By holding this thirteenth debate on 19 March 2013, the news agency Info-Prim Neo (shortened to IPN in a recent re-branding effort) continued its series of public debates, initiated last year with support from the “Hanns Seidel” Foundation. Deliberately, the numbering of the debates was preserved so as to suggest continuity and a profound approach to a topic of great importance for Moldovan society.
In this debate, the political class was represented by Artur Reşetnicov, member of the Communist parliamentary group; George Mocanu, member of the Liberal-Democratic parliamentary group; and Valeriu Saharneanu, member of the Liberal parliamentary group. The role of pundits was played by Ion Jigău, director of the Sociology and Marketing Center CBS-AXA, and the Project's permanent expert Igor Boţan, who is also director of the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT.
Some participants argued that the ongoing political crisis is “just something natural” and even beneficial for society, as it has a “purifying effect” on the political class. Other participants said the crisis is “artificial” and that it was caused by the parties of the member parties of the former governing alliance. These two general theses formed the core of the debate.
On one hand, some speakers said the crisis is a problem that must be dealt with by Moldovan society. “We are facing an ordinary crisis related to Moldova’s European course. We have precedents. It is a crisis that cannot be administered by the old system because we still preserve Soviet elements,” said Liberal MP Valeriu Saharneanu. Lib-Dem MP George Mocanu said that when the politicians come to power with promises, they must have powers to fulfill them. “When you come to power in a destroyed country and must reform many things and the reforms are not understood, you do not manage to implement them in two years”. Mocanu further speculated that a crisis is an opportunity to “purify” the political class. “The crisis is a purification method. The politicians are in a crisis of ideas and in a crisis of personality. This crisis revealed unknown things. However, this is precisely due to such public debates that the population’s level of political culture increases”
On the other hand, Communist MP Artur Reşetnicov argued the crisis is “artificial”. “If we look deep into the conflict's roots, [we can see that] the ongoing political crisis is artificial, and it was created by the parties that created the governing coalition. The bomb under the alliance was planted when the agreement and the secret annexes were signed. In a democratic state such institutions as the Ministry of the Interior, the legal system and the secret services cannot be distributed between those in power. The electoral promises haven’t been fulfilled during three years. They only give orders by phone and resort to smuggling and corruption”, said Reşetnicov, adding that the people should be allowed to decide who should further rule the country in early legislative elections.
Permanent expert at the IPN debates Igor Botan said that the political crisis became something usual for the people. “When we have different players, there appear disagreements and, if they are unable to deal with them, they turn into tensions and then into conflicts. If the conflicts cannot be resolved they lead to a state of crisis”.
According to expert Ion Jigau, director of the Sociology and Marketing Center CBS-AXA, people are discontented that political leader can't find middle ground. “Interests surely exist, but when an alliance is formed, a solution should be identified to suit everyone. But they haven’t yet reached such a level of political culture”, the expert remarked.
The Agency published 6 news stories on the debate (see the English version of www.ipn.md: on 19.03.13, “Current political crisis is artificial, ordinary and with purifying effect, debates ” -http://ipn.md/en/arhiva/53110, on 20.03.13, “I cannot imagine how former AEI colleagues can sit at negotiating table, MP” - http://ipn.md/en/arhiva/53115, “Liberal MP: We loved and defended Filat, but cannot forgive him now” - http://ipn.md/en/arhiva/53114 , “Mistakes resulted from lack of experience in ruling in coalition, lawmaker” - http://ipn.md/en/arhiva/53116, on 21.03.13 “Voters will penalize all the politicians, opinion” - http://ipn.md/en/arhiva/53140, “Igor Botan: Political crisis was preceded by moral one” - http://ipn.md/en/arhiva/53141.
This debate also served as an occasion for IPN to launch its renewed conference room, following a rather lengthy period of extensive repair. The necessity of a renovation was partly dictated by the format of the public debates held by the agency under the Project; further, the Project contributed directly to the renovation through funds allocated by the Foundation specifically for this purpose. As a result, partly thanks to support from the Hans Seidel Foundation, IPN now has arguably the best media-events-oriented conference room in Chisinau and Moldova.
Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN
21 March 2013