Critics of Gavrilița Government... Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“First of all, none of the vehement critics of the Gavrilița Government, except for Alexandr Muravschi, who did it in a delicate way, even tried to invoke the difficulties caused by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its impact on the Republic of Moldova, as if nothing unordinary has happened after the PAS came to power in 2021...

Criticism of ex-Premier...

On February 10, 2023, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița announced the resignation of the Government that she managed for a year and a half. In such cases, the leaving Premiers usually enumerate a wide range of problems that hampered them from fulfilling their promises and then emphasize the accomplishments they consider their own. Natalia Gavrilița followed a similar pattern and spoke about the achievements, but didn’t express regrets at the resignation of her Cabinet. However, there is one regret. It’s a pity that the Gavrilița Government didn’t put off its decision to resign for two weeks. If it had done so, it would have announced its resignation on February 24, in exactly four years of the parliamentary elections of February 24, 2019 and in a year of the start of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine.

Ex-Prime Minister Ion Chicu, who resigned on December 23, 2020 for the purpose of triggering snap parliamentary elections, turned out to be the most virulent critic of the Gavrilița Government. Ex-Premier Chicu’s move was successful. As Mister Chicu wanted, snap parliamentary elections took place on July 11, 2021 and the post of Prime Minister as a result of these was occupied by Natalia Gavrilița. It is noteworthy that ex-Premier Ion Chicu took part in the snap parliamentary elections that he caused together with his party, the Party of Development and Consolidation of Moldova (PDCM), ranking 12th out of 23 with a score of 0.43% of the vote. It could have been correct or not, but this was how the citizens assessed the results achieved by the Chicu Government. If it hadn’t resigned, the Chicu Government could have worked until present, showing to us how a professional government can cope with the challenges generated by a regional war. Respectively, we would have been now in an election campaign as ordinary parliamentary elections would have taken place on February 24, 2023 and we would have assessed the accomplishments. We weren’t lucky to do so due to the ex-Premier Chicu.

It should be noted that the day the Gavrilița Government resigned, ex-Premier Ion Chucu and his party PDCM requested the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the illegalities of which the Gavrilița Government is suspected. The argumentation is very solid, except for the fact that particular circumstances were ignored. The last remark refers to the fact that ex-Premier Ion Chicu and his party didn’t present their attitude to what is happening in neighboring Ukraine – who is the victim and who is the aggressor – to public opinion. They didn’t pronounce on the impact on the Republic of Moldova and how the public authorities should behave when rockets of a third country fly above Moldova’s territory, while the land borders should be kept practically open to the flow of hundreds of thousands of refugees?  In fact, for the sake of truth, we should note that ex-Premier Ion Chicu considers the Ukrainians are provocateurs who would like: “The war to be extended as this is their dream. They will resort to any provocation for the whole region to become a battlefield”. This is additional information for the prosecutors who will examine the PDCM’s application concerning the crimes committed by the Gavrilița Government, without taking into account the fact that there is a war in the neighboring country.

Criticism of Socialists and Communists

The attitude of the parliamentary group of the Bloc of Communists and Socialists to the Gavrilița Government had been negative since the very beginning. That’s why it does not deserve being exmained. The problem is the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) has insisted on the dissolution of Parliament and the holding of snap parliamentary elections. What is to be said here? The PSRM on December 23, 2020 supported the resignation of the Chicu Government namely because it wanted snap elections to be held. We all know the result, but don’t know why the Socialists consider the result of the new elections will be favorable? Respectively, the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) seems not to agree with the PSRM.

There is yet something revolting in the statement of the PSRM, which asserted that the Gavrilița Government was „...the weakest, most non-professional and irresponsible Government in the history of the Republic of Moldova and will remain in the country’s history as a “government of failures”. This is not true by far. Surely, we can admit that the PSRM’s assertions are correct only partially - that the Gavrilița Government comes second by the invoked sins, not yet first. What is certain is that the Grechanyi-Dodon Government of June-August 2009 was the weakest government. First of all, that government didn’t present to society the promised investigation into the events of April 7, 2009, by determining who is to blame and by punishing them for the staged chaos. Secondly, that government consisted of inveterate liars and political weathercocks. This was confirmed by the government program of that Cabinet, which was compiled by the current leaders of the PSRM, ex-Premier Zinaida Grechanyi and her deputy Igor Dodon. In the given program, the two Socialists insisted that: “The incontestable desideratum of the majority of our citizens, the country’s integration into the European Union, is the irreversible and natural priority of the domestic and foreign policy of the Government of the Republic of Moldova. Continuing to put into practice the principles of the Community acquis, enshrined in multiple normative documents of our state, is the Government’s key objective”. If they decided that the European integration is the irreversible and natural priority, why did they renounce it and started later to promote the Eurasian integration, next to Russia and Belarus?

