Ion Guzun, legal advisor to the Legal Resources Centre from Moldova (CRJM), said that relevant institutions and professionals should be the ones to manage the fight against the new coronavirus. On the other hand, politicians should do what the law and their mandate prescribe and should refrain from using the pandemic in order to gain political advantage. These opinions were expressed during a public debate titled "COVID-19 crisis management efficiency in Moldova", organized by the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT.
The expert hopes that national non-priority investment spending will be reduced, at least after the elections, while the funds will be redirected towards the medical and the educational system. This is especially necessary, given that there are few medical workers, while the rate of infection among them is alarming. In addition, Ion Guzun expressed his hope that the ombudsman will continue to intervene when human rights are in jeopardy and will keep in check the enthusiasm of some politicians who try to limit human rights through legislative amendments.
"I very much hope that respect for human rights, in the context of the pandemic, will be a topic that will not be easily abandoned during political talks with the Transnistrian region. This is a good opportunity to strengthen confidence. I very much hope that people, individually, will become more responsible during this pandemic, will cooperate with state institutions and, if necessary, will get involved in decision-making, either locally or nationally. Involvement will allow to monitor and provide assistance when people's rights and interests are infringed upon", said Ion Guzun.
"The prime minister, who was having ‘a party, not a wedding’, was not held accountable. In contrast, ordinary citizens are sanctioned if they violate health safety rules. Different tiers of justice create confusion among the citizens", said Ion Guzun.
In his opinion, the public messages issued by the authorities were contradictory. On the one hand, large gatherings are forbidden, while on the other hand, the president and other public figures gathered large crowds. According to the expert, faced with contradictory information, the citizens underestimate the negative impact of the pandemic.
The debate was conducted as part of ADEPT’s project "Keeping an eye on the authorities: managing the Coronavirus emergency and crisis", with the support of the Good Governance Department of the Soros Foundation Moldova.