on the organization of the debate “Political or apolitical, party or common candidate for next elections, why?”. Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”. Public debates series held by the news agency IPN in its conference room with the support of the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”
Held on 3 February 2020, Debate No.124 brought together: Valeriu Munteanu, of the Union Political Movement; Vlad Țurcanu, first vice president of the National Unity Party; Ion Terguță, secretary general of the Party “Dignity and Truth Platform”; Virgiliu Pâslariuc, MP of the Action and Solidarity Party and IPN project’s standing expert Igor Boțan.
IPN project’s standing expert Igor Boțan said the presidential and parliamentary elections are eminently political elections, unlike the local elections that are usually considered administrative elections. As regard the presidential elections that will take place in October-November this year, these are political in character. At the same time, there is the Constitutional Court’s decision of December 12, 2017, which says that the Head of State cannot promote somehow a political party. From the held office, if he decides to become involved, Igor Dodon can run only as an independent. “If this is so, the opponents should think about an eventual solution to combine forces. We cannot anticipate if they do so or not. As the presidential elections are held in two rounds, this allows for maneuvering camp for all the potential candidates to become involved in the election campaign and all kinds of coalitions can be formed in the runoffs. In the first confrontation, it is important not to antagonize to the extent to which to have no partners left,” explained Igor Boțan. According to him, any candidate for President will become involved in a political struggle. In such a situation, common candidates can surely exist.
Valeriu Munteanu, of the Union Political Movement, said the last decade was a rather harsh period for the unionist movement of Moldova where there are now a number of unionist parties. Even if there are 25-30% declared unionist voters ready to support this idea, in the form they existed so far no party managed to persuade the voters. “The idea that the unionists should first of all unite was the people’s desideratum. Thus, as a result of considerable efforts, but by a sincere process, there was founded the Union Movement that consists of five parties – the Liberal Party, the Romanian People’s Party, the Save Bessarabia Union, the Democracy at Home Party and the National Liberal Party. The list remains open to other political organizations and not only,” he stated.The politician noted that in such conditions, one should prove capacity to resist and to produce results and the new parliamentary elections in constituency No. 38 Hâncești will be the first exercise. To facilitate voting in these elections, it was decided to field only one candidate. The goal is to crystalize the unionist segment and they thus transmitted messages to mates from other parties to join the movement so as to facilitate voting and then to achieve the union desideratum.
Vlad Țurcanu, first vice president of the National Unity Party, said that in the case of a political construct, one should start from the idea that such a construct must produce results. “We doubt it that those who consider Moldova’s natural course is the one that comes decisively close to Romania can unite given the history we all know, the profile of some of the politicians who attribute merits to themselves and especially the capacity to gather everyone together. That’s why I think inviting the voters to pronounce is the best thing to do. I believe we will see who and how much costs in the first electoral exercise or in the runoffs,” he stated. According to the politician, it is probably useless to say that the union of some of the parties can increase the chances of those who speak about Romania. “What these parties offer is what ultimately counts as the moment is now really important to ensure the detachment of a party of the right that will provide the people with exactly what they want,” opined Vlad Țurcanu. As to the calls or other less friendly gestures made on the right, he said these are a natural form of politics for some, but the solution now does not reside in the union of the smaller or larger parties. “If this is the solution, why did the ACUM Bloc dismember?”
Ion Terguță, secretary general of the Party “Dignity and Truth Platform”, does not understand how a party can consider itself more unionist than others. The relationship with Romania is key for all the parties and all the parties of the right are unionist even if they see the union differently. As to the common or apolitical candidates, he said the DA Platform has worked according to this concept for four years. “There is no other party in Moldova that would sacrifice so much the own interests so as to propose and promote a common candidate in the presidential, parliamentary, local elections. We went through this and this apparent conflict between the PAS and DA Platform is normal after the completion of a whole electoral cycle. We went through a cycle, from presidential to local elections, and the parties now need to retailor their relations and the own objectives and interests,” stated the politician.Ion Terguță noted it is too early to speak about the party’s intentions concerning the presidential elections. The DA Platform didn’t field a candidate for MP in single-member constituency Hâncești. It suggested a candidate who was to be accepted by the second component of the ACUM Bloc. But the PAS preferred to field its own candidate so as to further promote itself as an own entity and to promote its own objectives. Grigore Cobzac, who runs independently, should be the candidate of the ACUM Bloc in Hâncești as he was the one who represented ACUM in the parliamentary elections of last February. The idea of having a common candidate is still alive and they repeatedly called on all the parties to try and field a common or apolitical candidate for President.
Virgiliu Pâslariuc, MP of the Action and Solidarity Party, stated they should first of all start from the wishes of the voters, the people. “This year’s presidential elections are crucial for the Republic of Moldova as we can no longer leave the country in the hands of reactionary forces that are far from the national interests. It is important to conquer this redoubt and to restore the country’s European face. Starting from this major objective, we should see what we have to do and launch these discussions,” he noted.According to the MP, the wanted type of candidate is another aspect. “The politicians’ opinion about themselves does not matter in politics. What matters is the voters’ opinion. There are instruments for determining who the people want – a combative, intelligent President with character who would really represent the people. Another question is what should be done to achieve this desideratum. Starting from the candidate’s profile, we must agree those common instruments and points that would match the national interest – to regain the presidential institution,” stated Virgiliu Pâslariuc. According to him, the person who has the potential to unite should have a particular profile. The candidate should be a known person with particular merits, with a view and should be trusted by the people. The presidential institution is trusted considerably, judging by the legitimacy of the election of the President by the people.
The Agency published 6 news stories on the debate (see the English version of www.ipn.md): on 03.02.20, „Political or apolitical, party or common candidate for upcoming elections, why? IPN debate” - https://www.ipn.md/en/political-or-apolitical-party-or-common-candidate-for-upcoming-elections-8004_1071235.html; „Virgiliu Pâslariuc: We cannot lose presidential office as this is not only a symbolical institution” - https://www.ipn.md/en/virgiliu-paslariuc-we-cannot-lose-presidential-office-as-this-is-8004_1071238.html; „Vlad Țurcanu: Moldova can arouse international community’s interest due to way in which Igor Dodon asserts himself” - https://www.ipn.md/en/vlad-turcanu-moldova-can-arouse-international-communitys-interest-due-8004_1071239.html; „Igor Boțan: It is important for candidates for President not to antagonize each other” - https://www.ipn.md/en/igor-botan-it-is-important-for-candidates-for-president-not-8004_1071240.html; „Valeriu Munteanu: Removing Igor Dodon is our desideratum for presidential elections” - https://www.ipn.md/en/valeriu-munteanu-removing-igor-dodon-is-our-desideratum-for-presidential-8004_1071241.html, „Ion Terguță: For us, it is not a matter of principle for PPPDA’s candidate to be Moldova’s President” - https://www.ipn.md/en/ion-terguta-for-us-it-is-not-a-matter-of-principle-for-pppdas-candidate-to-be-mo-8004_1071243.html,.
IPN promoted the debate before and after the event, in particular the ensuing news stories, using all the available channels, including social networks. Confirmatory materials of deliverables, as well as a media coverage dossier are attached.
Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN