Posted tagged ‘Vladimir Plahotniuc’

Three scenarios concerning fate of EU macro-financial assistance for Moldova

Iunie 14, 2017

We are witnessing a unique situation in the EU-Moldova dialogue, when representatives of the European Parliament impose themselves more visibly than other European institutions in relation to the political situation in Chisinau. At the initial stage, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and the European People’s Party committed themselves to persuade other European institutions of the necessity of halting the European assistance if the Democratic Party ruling in Moldova does not abandons the idea of introducing the uninominal voting system. But the political stratagems in Chisinau ramified continuously and this made the MEPs to look for more efficient solutions to constrain the ruling party, which constantly invents new ways of avoiding the European conditionality. In such circumstances, the European Parliament intends to postpone for a month, until June, the approval of the decision about the €100 million in macro-financial assistance (Free Europe, May 2017), intended for Moldova for 2017-2018.

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How did Moldova become a ”captured state”?

Iunie 9, 2017

Closer to the end of 2014, the expression “state capture” became a kind of country brand for Moldova. The extra-parliamentary opposition regularly used this phrase to describe the defective governance and infiltration of obscure interests into the government. The foreign development partners, with very small exceptions, used more veiled formulas when they spoke about “state capture” in Moldova so as to avoid a direct confrontation with the Moldovan authorities, which would have led to the imminent short-circuiting of the dialogue. Consequently, these used the “powerful politicization of institutions” as an equivalent.

The idea of state capture was assimilated by the public opinion much easier amid the crisis in the banking system unveiled at the end 2014. This way the phrase became a very popular jargon in national journalism. Other criminal activities committed in the period of the so-called pro-European governments (2009-2016), alongside the thefts in the banking system, also started to be associated with the phenomenon of “state capture”.

Habitually, state capture in Moldova is attributed to the leader of the Democratic Party (PDM), controversial businessman Vladimir Plahotniuc. Accusing him of complicity in state capture, the opponents call him “puppeteer”. Namely for this reason, the protests mounted by the pro-European and pro-Russian opposition (RFI, October 2015) in 2015-2016 featured primarily Vladimir Plahotniuc. Ex-Premier Vlad Filat referred to the implications of the “puppeteer” in his last speech in Parliament, before his arrest in October 2015. (mai mult…)

Halt in EU funding versus uninominal voting system in Moldova

Iunie 3, 2017

The Government of Moldova is determined to introduce the uninominal voting system fully or at least partially as soon as possible and at any cost. Thus, the bill to change the electoral legislation formulated by the Democratic Party was passed in the first reading, being introduced in the agenda, approved and adopted by 52 votes during only several hours. A similar swift path was covered by the bill on the mixed-member electoral system, which includes different components of the uninominal voting system. The latter, which was proposed by the parliamentary opposition (Party of Socialists) that is affiliated to President Dodon, was passed by the votes of 74 MPs. The uninominal voting system was the maximum goal of the Democratic Party and the mixed-member system could ultimately represent the minimum goal (combination of voting based on party lists and in uninominal constituencies). Only by modifying the electoral system can the ruling party ensure a place in the equation of power and sufficient immunity for the system built around Vladimir Plahotniuc.

The vote on both of the bills was organized several days before the planned arrival of Venice Commission experts in Chisinau (May 9), putting thus the Council of Europe before an accomplished fact. At the same time, the actions of the Plahtoniuc-Dodon duo took place only two days after the critical statement of the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) of May 3, 2017. The two pan-European parties warned the Moldovan authorities that any attempt to bring about such a change without the full backing of the opposition and of civil society will lead the EPP and ALDE to demand that all European funding be stopped. (EPP, May 2017). (mai mult…)

Pro-reform approach of EU and pro-Russian plans of President Dodon

Aprilie 13, 2017

The reforms done by the government led by the Democrat Party and, respectively, oligarchic politician Vladimir Plahotniuc, including the incomplete or insufficiently credible ones, cannot be ignored by the Europeans. Many of these reforms were implemented with European assistance, both with EU funds and with national funds of different EU member states. That’s why the appraisals of the done reforms that were subject to impartial assessment can be different from the real attitude to the government.

Consequently, the association implementation report is rather an objective, balanced and concise document (only 13 pages), in which the European Commission and the EU diplomatic service (European External Action Service) sum up the results after almost two years of the start of the implementation of the Association Agenda, stating the political, institutional and sector deficiencies  existing in Moldova. Evidently, some consider the document is insufficiently incisive, but the goal of the report is to assess not the government, but the way in which the reforms assumed by this are implemented. Consequently, the report could have looked more critical only if the assessment criteria agreed in 2014 had been stricter. But these were set by the EU together with the previous authorities that, besides the Democratic Party, included also other parties (PLDM, PL). A more critical report can be produced in the future if the objectives included in the future Association Agenda allow for this. These objectives are yet agreed in a bilateral format. That’s why they cannot be imposed unilaterally by the EU. (mai mult…)

Presidential administration vs government: between political coexistence and geopolitical antagonism

Martie 26, 2017

Even the most insincere dialogue is better and necessary than the definitive absence of dialogue. At least this was the principle that guided President Igor Dodon, Prime Minister Pavel Filip and Head of Parliament Andrian Candu, when they came together for a discussion in trilateral format (February 21, 2017). The substance and result of the meeting showed that the sides didn’t pursue the goal of coming to terms. They just wanted to state the divergences existing at institutional level. Consequently, the meeting of the three served as another stage for exhibiting the antagonism between the pro-Russian presidential administration and the government associated with the European integration.

In the meeting, each side laid emphasis on the opposition between the viewpoints that define their political essence. So, the attention of President Dodon remains anchored in the plan for coming closer to the Eurasian Union and in the powerful opposition to the pension reform, subsidization of agriculture and conversion of the money stolen from the banking system into a public debt. On the other hand, Premier Filip and Speaker Candu presented the government’s position, focusing on the protection of their standpoints and combating of the criticism leveled by Igor Dodon. There were yet made no personalized accusations and no remark about the coordinator of the government coalition Vladimir Plahotniuc. (mai mult…)


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