Delayed actions of Maia Sandu. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“That’s why the President should not hesitate about the inducing of the procedures that imminently lead to the dissolution of Parliament and the calling of snap elections or to the assumption of responsibility for the government by the PSRM, alongside the Shor Party...”

Without velvet period

President Maia Sandu cannot profit from the velvet period of 100 days during which she could have been treated with indulgence by the opponents and sympathizers. It happened so that the President took up her duties one day after the Cabinet’s resignation was tendered and a governmental crisis was thus caused. Amid the multiple crises faced by the Republic of Moldova, it is unimaginable that the sympathizers and opoonents will wait until the new President adjusts herself and adopts a normal work place. Moreover, in her inaugural speech Maia Sandu noted that “the reality is knocking at the door. The pandemic and the economic crises are the priorities of the moment,” and the solution to the crisis can be identified this way: “The snap elections are the only path for cleaning Parliament and breaking the deadlock. There is no other solution. The current Parliament does not include 51 MPs who would support the people’s government.”

If the conviction that the snap parliamentary elections are the only solution for overcoming the crisis persists, it is not clear why the President does not take steps for the circumstances that justify the calling of snap elections to appear. The answer can be intuited from the reactions of the former party mates of Maia Sandu, who invoke the duplicitous games of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), which can say one thing, but do another thing. Indeed, the PSRM and its leader Igor Dodon do not clearly plead either for snap elections or for the appointment of an interim government. 

This way, we should realize that the fear of the eventual maneuvers of the Socialist parliamentary group paralyzes the activity of the presidential administration, keeping it in a state of prostration. This is an additional argument in favor of the inopportunity of the direct election of the President in a parliamentary republic. Indeed, ex-President Igor Dodon, who was elected directly, but without powers, had beaten around the bush during four years and at the end of his tenure as President announced that: the biggest accomplishment is the fact that I visited over 600 localities, as if tourism on public funds is among the President’s duties and necessitates exceptional capacities. Currently, Igor Dodon’s successor Maia Sandu took up her duties when having the role of a simple moderator in the process of finding solutions to the governmental crisis that is accompanied by a number of other crises.

Necessary and complementary actions

The lack of solutions to definitely reach the dissolution of Parliament and the organization of snap elections made the former party mates of President Maia Sandu to use the services of the Constitutional Court (CC), which is expected to find arguments in favor of the self-dissolution of Parliament. It is believed, absolutely incorrectly, that such a solution would exempt the President of the necessity of assuming the risk of launching the constitutional procedures that can lead to the dissolution of Parliament, but she could also fail to obtain this. In fact, an advantage of the self-dissolution of a nonfunctional legislative body is only the shortening of the period until snap elections and nothing more.

Therefore, the fact that the MPs of the Party of Action and Solitary (PAS) went to the CC is welcome, but this is only a complementary solution in the current circumstances. If we admit that the CC offers a positive response as to the self-dissolution of Parliament, the implementation of this option will anyway necessitate the adoption of a special law with the involvement of the PSRM. Moreover, the states where the self-dissolution of the legislative bodies is possible worked out regulations whose application necessitates time and guarantees that the given procedures are obeyed. This way, an eventual solution for the self-dissolution of Parliament cannot be put into practice without the active support and participation of the PSRM.

This way, we convince ourselves that the testing of the PSRM’s sincerity as to its wish to have the Parliament dissolved is the only advantage of the Parliament self-dissolution solution. There are no other advantages here. We saw that the PSRM categorically rejects the solution of self-dissolution of Parliament. So, even if the CC pronounces in favor of the possibility of self-dissolution of the legislative body, the PSRM will anyway reject the implementation of such a scenario, insisting on the procedures defined in Article 85 of the Constitution, which can be put into practice during two-three months for achieving the dissolution of Parliament. In such conditions, the only solution is for President Maia Sandu to start the procedure for naming the candidate for premiership and to make sure that this candidate and his/her governmental team do not reach investiture.

Even if the PSRM does not hide the fact that it wants to show the presidential administration’s incapacity to adopt swift and efficient decisions, it should be noted that until now the PSRM took important steps towards the dissolution of Parliament:

  • persuaded the Chicu Government to resign;
  • confirmed, in the consultations initiated by the President, that it does not form part of any parliamentary majority, leaving the nomination of the candidate for Prime Minister to President Maia Sandu’s discretion;
  • assured public opinion that it anyway wants snap elections to be called rather than to assume responsibility for a government in much more difficult conditions than those that led to Igor Dodon’s failure in the recent presidential elections.

In such circumstances, President Maia Sandu has to only propose a candidate for premiership. The only protection measure from the eventual maneuvers of the PSRM is to suggest a candidate who would propose a decent government program, but contrary to the statutory and programmatic principles of the PSRM so as to discourage the maneuvers to make the switch in favor of an interim government. This procedure should be repeated at least twice so that the circumstances that justify the dissolution of Parliament could be ascertained in 45 days of the first nomination of the candidate for Prime Minister. This means that if the presidential administration overcomes the state of stupor the next few days, the legislative body could be dissolved at the start of March at the earliest.


The delay in the nomination by the President of the candidate for Premier cannot be justified given the announced intention to induce snap parliamentary elections as swiftly as possible. The nomination of the candidate for Premier marks the 45-day countdown and the earliest dissolution of Parliament and calling of snap elections would be possible afterward.

The failure to reach the dissolution of Parliament can be exclusively due to the PSRM’s change of switch, if the party assumes the risk of forming a parliamentary majority together with the Shor Party and its acolytes. Other secret games involving other parliamentary groups are also possible, but these can be successful only if the PSRM becomes involved. This implies major risks for the participants in these games. That’s why the President should not hesitate about the inducing of the procedures that imminently lead to the dissolution of Parliament and the calling of snap elections or to the assumption of responsibility for the government by the PSRM, alongside the Shor Party.

The PAS MPs’ request to the CC to clarify the possibility of self-dissolution of Parliament is only a complementary solution for overcoming the current governmental crisis. It has only the value of principle and does not have any practical value when the Socialist parliamentary group rejects the Parliament self-dissolution solution, insisting on the launch of the constitutional procedure for nominating the candidate for premiership.

An eventual positive response of the CC concerning the possibility of self-dissolution of Parliament does not imply major risks to the constitutional order, if the self-dissolution is conditional upon the agreement of a qualified majority, which cannot be achieved without the acceptance and participation of the opposition, which could not be cheated by a simple majority that would aim to cause snap elections for increasing its presence on the legislative body. The possibility of self-dissolution of Parliament could be useful in the future, in eventual circumstances that can necessitate the swift dissolution of the legislative body, without waiting for two-three months for artificially creating the conditions stipulated in Article 85 of the Constitution.

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