„...the success of the failure of investing a government, called transitional, seems to be the only swift method of breaking the impasse in the Republic of Moldova. President Maia Sandu has three more possibilities of opposition the installing of a transitional government of the mafia and bandits, despite an unfavorable CC judgment. Either she decides to give in or not is another issue.”
Who and why caused the governmental crisis?
The political and governmental crisis in the Republic of Moldova has expended. In the Parliament sitting of February 11, 2021, candidate for Prime Minister Natalia Gavriliță obtained exactly what she asked from the MPs – non-giving of a vote of confidence to her. This way, the first attempt to vote in the Government failed. The same day, President Maia Sandu fielded again Natalia Gavriliță for the post of Prime Minister so as to obtain the same result the second time. The Prescient’s goal is to quicker trigger snap parliamentary elections as a remedy for the political and governmental crisis.
On the other hand, the leader of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), ex-President Igor Dodon, suggests an alternative solution: “We put forward the initiative to form a parliamentary majority of at least 51 MPs so that this works during the transition period”. The given proposal is contrary to the goal declared officially by Igor Dodon on the last day of his tenure as President, when the governmental crisis was induced intentionally: ''It’s now the most suitable moment. I want to specify that this decision wasn’t taken under the pressure of protests... This decision was taken with the aim of triggering snap parliamentary elections”. The other statements made by the leader of the PSRM on the issue after his term in office as President expired are less relevant.
The causing of snap parliamentary elections was also the objective declared by ex-Premier Ion Chicu. A pleading in favor of the dissolution of Parliament was also made by ex-Premier Ion Chicu, on September 12, 2020, before the presidential elections of November 2020, immediately after the first Parliament sitting of the autumn session: “We had the first sitting of Parliament. The populism is more serious than the virus and drought. The responsible people from the current legislature are in a minority now. This Parliament should be dissolved right away!”. Ex-Premier Chicu confirmed his pleading in favor of the dissolution of Parliament also after Igor Dodon lost the presidential elections: „... this Parliament should be past history, especially now that we see what elements are there... I know what I say. That’s why we will do our best for this Parliament to be dissolved”.
So, two of the main decision-makers in the state – President Igor Dodon and Prime Minister Ion Chicu – deliberately caused the governmental crisis through the Government’s resignation, the declared goal being to induce snap parliamentary elections. However, it is well known that we can’t count our chickens before they are hatched. Even when he left the Presidential Palace, on December 23, 2020, Igor Dodon shifted full responsibility onto his successor: “Starting with tomorrow, the President-elect must assume complete responsibility for what’s going on in the country and either start discussions with the parliamentary groups for naming a new Government, designating a candidate, or discuss the roadmap for triggering snap elections”. Nevertheless, despite the multiple crises, the people’s confidence in President Maia Sandu and in the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), which she led, significantly outstrips the trust enjoyed by the PSRM and its leader. This is the only explanation why those who caused the governmental crisis look for a solution in the investiture of an eventual transitional government, renouncing the declared goal – dissolution of Parliament.
Out of the frying pan into the fire...
The solution chosen by the leader of the PSRM for remedying the precarious situation in which the party he manages found itself was the pleading in favor of the formalization of the PSRM’s relations with the Shor Party. The PSRM-Shor parliamentary majority requested the Constitutional Court to pronounce on the decree signed by President Maia Sandu by which she repeatedly nominated Natalia Gavriliță for premiership, insisting on the candidate of the parliamentary majority Mariana Durleșteanu, in accordance with the CC’s case law. Until the CC passes its judgment, the development of the political and governmental crisis remains in suspense. However, answers to a series of questions can be formulated and looked for in the period:
- Will the PSRM lose or gain after formalizing the relations with the most toxic political party in the history of the Republic of Moldova – the Shor Party? The question is rhetorical as the leader of the PSRM not only once answered it, including in the program “President responds”, of July 3, 2020 (min. 7.00-15.21): “... we can do nothing more with this Parliament... 16-17 MPs left their groups. They were bought. Therefore, the snap parliamentary elections are the only solution. Palhotniuc already has 23-24 MPs... He wants to come to power. Do you know how the bandits act usually? The bandits create problems and then come and offer you to solve them. Now, Shor, Candu, Planotniuc are trying to have discussions... They all realize that it is Plahotniuc’s project... So, you should know that the principled, official position of the PSRM and the President (Dodon) is that we will have no discussions with the mafia and with the bandits of Plahotniuc and Shor. I advise Maia Sandu and Andrei Năstase not to reach agreements with the mafia and the bandits... You should realize that if you do this you do not have a future. I want you to know my position. I will do my best to trigger snap parliamentary elections in the nearest future. It is a matter of principle – this Parliament should be cleaned and most of the citizens want this... immediately after the presidential elections, the first decree of the new President elected by the people should be “to dissolve Parliament and to call snap parliamentary elections”. I will do my best for this scenario to be implemented”;
- What solutions for overcoming the economic crisis can be proposed by the coalition formed by the PSRM and the Shor Party, different from those of the informal coalition of the two parties, which worked at full capacity in December 2020?;
- What solutions for overcoming the multiple crises can be offered by an eventual Cabinet of Mariana Durleșteanu, different from those of the Chicu Government, which was considered by the leader of the PSRM as one of the most professional ones?