In fact, the given question was answered for many times by the leader of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), Vladimir Voronin, who described the two former mates as traitors without scruples. Moreover, Voronin and the PCRM continue insisting on the given descriptions and even on more scandalous ones. Furthermore, the old Communist leader has long suspected Dodon and Grechanyi of playing dishonestly, since the two Socialists negotiated the contract for the supply of gas to the Republic of Moldova with Gazprom.

In such circumstances, in times of profound crisis, at odds with their coalition partners and split, with this fact being recently confirmed by Igor Dodon, who banks only on the black swan, the Socialists seek snap parliamentary elections. Their informal leader himself tells them that they do not have any chances. Only some unpredictable factors can change the situation, if Natashas are eventually used against Ukraine. Good perspectives...

Criticism of Gagauz governor...

Cabinet member Irina Vlah, the governor of Gagauzia, is another intransigent critic of the Gavrilița Government. She wondered: „…why did Missis Gavrilița resign if Moldova during a year of PAS government achieved remarkable progress”, as the commissioners in Brussels stated, according to her? Will Moldova witness one more “success story”? Moreover, Irina Vlah pointed the finger at those who are to blame for the problems experienced by the Republic of Moldova: “The PAS, which is informally led by Missis Sandu, lamentably failed the country management exam... For now, the PAS experiments with citizens’ destinies, while someone is continuing building international PR without seeing what is happening at home”.

It should be noted that Missis Vlah knows what he says and she really knows how the country should be governed. Initially, in 2005-2015, she formed part of the parliamentary group of the PCRM. That’s why she knows how non-cooperative the PCRM was with opposition political parties while this held a parliamentary majority. Consequently, in 2009 the non-cooperative PCRM found itself having no allies and had to concede power even if it obtained an absolute majority in the parliamentary elections. Also, Missis Vlah knows what dangers the Moldovan democracy was exposed to under the then President Vladimir Voronin, who promoted her on the PCRM’s list of candidates for ten years. Besides the office of President, Voronin also held the post of chairman of the PCRM, influencing this way the work of the parliamentary majority and of the governments voted in by this. The leader of the PCRM never realized this incompatibility and therefore didn’t avoid taking revenge on Missis Vlah, describing her as “... primitive and backward...”

Also, Missis Vlah knows how incorrectly acted another ex-chairman, of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), Igor Dodon, who insists that he helped her obtain the post of governor of Gagauzia. Respectively, in September 2017, in breach of the legal provisions, ex-President Dodon declared himself the informal leader of the PSRM, daring insolently to take part in the meetings of the National Council of the PSRM. Dodon, being a pupil of Voronin, acted as his mentor did, accusing Missis Vlah of changing her political color as a chameleon, depending on conjuncture. In fact, Dodon, as Voronin, cannot accept that Missis Vlah is simply principled. This is a proof that not even Igor Dodon appreciated the principledness of Irina Vlah, who insists further, suspecting now President Maia Sandu of behaving like an informal leader of the Party of Action and Solidarity, as Igor Dodon did with regard to the PSRM.

Given the political experience of the governor of Gagauzia, it would be opportune to take into account the criticism leveled by Missis Irina Vlah, especially because her principledness became proverbial. This way, the budget of Gagauzia for 2022, which should have been adopted in 2021, was approved a year later than required, on November 11, 2022. This is a proof of the real separation of the legislative and executive branches in Gagauzia. The given example is actually recommended to the central administration too. The efficiency of the government in Gagauzia can also be something recommendable for the central government. In this regard, we are all waiting for Missis Vlah to report her results at the end of her second tenure as governor of Gagauzia. It would be appropriate to publish this report by April 30, 2023, when the new governor of Gagauzia is to be elected. It’s true that owing to the principledness of Missis Vlah, we will have to wait for an indefinite period of time. The point is Irina Vlah opposed the decision of the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia to hold the governor elections in the set timeframes. These are the effects of principledness.

