IPN interview with the president of the Political Party “Platform Dignity and Truth” Andrei Năstase on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the declaration of Independence
– What is the most important accomplishment over the 27 years of Independence in your opinion and why? What didn’t we manage to obtain as a state during these years?
– The obtaining of Independence on August 27, 1991 meant completion of the process of separation from the Soviet Union, which took place intensely and dramatically in 1989-1991 in the context of the restructuring initiated by Gorbachev. I consider Independence was obtained first of all due to the people who in that period showed civic courage and extraordinary political involvement. Secondly, a decisive role was played in 1990 by the Parliament that was elected directly by the people and that made a special contribution in the process of separation from the former Soviet empire and of creation of the new independent state.
We should remind several actions an accomplishments of the then authorities, which show that the Independence wasn’t a “present” as some consider. It was the result of an admirable effort made by the citizens. Among the examples of courage and determination, I would enumerate: the participation by citizens in the great national assemblies where they claimed the right to language, alphabet and sovereignty; recognition by the legislative body of the Independence of Lithuania on May 31, 1990 (We were the first to recognize Lithuania as an independent state even if we still had the status of Soviet republic at that time); boycotting by the Moldovan authorities and the largest part of the citizens of the referendum on the keeping of the USSR of March 1991, which was organized and imposed by the Russian authorities; approval on June 23, 1990 of the Declaration of Sovereignty; approval of the decree on the state power on July 27, 1990 and formation of the national state institutions. I would also mention the laws on the Tricolor as the National Flag, on the Coat of Arms and the National Anthem of the Republic of Moldova etc. The process ended on August 27, 1991 with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Moldova. It was an extraordinary collective effort in that period.
Surely, the 1992 war in Transnistria was the most tragic event that marked that period. This was justly called the war for defending the Independence of the Republic of Moldova. Despite the criticism that can be leveled at the then governments, the fundamental preconditions for building a European state were created then, namely: a Constitution according to the European standards (except for several unhappy provisions, including Article 13); adoption of the national legislation and creation of the main state institutions; progress in the justice secret reform in the 1990s; observance by all the political parties of the democratic rules. These accomplishments were also appreciated by the Council of Europe, the Republic of Moldova becoming the first CIS state that joined this prestigious European organization.
Despite all the difficulties and dramas through which the Moldovan citizens and the citizens of other states that withdrew from the USSR went, there is yet hope for a better life. Even those who left then abroad to get rid of poverty were absolutely convinced that they will one day return home, to the native country. However, unhappily for our country, almost all the governments from after the Independence weren’t really preoccupied with building a prosperous state, with powerful institutions, in the people’s interests.
The personal enrichment with state resources was the main preoccupation of the “political elites”, with small exceptions. Either by illegal privatization, by robbing and demolishing state enterprises, by controlling the financial flows or by robbing banks, most of the governments took part in the weakening of the state functioning capacities and impoverishment of the population.
The alternation of power in 2009 was a big opportunity missed by our country. Instead of benefitting from the people’s support to do the reforms needed for modernization, the favorable international conjuncture and the support of the development partners from the EU, the new power that managed to succeed the Communist government did nothing but strengthen the oligarchic system inherited from the Voronin regime. The fact that they failed to develop the state during the past almost ten years is the most serious one as a decade in the life of a person is a very long period. The picture is even gloomier when we realize that the Republic of Moldova after 27 years of existence became a mafia-like dictatorship led from behind by an organized criminal group managed by ex-procurer Vladimir Plahotniuc.
Controlling the political parties, law enforcement agencies and regulatory institutions, the judiciary, financial flows, the broadcasting sector, this group does not allow the people of the Republic of Moldova to fully achieve the desiderata stipulated in the Declaration of Independence. This way, on the 27th anniversary of the state, the current regime actually resorted to the confiscation of Independence and usurpation of power in the state. Our duty, of the opposition parties, is to now free the state from the captivity of oligarchs. Regrettably, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova struggle rather for survival than for an ascending way to welfare and democracy. We covered a sinusoidal path with ups and downs of different intensity, but we never reached decent living conditions owing to the endemic corruption – the only characteristic that grew constantly.
On the 27th Independence anniversary, we continue to witness a state of affairs that is contrary to the prosperity aspirations of our people, contrary to the letter of the Declaration of August 27, 1991. But the struggle for welfare and freedom is not an easy one and we will continue it with even greater determination.
