in 2001, when Moldova joined the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe and the Commission agreed to a Strategy Paper 2002-2006. However, the spirit of EU policy has not changed: Moldova has largely been forgotten and there is no strategy on the PMR. The centre of gravity of Moldova’s problems lies in the PMR, however, so EU strategy should focus on this pressure point in order to prise loose the other problems.

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