“That’s why, in the aforementioned conditions, as the resolution adopted by the deputies of all levels from Gagauzia suggests, a reconsideration of the powers of Gagauzia offered out of goodwill is necessary indeed so that the interests of the majority of the country’s population are taken into account without these being undermined by all kinds of swindlers and political adventurists who claim parts of the territory of the Republic of Moldova so as to transform them into dreamlands...”
Announced goals without end results...
Over the last decade, the Republic of Moldova probably became the country with the largest number of protest demonstrations per capita – rallies, flashmob meetings, congresses, etc. – accompanied by statements condemning the authorities and addressing a series of demands to these. The congress of deputies of all levels from Gagauzia, which was held in Comrat on May 27, 2023, was one of the most recent events of the kind. The convocation of the deputies of all levels from Gagauzia was aimed at transmitting to the central authorities the message that the inhabitants of the Gagauz autonomous unit are a cohesive body united at all levels. We cannot play with the people’s will and this should be taken into account. Or...
It should be noted that the manifestation of consolidation at all levels actually reiterates the consolidation of the deputies of the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia around the Shor Party’s candidate who won the recent gubernatorial elections. Most probably, the unification and consolidation are based on Ilan Shor’s promise to invest in Gagauzia half a billion dollars – approximately half of the money stolen from the banking system of the Republic of Moldova by the fugitive swindler who was sentenced to 15 years in jail. Evidently, Gagauzia – the dreamland of Ilan Shor – cannot be imagined without an airport for all kinds of criminal trafficking, especially after the Chisinau international airport was taken out of Ilan Shor’s control and was returned under state ownership and management.
That’s why, at the end of the meeting of deputies of all levels from Gagauzia, there was adopted a resolution addressed to Parliament, the President and the Government, which reiterates all the demands to the central power, which amount to the transformation of Gagauzia into a kind of state within a state. The resolution is also addressed to international institutions, heads of government and foreign states, including those from the European Political Community (EPC), which will come together in Bulboaca for the summit of June 1-2. It is very curious to find out the attitude of the governments of Turkey, China and other states that fight against separatism, against the claims of deputies of all levels in Gagauzia, which are aimed at the fulfillment of the criminal dreams of Ilan Shor. We will have to be patient until we learn about the given reactions.
New modus vivendi...
The most interesting passage of the given resolution is contained in chapter III of the document. “If the central authorities of the Republic of Moldova ignore the legitimate requests concerning the observance of the powers and duties of Gagauzia and the enshrining of the political-legal status of the autonomous unit in the Constitution, the whole responsibility will be borne by the central bodies”. It sounds like a threat and, at first sight, it is not very clear what responsibility the central bodies actually bear. The point is the final variant of the resolution was modified after the initial text was leaked to the press. This contained the threat to hold a referendum on the future of Gagauzia. Respectively, the authors of the resolution had to give up the idea of a referendum after they convinced themselves that the previous referendum, of February 2, 2014, didn’t impress the central authorities. That sad, even distressing experience now has unpleasant repercussions. The point is, after the last referendum, the ex-President of the Republic of Moldova Igor Dodon – who is an ardent supporter of the holding of referendums – became disappointed with the ex-governor of Gagauzia, who awarded him for his actions to undermine the interests of the Republic of Moldova. Later, the political and opinion leaders in Gagauzia anyway reached the conclusion that Igor Dodon is actually a liar and hypocrite. As they say – one good turn deserves another! Evidently, no one needs referendums that ultimately amount to mutual dissatisfaction.
In the aforementioned circumstances, the authors of the final resolution decided to keep the central authorities in a kind of extended tension, announcing the convocation of the next congress of deputies of all levels for September 9 this year. The period of approximately three months seems to be sufficient to understand how much the central authorities were impressed by the threat of the congress of deputies of all levels from Gagauzia. In fact, during the three months the leaders of Gagauzia had the possibility of fulfilling Ilan Shor’s conditions concerning the investments and building of the international airport (the Republic of Moldova does not have internal flights) in Comrat – creation of an executive committee of Gagauzia out of persons faithful to Ilan Shor and identification of a lot for the future international airport.
We see that things develop in an inciting and spectacular way - a swindler sentenced to 15 years in jail, who is under international sanctions, managed to transform the electoral fiefdom of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova, led by Igor Dodon, into the electoral fiefdom of the Shor Party. Moreover, he managed to unite the MPs of all levels from Gagauzia so as to fulfill his dreams. The question that arises is, how will the central authorities act in this situation?