– – What did the Independence for citizen Andrei Năstase and his family mean?
– For me personally, the period of the national liberation movement that ended with the obtaining of Moldova’s Independence was a special period in life. Those were times full of hope when you had the feeling you take part in a collective effort made to build a bright future. The proclamation of our state’s independence was a great joy for me and my family as I considered it a natural path and, in other conditions, a very beneficial one to each citizen of the Republic of Moldova.
Together with the whole family, we became involved in the struggle for the national values, for freedom. I always had in front of me the example of the elder brother Vasile, who, by his civic and political activity, constantly brought the day of August 27, 1991 closer. He was the one who printed for Moldovans the first newspaper in the Latin script. He risked his own freedom for bringing it to Moldova and distributing it to the people. He is one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence.
Even if there was great disappointment the next few years, we continued to believe in the future of the Republic of Moldova. I wouldn’t have entered politics if I hadn’t believed this. For my family, the struggle for Independence continues. As long as the Republic of Moldova is ruled by a criminal group led by Plahotniuc, the Independence remains confiscated. This was also seen in the decision to nullify the elections by which Plahotniuc ignored the voters’ will.
– How will the 28th, eventually, the 29th and 30th anniversaries of the declaration of Independence differ from the current anniversary?
– It depends only on us, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova. If we manage to replace the power in the near future, the anniversary of the Independence will be a real holiday. Even if we have yet a lot to do and even if we left too far from the “zero” point, I’m sure we will manage to break the vicious circle that keeps us hostage owing to the serious democratic deviations committed by the oligarchic, anti-popular government of Moldova. We will succeed by solidarization, determination, courage and insistence.
We can no longer live as we lived until now. Today Moldova’s Independence actually means the independence, in relation to its citizens, of a state that was fully captured by a mafia gang interested in further keeping the ordinary people hostage. But the awakening process started and can no longer be stopped. I’m convinced that in a year or two, our country’s European course will become again what it was at the beginning – a safe path to prosperity, civilized living conditions and welfare for each citizen of our country, who will no longer have to look for luck in the world and will feel comfortable at home.
Until then, the Independence remains a value that was usurped and we, the responsible politicians, have the duty of returning it to the people. If we have had a responsible political class during the past 20 years, we would have been proud of our Independence. We should yet struggle and not give up. From this perspective, the struggle for Independence continues...
–Why should a citizen of the Republic of Moldova feel proud to be a citizen of this state?
– To answer this question, I would rather adopt the approach of the former President of the U.S. John Kennedy who said: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”. I always supported the principle that if the country needs assistance, you are obliged to help it.
I wish the Independence Day really becomes the holiday of all those who, being born here, want to live in welfare and harmony. I’m sure time will come when will say proudly that we are citizens of the Republic of Moldova. This fact will become incontestable if we combine our forces and energies so as to stop the advance of the mafia dictatorship, if we sincerely devote ourselves to building a prosperous, really democratic state with the rule of law. This year we will celebrate the Independence Day together with all the awakened citizens from the country and the Diaspora who will come to the Great National Assembly Square to protest against the dictatorship and wrongdoings committed by the corrupt anti-popular power. I wish the Independence Day becomes a real holiday for us all as swiftly as possible.
It is now hard to live with the feeling of pride when the state institutions are captured and the country is pushed by an irresponsible government towards a profound, prolonged crisis, towards a free fall to failure, accompanied by the worsening of all the democratic indicators. But we can be proud of the quality of our people, who daily show civic spirit and can resist and oppose the regime and the danger of the establishment of Plahotniuc’s dictatorship.
We will be proud of the Republic of Moldova when we build a powerful state on the ruins of this anti-human oligarchic regime, which will ensure the welfare and safety of its citizens and conditions for developing the economy and the potential of each person.
We will be proud of the Republic of Moldova when we manage to build a state of dignity returned to its citizens, with a recovered economy, with a proper social system, with functional, correct justice, with criminals jailed by a reformed judiciary system, with the stolen US$ 1 billion returned to the National Bank, with a large part of the diaspora returned home and, most important, with the idea that we have a future and that this is possible.
Elena Nistor, IPN
Repeat of August 22
Note: IPN News Agency conducted ‘mirror’ interviews (with similar questions) with representatives of the government and opposition leaders.