- Will the eventual Prime Minister Mariana Durleșteanu accept to become the governmental puppet of the mafia and bandits? Does she understand that if she reaches agreements with the bandits, she does not have a future?;
- Does the potential Premier Mariana Durleșteanu know that the restoration of the cooperation with Moldova’s development partners, in particular with the EU, by a government managed by the Shor Party will be almost impossible?;
- How will the Durleșteanu Government break the deadlock in the relations with the IMF and other development partners after the informal PSRM-Shor coalition in December 2020 adopted laws to reduce the retirement age and to annul the billion law? The Chicu Government disapproved of these laws after negotiating with the IMF for months, and the given institution warned about the deterioration of relations.
From the aforementioned, we can deduce that the PSRM’s decision to formalize a parliamentary majority alongside the mafia and the bandits so as to install a government of these is very bad and is even worse that the jump out of the frying pan into the fire.
Constitutional Court in the role of referee
The institutional blockage that appeared as a result of the governmental crisis caused concertedly by ex-President Igor Dodon and ex-Premier Ion Chicu can be solved by the Constitutional Court, which, most probably, will accept to examine the Socialist MPs’ request to check the constitutionality of the decree of the President of the Republic of Moldova No. 32-IX of February 11, 2021 concerning the nomination of the candidate for Prime Minister. When examining the case, the CC will have to take into account a series of factors that could necessitate the detailing and extension of its case law concerning the fielding of the candidate for Prime Minister by the President. There is no doubt that the case will be examined based on judgment No.23 of 06.08.2020, which stipulates that the discretionary margin of the President of the Republic when nominating the candidate for Prime Minister is limited. If an absolute, formalized parliamentary majority is formed, the President of the Republic is obliged to designate the candidate for Prime Minister fielded by this majority. However, the CC will have to take into account the arguments of the parties, its more extended case law and other articles of the Constitution so as to substantiate the main theses for passing its judgment on the constitutionality of the challenged presidential decree. The main arguments that can influence the CC decision can be the following:
- article 75 of the Constitution expressly provides that the most important problems of society and of the state are put up for a referendum. The decisions adopted in accordance with the national referendum results have supreme legal power;
- on February 24, 2019, simultaneously with the parliamentary elections, there was held a consultative referendum on the dismissal of the MPs if these do not appropriately fulfill their duties. In the election campaign, party switching was said to be one of the reasons for dismissing the MPs. Over 70% of the participants chose the option mentioned at the referendum and the results were confirmed by the CC;
- on June 11, 2020, Parliament adopted, by an absolute majority of votes, at the request of the group of the PSRM, decision No. 84 for adopting the Statement on the condemnation of party switching and political corruption. This statement matched perfectly the people’s will stated in the referendum of 24.02.2019;
- the PSRM’s stated intention to invest a transitional government is not envisioned by the Constitution, which provides that any Government mandate is valid until the end of the Parliament’s mandate. That’s why the PSRM leader’s statements about the transitional government contain elements of political bluff aimed at securing the existence of the current composition of Parliament, which is full of turncoats and representatives of the mafia and bandits, as the PSRM’s leader said;
- in decision No. 4 of 22.04.2013, the Constitutional Court noted that, in principle, the rule of law is not a fiction that is only declarative in character. The functioning of the rule of law should manifest itself by practical actions. In this regard, the Court held that any political mandate should be based on the citizens’ and their representatives’ trust. In an authentic democracy, the normality resides in the immediate resignation of persons who lost public confidence, without resorting to dismissal. For example, France developed a special practice for these cases, called Bérégovoy-Balladur, according to which the accusing of a minister (or even of a Prime Minister) of condemnable deeds, even in the absence of legal documents, leads to the immediate dismissal or removal from post (there were 11 such cases during the fifth Republic). Following the same logic, the President in Germany resigned for taking out a loan in preferential conditions, while the ministers of education and of defense – for suspicions of plagiarism. Similarly, the President of Hungary resigned as a result of accusations of plagiarism, etc. In the European Union, with which the Republic of Moldova associated itself, this practice covers also the MPs. The most recent example is that of a Hungarian MP of the ruling party FIDESZ, Jozsef Szajer, who tendered his resignation after it became known that he pursued a particular kind of politics, but actually acted against his stated beliefs;
- no one can provide the President with guarantees that the candidate for Prime Minister Mariana Durleșteanu will not include in her Cabinet discredited persons who took part in the illegal financing of the PSRM, including from the funds of GAZPROM, or in the transfer of doubtful facilities by Costea to Cornel.
