Igor Boțan: During its four-year mandate, current Parliament was in a continuous crisis

During its four-year mandate, the current Parliament was in a continuous crisis. However, as a legislative body, this Parliament was forced, under the pressure of circumstances, to work based on very important documents worked out by the development partners, the standing expert of IPN’s project Igor Boțan stated in the public debate “Place of Parliament of 20th legislature in life of society and in history of Moldovan parliamentarianism” that was the 98th installment of the series of debates “Developing political culture through public debates”, staged by IPN News Agency and Radio Moldova.

The expert said in January 2015, when the formation of a parliamentary majority was only discussed, the development partners proposed an extensive informative note that covered all the development areas of the Republic of Moldova, given the obligations the country assumed under the Association Agreement. The document was handed over to the then Prime Minister Kiril Gaburici. This way, the Gaburici Government, and then the Government headed by Valeriu Streleț, during several months worked based on this very important document that enumerated the top priorities Moldova. The next documents were two roadmaps for 2016 and 2017. “So, guidelines supported by the development partners existed during three years of the four-year mandate of the current Parliament,” stated the expert.

According to him, the merit of the roadmap for 2016 resides in the fact that the Government and Parliament worked hand in hand to overcome the state of crisis and priority reforms were done based on this. The roadmap for 2017 was extremely important, including for the Government reform.

“There were no roadmaps for 2018, but the events that occurred make us believe that the Parliament’s effort was aimed at changing the views of the citizens before the parliamentary elections, by all kinds of presents for the citizens before the elections. We witnessed very interesting things that weren’t coordinated with the development partners, such as the small tax reform. The fiscal amnesty was rather harshly criticized by the development partners,” noted the expert.

According to him, the activity of the current legislature was very complex. For the first time in the history of the Republic of Moldova, over 30% of the MPs changed their political orientation – from Eurasian to European. Two thirds of the Party of Communists switched to the Democratic Party and four fifths of the group of the Liberal Democratic Party somehow took sides with the ruling party. “These are very specific things and all these things started on December 21, 2015, when the leader of the PDM placed on Facebook that announcement, saying he decided to return to politics. So, his return to politics coincided with these things and this shows that the Republic of Moldova has a management center outside the Parliament and Government. This management center works like a tuning pipe that sets the tone and this should worry us as there is a political party that promotes the idea of a presidential republic and if a coordinator from outside had the status of President of the Republic of Moldova, the Parliament and Government would act exactly like now,” stated Igor Boțan.

The expert noted that from the viewpoint of the Constitution and the legislation, we have a parliamentary republic where the legislative body is the main institution. “In fact, we have an informal presidential republic because all the important messages come from outside and are put into practice after they are each Tuesday made public by a party leader that does not hold public posts. A natural question appears here: if the Party of Socialists collects a lot of signatures for switching over to a presidential regime, won’t the citizens think that an informal presidential regime should be better turned into a real presidential regime? This is the big problem. I was always for a parliamentary republic, but in the created situation we see that the ruling party wants to satisfy the people and proposes for referendum what these like – reduction in the number of MPs, an imperative mandate, but most of all the people want a presidential republic. The question is: will they do as the people want or as the party wants?” wondered Igor Boțan. According to him, all these things emerged after the four-year mandate of the current Parliament and there will be serious temptations after the parliamentary elections to transform the de facto presidential regime into a de jure regime.

The debate “Place of Parliament of 20th legislature in life of society and in history of Moldovan parliamentarianism” forms part of the series of debates held by IPN News Agency and Radio Moldova as part of the project “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.

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