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Public Discussion: Starting position of political parties and potential independent candidates on official pro-European platform before electoral year
on the organization of the debate “Starting position of political parties and potential independent candidates on official pro-European platform before electoral year”. Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”. Public debates series held by the news agency IPN in its conference room with the support of the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”
Held on 28 November 2017, Debate 84 brought together Valeriu Ghilețchi, leader of the European People’s Group; Vitalie Gamurari, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Moldova;
- Ecaterina Mardarovici, executive director of the Gender Equality Platform; and Gheorghe Costandache, head of the European Social-Political Center.
This was the fourth and the last debate of IPN’s miniseries dedicated to the existing four large groups of parties. To sum up the previous three debates: the speakers in the first discussion, representing the alternative pro-European parties, agreed almost unanimously that close cooperation is key, so much so that a common electoral bloc would be considered in order to cope with the new conditions of the mixed voting system and stand up united against the Democrats and the Socialists, who are perceived as secretly working together.
The speakers of the second debate, representing parties that advocate unification with Romania, were not in complete accord about the need and feasibility of a common electoral bloc, but didn’t rule out cooperation in things like supporting candidates in electoral districts, which are a novel element and require particular attention.
Drawing clear conclusions from the third debate, which intended to bring together parties sharing the pro-Eurasian platform, would a difficult mission after most invitees failed to show up eventually, for reasons announced and unannounced. The missing parties included the Socialists, the Communist, and Renato Usatii’s Our Part, among other. Some conclusions can be inferred however: 1) the parties sharing the pro-Eurasian platform haven’t yet reached consensus or at least compromise on key issues, and therefore avoid discussions in public; 2) there might be little interest for communication with the public as well; 3) not all the parties invited for this debate agreed with the label of pro-Eurasian, in the traditional sense of being pro-Russian: for example, the Communists reminded us that “Moldova’s European modernization” is enshrined in their statute, and the Socialist People’s Party understands Eurasia as covering the entire landmass from the West to the Urals and beyond up to Vladivostok. Regretfully, we weren’t given a chance to discuss these notions in the introductory part of the debate.
During the fourth debate, the speakers discussed the following issues:
The spokesman for the Democratic Party (PDM) Vitalie Gamurari said that most of the political parties already entered the election campaign event if this hasn’t started officially. All the steps taken by the political parties of Moldova have a clear political connotation. “The Democratic Party, being one of the two parties that are in power, is making effort to promote those social and economic policies that it declared and we should take into account the fact that the situation in Moldova the year the Filip Government took over was rather difficult. I do not try to shift the blame on particular political parties in particular periods, but the practice of states, especially of the Western ones, shows that the effects of good governance or poor governance are experienced by the next government. In this case, I refer to the current government,” stated the spokesman.
Vitalie Gamurari said there is a risk that what the PDM set as goals initially would not be achieved as there was one year and a half until the elections, the Republic of Moldova faced and continues to face difficult problems, there is a regional crisis and the confidence of the development partners was lost. “It is very hard when you are in power and try to implement particular reforms, while someone, who should actually become a partner when the national interests need to be defended, slanders you and not at national level only, but also at international one,” he noted.
In another development, the spokesman for the PDM said the recent Brussels Summit showed that the government of Moldova achieved particular results and is pragmatic. The PDM in the election campaign goes with concrete, palpable things, without making populist statements, as the position of the opposition forces, of the right or of the left, is clear.
Chairman of the European People’s Party Group Valeriu Ghiletski said that from political viewpoint, the European People’s Party will continue to support Moldova’s European course. “We consider that this path by which we made particular progress during the past few years should be continued. The Association Agreement should be implemented and reforms should be further done so that we have rule of law and can attract investments. For us, the European integration remains a priority and this thing will definitely be mentioned when the political position of the party is specified in the campaign and in its activity in the legislative body,” he stated.
Valeriu Ghiletski said the coming closer to the European system of values offers increased security, safety, correctness and a perspective for better living conditions. From economic viewpoint, the European People’s Party of Moldova (PPEM), embracing the European popular conservative doctrine, is ready to attract investments. In this regard the party has a more liberal attitude as it wants to remove the obstacles to bureaucracy, the liberalization of the market so as to facility the attraction of investments, create jobs, etc. “From social viewpoint, we are more on the conservative side. We consider that in the situation in which the Republic of Moldova is now, the families deserve special attention and pro-family policies should be pursued. The demographic aspect is also important,” stated the politician, noting that special attention will also be devoted to the socially deprived groups of people.
Ecaterina Mardarovici, executive director of the Gender Equality Platform, said that during the past two years the current government managed to avoid major ideological divergences even if the doctrines of the PDM and PPEM are of the left and, respectively, of the right. “I suspect that what the Republic of Moldova needs now does not really match these ideological divergences, even if there were particular decisions in Parliament in which we could detect particular things. Even if we say that some of the parties already launched electoral activities, for any politician and any party the second day after elections is also the first day of the election campaign” stated the activist.
According to Ecaterina Mardarovici, this is typical rather of the ruling parties given that any decision that these take will find a reflection in the people’s vote in the future elections. Now the message of the ruling parties is rather convincing at foreign level. The ruling parties and the state delegations abroad have a good performance, but the ruling parties experience a big problem at home and this happens because this sophisticated message, which meets the European requirements, should be reformulated and reoriented to the people’s interests. The political parties should consolidate their electoral promises in the future and the actions of the government period and this is a difficult task.
Gheorghe Costandache, head of the European Social-Politic Center, said that things always seem different when you look at them from outside and from inside the country. The promises and programs of the current government look nice, but it is the result and how this is perceived by the population that count. In such conditions, the PDM and PPEM face a difficult task that can produce very good results if new mechanisms are implemented, given the new electoral rules. It is very important for all the messages to be presented to the people in a comprehensible way so that these are assimilated and generate positive reactions.
Gheorghe Costandache said the tasks entrusted to the current and future governments at social, economic, political and foreign policy levels, which are specified in the Association Agreement with the EU, are mandatory. Moldova’s European integration, which is the opposite of the Eurasian integration, has highly superior advantages that the people sometimes do not fully understand. Therefore, the task of parties, experts and civil society is to explain those norms of good conduct and decent life to the people by concrete examples.
The Agency published 5 news stories on the debate (see the English version of www.ipn.md): on 28.11.17, „Starting position of parties on official pro-European platform before an electoral year, IPN debate” - http://ipn.md/en/integrare-europeana/87886; „Vitalie Gamurari: Parties already entered election campaign” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/87891; „Valeriu Ghiletski: Current situation requires a position on doctrine that should be promoted” - http://ipn.md/en/societate/87892; „Gheorghe Costandache: Promises of current government look nice, but…” - http://ipn.md/en/integrare-europeana/87893; „Ecaterina Mardarovici: Country’s needs are not reflected in what parties promote” - http://ipn.md/en/integrare-europeana/87894.
IPN promoted the debate before and after the event, in particular the ensuing news stories, using all the available channels, including social networks. Confirmatory materials of deliverables, as well as a media coverage dossier are attached.
Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN
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