Anyway, despite the aforementioned circumstances, we are all waiting for the report on the government of Gagauzia in 2019-2023 as a success sample for the central government. This is important as there are all kinds of voices and dissatisfaction as to the fact that the good times should have initially come in Gagauzia and later all over the Republic of Moldova. This way, the international airport in Ceadâr Lunga and the power plant in Vulcănești, which, according to the electoral program of Irina Vlah were to ensure the development of Gagauzia’s economic relations with countries of the world and, respectively, to provide the region with electrical energy, were to become the marker of good times in Gagauzia. The results announced in the given areas would encourage the central government to show efficiency and responsibility for the made promises.

Criticism of ex-Deputy Premier...

It is curios but the intransigent critics of the Gavrilița Government include the ex-Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Muravschi, a member of the Sturza Government, ex-minister of economy and reforms. Paradoxically, on the occasion of the resignation of the Gavrilița Government, Muravschi showed himself to be extremely attentive and temperate. He seemed to have forgotten his earlier assertions and referred in somehow unusual terms to ex-Premier Gavrilița: “Yes, it was a government that made many mistakes and it resigned. Let’s say “thank you” to it for what it did in this difficult period because, despite all my criticism of this government, despite all the criticism of the others, I must say that this government endured many troubles and difficulties and the situation could have been worse. This thing should be admitted. Let’s say “thank you” to Natalia Gavrilița for the done work. Her leaving is related, on the one hand, to objective reasons, and, on the other hand, to her character, principles and traits that characterize her…“. Surprise? Appropriate assessments from where ex-Premier Gavrilița didn’t expect.

Why did ex-Deputy Premier Muravschi decide to be so moderate in assessments? Probably because he knows what the Sturza Government in which he was responsible for economy, including the relations with Gazprom, went through. In this connection, it is useful to remind of the statements of ex-Premier Sturza, who admitted that his hands had been tied up and he was forced to make difficult to repair mistakes when he conceded the majority shareholding in Moldovagaz to Gazprom. Respectively, the pressure exerted by Gazprom on the Gavrilița Government has deep roots: a) conceding of the majority shareholding to Gazprom; c) contract signed by Grechanyi-Dodon, which stipulates the price calculation formula and which aroused doubts in ex-President Vladimir Voronin; d) artificial accumulation of debts that were made the burden of Moldovagaz for being used as blackmail instrument. Alexandr Muravschi probably meant all these things when he explained the exorbitant rise in inflation that seriously hit the Gavrilița Government.

Respectively, Muravschi considers that the annual inflation of about 34% in 2022 is the Gavrilița Government’s biggest failure. We should yet take into account the fact that the annual inflation in Hungary, which is a developed EU member state and which negotiated the gas prices with Putin in a friendly way, in 2022 was approximately 26%! Now, if we take into consideration the fact that the Gavrilița Government, without bowing down to Putin, managed yet to supply the country with gas, showing that the Republic of Moldova can get rid of Gazprom’s blackmail and can, in principle, ensure its energy security, we can also understand Alexand Muravschi’s assessments of the Gavrilița Government.


The critics of the Gavrilița Government are right, but only partially. However, no matter how right the Gavrilița Government was, it managed to achieve a result that cannot be beaten by its zealous critics. First of all, none of the vehement critics of the Gavrilița Government, except for Alexandr Muravschi, who did it in a delicate way, even tried to invoke the difficulties caused by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its impact on the Republic of Moldova, as if nothing unordinary has happened after the PAS came to power in 2021...”

Secondly, it is very curious to see that all these critics were virulent promoters of the European integration of the Republic of Moldova, but changed their views under the influence of the circumstances and baits, evidently except for ex-Premier Ion Chicu, who declared himself the promoter of the European integration only in 2020. Instead, the leaders of the Bloc of Communists and Socialists and also Irina Vlah: a) signed the Parliament Declaration on the political partnership for achieving the European integration objectives; b) worked out and voted for the government program in which they insisted that the European integration of the Republic of Moldova is irreversible; c) constituted the National Commission for European Integration (NCEI) that set as a goal the obtaining by the Republic of Moldova of the EU candidate status, etc. All these later abandoned the goals they set themselves. Nevertheless, namely Natalia Gavrilița, who was named NCEI secretary in 2008, managed to open the European perspective of the Republic of Moldova, obtaining, alongside her mates, the EU candidate status for Moldova. This accomplishment really deserves to be appreciated despite the Gavrilița Government’s faults.

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