Deputy mayors and district heads cannot be named because there is no consensus


It is one year and a half of the local elections, but the two posts of deputy mayors remain vacant, another two posts of deputy mayor and five posts of district head are held in unclear conditions, while some of the municipal divisions are managed by acting heads. The members of the factions that represent the Alliance for European Integration (AEI) in the Chisinau Municipal Council (CMC) say that this is due to the lack of a majority in the Council, which would support the candidates who, according to the law, must be fielded by the mayor of the capital city. The faction of the Communist Party (PCRM), which is in the opposition, said that the mayor did not put forward candidates for these posts and did not initiate the appointment procedure. The representatives of the factions have dissenting opinions about the idea of dismissing the mayor general by referendum, which has been promoted by certain political circles. Related statements were made in public debates themed “Chisinau Municipal Council: why things do not develop? Political culture in the relations between the local councilors”, organized by Info-Prim Neo.  The leader of the Liberal faction Ion Gabura said the councilors could not reach a consensus within the specialty commissions and in the CMC because the opposition politicizes all the items on the agenda and does not support it. The Communist faction proposed no social project since the CMC started work. Currently, there are no preconditions for initiating a referendum to remove the mayor general. Ion Gabura said that he understood from the discussions with the Communist councilors that they refuse to vote in the candidates for deputy mayors and district heads that will be proposed by the mayor. “Currently, we are ready for naming the deputy mayors and district heads because the only problem recently has been the lack of a majority to take certain decisions,” he stated. On the other hand, the representative of the Communist faction Victor Gurau said that the mayor did not suggest candidates and did not initiate the procedure for naming district heads and deputy mayors. According to him, the mayor of Chisinau violates the legislation. “The law on the status of Chisinau municipality says that the newly-elected CMC constitutes the City Hall and the City Hall’s apparatus. Moreover, the CMC regulations clearly say that during two months the mayor must propose candidates for the posts of deputy mayor, while during three months must suggest candidates for district heads. What do we have now? There are two posts of deputy mayor that are not held on an interim basis and are vacant because Dorin Chirtoaca is the boss. The situation with the district heads is even more difficult. The Buiucani district head’s office has been reserved by a Liberal MP for three years,” stated Victor Gurau. He also said that the dismissal of the mayor remains topical and there are preconditions for removing him and for combating corruption and undermining the activity of the Council. The head of the Liberal-Democratic faction Ghenadie Dumanschi said the district heads and deputy mayors must be designated by the mayor of Chisinau municipality and afterward voted in by the CMC. “I do not see a problem here if we speak about district head’s offices, municipal companies and the divisions of the City Hall. The law clearly says that this is done by the mayor of Chisinau municipality. But we consider that this should be done by contest so as to appoint the best professionals to these posts. As regards the vacant posts of deputy mayor, there is a great delay in filling them,” said the councilor. He also said that the deputy mayors were to be named by the mayor two months after the validation of the elections. According to him, this wasn’t done because they take steps to form a majority that will support the candidates put forward by the mayor. “We did not fully manage to unblock the situation in the CMC and to form a democratic majority in the CMC, but I hope very much that we will manage to do it by the end of this year and the situation in the municipality will improve,” stated Ghenadie Dumanschi. Oleg Cernei, the representative of the mayor general to the debates, said that the City Hall works in a normal regime even if there are only two deputy mayors. “The coming to the end of the tenure of a mayor does not mean the automatic change of the deputy mayors. The legal provisions say that the deputy mayors keep the posts until the new deputy mayors are appointed. The district heads are named by order of the mayor general, but we have district heads who have held the posts for 22 years. It’s not so easy to dismiss a district head because they are protected by the status of the public servant,” he stated. As to the initiative to discharge the mayor, councilor Oleg Cernei said that until the mayor and his team perform the activities and implement projects in the municipality, there are no preconditions for dismissing him. IDIS Viitorul expert Corneliu Ciurea said it seems that somebody tries to undermine the importance of the CMC, but the City Hall cannot cope by itself in reality. “The Municipal Council is a very important body in this architecture and it should not be blocked intentionally,” he said. The director of the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT Igor Botan said the situation in the CMC is blocked out of inertia and the mayor feels that he is attacked by the opposition and resorts to counteroffensive and blocks the Council. “As regards the initiative of the PCRM and PSRM to organize a referendum to remove the mayor, it is useless as the people would have long ago collected signatures if they had been dissatisfied with the quality of the services provided by the municipal administration. He also said that in fact the representatives of all the factions in the CMC know what they have to do and should start to act.  Vasile Costiuc, the leader of the party “Democratia Acasa” (”Democracy at Home”) said that if the law on the status of Chisinau municipality had been voted, the situation would have been different because the power would have been shared by sectors and there would have been efficient competition. Furthermore, the district heads wouldn’t have been named by the Council. The public debates “Chisinau Municipal Council: why things do not develop? Political culture in the relations between the local councilors” is the tenth edition of the series “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that are held by Info-Prim Neo with support from the German foundation “Hanns Seidel”.