Arcadie Barbăroșie, director of the Institute of Public Policy (IPP), considers that society now reached the situation when it will elect the President out of two persons, as surveys show - Igor Dodon and Maia Sandu. The correct choice in the runoffs depends on the people’s vote, the pseudo-technologies used by some of the competitors, the rigging of elections and corrupting of voters. “If we do not choose correctly, we will yet struggle for another four years with this President. I think Parliament should have a clear and univocal say – we do not want such a President,” Arcadie Barbăroșie stated in IPN’s public debate “Presidency, President and presidential elections: processes, tendencies and effects”.
According to the IPP director, the post of President became attractive after Igor Dodon won the elections in 2016. “The office became attractive to politicians following the method by which the election of the President was imposed in 2016, which is fully against the law and the powers enjoyed by the President by law.”
Arcadie Barbăroșie noted Igor Dodon can decide not to run in elections or to resign, but he is under the influence of Russian political forces that demand that he should do what they tell him. He is also under the influence of the own, unclear, but very imposing character. A conclusive example is the acceptance of Turkey’s support for renovating the Presidential Building in exchange for the expulsion of persons, which is unpardonable.
The IPP director said that if we analyze the work done by the five Presidents elected until now, from legal viewpoint, judging by people’s expectations and the exercise of powers, the Republic of Moldova actually had only one President – Nicolae Timofit. This was elected according to the legal framework, by 61 votes in Parliament, and worked more or less in accordance with the law and even said two-three words that were rather inconvenient for the lawmakers and for the political elite in general.
According to Arcadie Barbăroșie, the first president Mircea Snegur wanted to act as the head of state, but realized that he does not have sufficient powers. He asked Parliament to amend the law and to give him more powers, but unsuccessfully. Petru Lucinschi was later elected and his behavior should be thoroughly analyzed. “Mister Lucinschi in 2000 asked to amend the Constitution and to introduce the presidential state. But the Constitution was amended so that the President was elected by Parliament, not by the people, as earlier. He asked a lot, but wasn’t given much.”
Vladimir Voronin, who was elected in 2001, being put in a difficult situation, acted as he considered right. But when one vote could not be secured for the parliamentary majority of 2009, he didn’t force things and elections followed. The election of Nicolae Timofti was in accordance with the law, but not fully in accordance with the wish of the people, who didn’t want such a weak President. Timofti fully obeyed the law and didn’t make moves that would have prevented the political elite from having a say.
Igor Dodon was elected after the Constitution was amended, in 2016, and this does not act in accordance with the law, stated Arcadie Barbăroșie. “He convokes meeting with the Prime Minister and the Parliament Speaker. The discussions are important, but is this the business of the President or of the Premier?”
The public debate “Presidency, President and presidential elections: processes, tendencies and effects” was the 152nd installment of the series “Developing political culture through political debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.