NDI Delegation to Assess PRE-ELECTION Environment in Moldova
The independence of the Republic of Moldova was declared 26 years ago, on August 27, 1991. The National Liberation Movement of Moldova, which obtained a number of important victories by then, was the driving force of the radical change of the status of the former MSSR. IPN Agency made a selection of the main events and phenomena that determined the development of the current state Republic of Moldova and included these in an eventual list of the Symbols of Independence.
The Great National Assembly of August 27, 1991 was the final point of the movement of resistance to the Moscow putsch, which mobilized the largest part of the population to defend democracy and the national values. Over 700,000 people of the population of 4.5 million gathered together in the Great National Assembly Square and imposed their will to be independent from the former Soviet metropolis, while Parliament that came together for a meeting practically implemented the Assembly’s decision.
The Independence was proclaimed by a Declaration signed by 278 MPs of the 280 that attended the sitting. The original of the document was destroyed during the protests of April 7, 2009, but an identical document was restored in 2010. Also on August 27, 1991, Parliament decided that Moldova’s anthem will be “Wake up, Romanian!”, which was used until 1994, when a new anthem – “Our Language” – was adopted and the name of “Moldovan language” was introduced into the Constitution. Romania was the first state that recognized Moldova’s independence.
“It is solemnly proclaimed, in virtue of the right of peoples to self-determination, in the name of the whole population of the Republic of Moldova and the whole world: the Republic of Moldova is a sovereign, democratic and free state that can decide its present and future without any interference from outside, in accordance with the ideals and sacred aspirations of the people in the historical and ethnic area of its national development,” says the Declaration of Independence.
The first presidential elections took place on December 8, 1991.Mircea Snegur was the only candidate in elections and he was chosen by an overwhelming majority of votes. In 1997, Petru Luchinski was invested as President after he won the runoff elections by 54.02% of the poll on December 1, 1996, beating Mircea Snegur. In 1991–2000, the President was elected by a universal, equal, direct, secret and freely expressed vote for a four-year term. In 2000, Parliament modified the procedure of electing the President of the Republic of Moldova so that this was elected by the legislative body. By the March 4, 2016 judgment passed by the Constitutional Court, the direct election of the President, by the people, was restored. In 2001, Vladimir Voronin was elected President of the Republic of Moldova by Parliament. He held two consecutive terms of office, until 2009.
After the protests of April 7, 2009, Vladimir Voronin dissolved Parliament and Moldova remained without an elected President for a two-year period owing to the absence of the necessary votes in the legislature. In the period, the post was held on an interim basis by the leader of the Liberal Party Mihai Ghimpu, the then chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova Vlad Filat and the then chairman of the Democratic Party Marian Lupu. In March 2012, Nicolae Timofti, who headed the Superior Council of Magistracy, was elected President. After the direct presidential election was restored, Igor Dodon was elected President by over 52% of the vote on December 13, 2016. He thus outstripped his opponent Maia Sandu.
Adopted by Parliament on July 29, 1994, the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova is the main political-legal instrument that enshrined the separation from the totalitarian regime, offering the country a new constitutional order and the possibility of embracing the values of the civilized world, such as respect for and promotion of human rights and freedoms, political pluralism and market economy, the rule of law, justice and social solidarity, equality and social justice. This took effect on August 27, 1994.
Moldova’s Constitution consists of eight titles divided each into chapters and sections. The preamble specifies the century-old aspirations of the people to live in a sovereign country, the goals to satisfy the people’s needs and to ensure the continuity of the statehood of the Moldovan people in the historical and ethnic context of its establishment as a nation. The preamble of the Constitution includes statements on the political and state organization and on the fundamental social relations between the members of society. Under the Constitution, the Republic of Moldova is a sovereign and independent, unitary and undividable state. The republic is its form of government.
The song “Our language” is the national anthem of the Republic of Moldova. This was written by Alexei Mateevici, the music was composed by Alexandru Cristea and the song was arranged by Valentin Danga.
Under the Constitution, the “Moldovan language” is the official language of the Republic of Moldova. The law of 1989 on the official language of the Soviet Moldova provided that the official language is “Moldovan”, stipulating the existence of common features between the Romanian language and the Moldovan one. The Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Moldova, adopted in 1991, provided that the official language is “Romanian”. In 1994, the country’s Constitution legalized the “Moldovan language written with the Latin script”. In 2013, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova ruled that the Declaration of Independence prevails over the Constitution. Consequently, the name of the official language is the one stipulated in the Declaration of Independence, which is the “Romanian language”.
The name of the country’s official language aroused and continues to arouse heated debates among the supporters of the names “Moldovan language” and “Romanian language”. For their part, these disputes are a reflection of the deep disagreements existing on society over the national identity of the native population, with some of these considering themselves “Moldovans”, while the others considering themselves “Romanians”. These disagreements are intensely speculated for political purposes and represent one of the many criteria by which Moldovan society continues to be divided.
The Moldovan leu is the national currency of the Republic of Moldova. It was introduced into circulation on November 29, 1993.
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