The initiators of the November 19 referendum, the councilors of the Party of Socialists, say the inhabitants of Chisinau municipality should take part in the November 19 referendum and vote for the dismissal of suspended mayor Dorin Chirtoaca, who brought the city in a disastrous state and is responsible for the problems faced by the capital. On the other hand, the councilors of the Liberal Party, of which the suspended mayor is a member, say this plebiscite is illegal and the Socialists do nothing but take populist actions. Experts say not only the mayor is to blame for the situation in the city, but also the whole Chisinau Municipal Council, which is represented by a number of political parties. However, the decision to take part in the referendum and vote for or against the dismissal is ultimately taken by each citizen apart. The opinions were stated by participants in the public debate “Anti-Chirtoaca referendum: to take part or to boycott it, where and why should we put a tick?”, which was the 79th installment of the series of debates “Developing political culture by public debates”, organized by IPN News Agency.
Director of the Association for Participatory Democracy Igor Botan, standing expert of IPN’s project, said that under the law the referendum is equal to elections and all the procedures are similar. However, the elections imply persons and their programs, while the referendum implies ideas, policy projects and are bipolar, where the elector votes “yes” or “no”. The referendum on dismissal is a vote of no confidence against a particular person. There are a multitude of problems related to this referendum, including the lack of culture of participation in such exercises. It is bad that Dorin Chirtoaca cannot take part in this referendum, but it is the citizen who decides whether to take part in the vote or not and how to vote.
Ion Ceban, chairman of the Socialist group on the Chisinau Municipal Council, said there are no and should be no political arguments as to the administration of the city and his earlier speeches definitely didn’t contain such arguments, if only arguments about the management. There should be efficient administration in the city, not struggles against Putin, Trump, tanks etc. If the people like and want to walk further on damaged sidewalks and to be told to give bribe when they go to the City Hall after certificates, they can boycott the referendum, but the decision makers with huge powers didn’t manage the city efficiently and committed numerous irregularities and should be held accountable.
Ion Cebanu, chairman of the Liberal group on the CMC, said there are a series of legal arguments showing that this referendum is illegal and generates only disorder. The citizens have no reasons to take part in this plebiscite, which is just a whim of the Socialists who are noxious for the Republic of Moldova because they want to collect votes and destroy this country’s future by cheap populism. Owing to the Socialists, hundreds of draft decisions wait to be examined by the CMC for years, while the Party of Socialists stages shows and only criticize, but didn’t submit proposals and solutions. They understand that they lose this referendum and after the day of November 19 will have to answer before the people what they spent 9 million lei on.
Expert Ecaterina Mardarovici, executive director of the Gender Equality Platform, said the citizens of Chisinau municipality should take a break until the next elections and analyze things very well so as to assume the next vote. The supporters of Dorin Chirtoaca voted him in and should assume responsibility for the mistakes made in the management and for what wasn’t done. One should not go and vote in a referendum because a group of the CMC wants the mayor to be dismissed. It is also not fair not to allow the mayor to take part in the campaign prior to the referendum and to present his position. Moreover, if it is about immorality, as the Socialists assert in the case of Dorin Chirtoaca, the whole political class should be dismissed in such a case.
The public debate “Anti-Chirtoaca referendum: to take part or to boycott it, where and why should we put a tick?” was the 79th installment of the series of debates “Developing political culture by public debates” that are staged with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.