The aforementioned arguments are based on legal and political documents adopted by Parliament and the CC and on concrete deeds. But there are also political arguments that are based on the declared intentions of high-ranking officials and that cannot be ignored:
- President Igor Dodon’s statements mentioned above, which formed part of his address to the citizens of the Republic of Moldova in the program “President responds” of July 3, 2020. A part of these arguments were invoked by President Maia Sandu when explaining her refusal to nominate the candidate of the PSRM-Shor majority, which included representatives of the mafia and bandits;
- the stamens made by ex-Premier Ion Chicu, who intentionally caused the governmental crisis by resigning so as to create conditions for inducing snap parliamentary elections;
- the statements of Parliament Deputy Speaker Vlad Batrîncea, who insisted on the amendment of the Constitution so as to ban party switching: “We consider the multiple acts of corruption and prostitution in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova seriously affected the image of the legislature. The Republic of Moldova has no chance to survive and develop when some of the MPs consider that they can sell the citizens’ mandate.” The executive secretary of the PSRM noted that until the supreme law is amended, the PSRM, PAS and PPPDA should act in accordance with the results of the referendum of 24.02.2019.
The governmental and political crises in the Republic of Moldova were caused deliberately by high-ranking officials – President Igor Dodon and Prime Minister Ion Chicu – with the aim of triggering snap parliamentary elections. Owing to the declining rating of the PSRM, the party’s leader Igor Dodon decided to plead for a transitional government supported by the PSRM-Shor parliamentary majority.
The official alliance of the PSRM with the Shor Party causes considerable harm to the party and to society in general. Anyone can convince oneself that the leaders of the PSRM are inveterate opportunists who abide by their immediate interests only, nonchalantly forgetting their principled attitudes presented several months ago.
Someone rather influential and competent should explain to professional Mariana Durleșteanu that she will eventually have to cope with the situation as Prime Minister during the transition period without the support of the development partners. Also, Mariana Durleșteanu should ponder over the meaning of the investing of a transitional government. She should wonder what kind of transition can be there, to what? Why does she think that her Cabinet can do what the Chicu Government was unable to do in cooperation with the same parliamentary majority, etc.? Among the persons who should discuss with Mariana Durleșteanu should be President Maia Sandu.
The Constitutional Court will have to think well if it’s worth adjusting its case law so as not to allow obliging the President to nominate a representative of the mafia and bandits as a candidate for Prime Minister, extending this way the political life of a Parliament that commits multiple acts of corruption and prostitution. Also, the CC judges should not ignore the fact that there presence in those posts is due to events caused by the captured state institutions that weren’t cleaned till the end. The current Parliament is such an institution and this was recently challenged namely by those who not long ago constituted the PSRM-Shor Party parliamentary majority.
Ultimately, the success of the failure of investing a government, called transitional, seems to be the only swift method of breaking the impasse in the Republic of Moldova. President Maia Sandu has three more possibilities of opposition the installing of a transitional government of the mafia and bandits, despite an unfavorable CC judgment. Either she decides to give in or not is another issue.