Anticipation of claims by central authorities
The representatives of the central authorities do not have other options than to react in accordance with the constitutional and legal framework of the Republic of Moldova, in the interests of the state and the citizens. In this regard, the first statements were worrisome, but later became rather calm and even constructive. Premier Dorin Recean noted that he will not tolerate in the Government another agenda than the citizens’ agenda. “We have a law on separatism. If there are elements with another agenda than the citizens’ agenda, the law enforcement system will react and will punish the eventual deviations from the law”. Probably, this argument was heard and the threat about the holding of a referendum on the future of Gagauzia was eliminated from the initial text of the resolution.
Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu had a more diplomatic attitude: “We have a parliamentary commission within which we discuss the extent to which the laws that regulate this region are adjusted to the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, to our codes. We will see if these policies achieved their goal during 30 years. Did these taxes or a part of the taxes that remained there contribute to the integration of this region? The promotion of culture, the language, values should be dealt with as soon as possible and not only there, but all over the Republic of Moldova”. This means that the powers of Gagauzia offered through the Law on the special legal status of Gagauzia will be examined thoroughly so as to see to what extent the demands stipulated in the resolution adopted by the deputies of all levels from Gagauzia match the framework of the mentioned law and the unitary state that is defined in Article 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova.
The point is the preamble to the law on the special legal status of Gagauzia clearly provides that the given status is the manifestation of goodwill and desire to keep good relations between nations built during centuries and the pursued goal is to satisfy the national necessities and to keep the national identity of the people of Gagauzia, their plenary and multilateral development, the prosperity of the language and national culture, ensuring of political and economic stability. Respectively, before formulating demands to the central authorities, it would be useful for the regional authorities to take stock of the measures taken to ensure the thriving of the national culture, the spoken language and its role in the sociopolitical life in Gagauzia, etc.
The problem is scientific researchers and people of culture from Gagauzia for a long period of time have sounded the alarm, warning that the language of the Gagauz people and their culture are marginalized. The clarification of these aspects can prove that the political leaders from Gagauzia do not see the own blunders. Moreover, the central authorities and also the citizens of the Republic of Moldova have the right to wonder if the goodwill shown by offering a special legal status to Gagauzia refers also to the so-called veto right of Gagauzia concerning the regional integration of the Republic of Moldova, which is manifested by the holding of such illegal referendums as the one of February 2, 2014?
It should be noted that the inventorying of the legal framework concerning the relations between the central and regional authorities is opportune in light of the resolution adopted by the deputies of all levels from Gagauzia and when the current governor of Gagauzia Irina Vlah says that she is a pro-Russian politician “I’m a pro-Russian politician and I represent the interests of the people of Gagauzia, who are mainly pro-Russian. But I will try hard to have a constructive relationship with the government in Chisinau”. It can be therefore deduced that the pro-Russian interests are given priority, while the constructive relationship with Chisinau is secondary. In such a context, it is curious that Irina Vlah expressed her dissatisfaction with her exclusion from the Supreme Security Council. In fact, it is even more curios that ex-President Igor Dodon introduced her into the previous composition of the SSC after supporting her in the electoral campaign.
The recently elected governor Yevgenia Guțul acts similarly when she asserts: “The party of which I form part is a pro-Russian one so say it more exactly. We want to be friends with Russia, with other countries. (...) We already took the first steps. We held negotiations with the State Duma deputy Stat Slutsky. We agreed that after we win the elections, we will open a representative office of Gagauzia in Moscow”. Respectively, it is not surprising that the relations with the Russian authorities and the confrontation with the authorities of the own country are a priority for the new governor of Gagauzia.
There is no doubt that the Gagauz politicians have the right to state their attitude to Russia. The problem is the central authorities of the Republic of Moldova also have the right to condemn, alongside ¾ of the states of the world, the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Moreover, the central authorities are obliged to ensure the fulfillment of the will of most of the country’s citizens concerning the European integration, to ensure the security of the state before the declared intentions of Russia’s administration to claim territories it considers presents of the Russian people.
That’s why, in the aforementioned conditions, as the resolution adopted by the deputies of all levels from Gagauzia suggests, a reconsideration of the powers of Gagauzia offered out of goodwill is necessary indeed so that the interests of the majority of the country’s population are taken into account without these being undermined by all kinds of swindlers and political adventurists who claim parts of the territory of the Republic of Moldova so as to transform them into dreamlands. Evidently, the given procedure should be performed together with the authorities in Gagauzia, by strictly observing the constitutional framework concerning the unitary state, the legal one concerning the powers and uties of Gagauzia and international law norms concerning autonomous units.