Public Debate: Relations between the components of the government: practice, expectations, challenges

 

Press-Release
on the organization of the debate
Relations between the components of the government: practice, expectations, challenges”. 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 13 September 2019, Debate No.116 brought together: Vasile Bolea, Socialist MP; Dan Perciun, MP of the group ACUM/PAS; Dinu Plîngău, MP DA Platform, ACUM bloc and Igor Boțan, the project’s standing expert.

Society is increasingly interested in the current relation between the components of the government. Both supporters and opponents of the current government are interested in it, both have expectations in this regard. Supporters hope that the relations will be good facilitating the achievement of the previously announced goals. While opponents are hoping for a speedy and complete deterioration of these relations, so that this ruling coalition breaks down and other governing configurations are established. Whose hopes are more justified and what can follow as a result of both possible scenarios was the subject discussed by the participants in the public debates.  

Igor Botan, permanent expert of the project, mentioned that at present the governing coalition is based on two fundamental documents. The first is the political understanding between the two groups - the ACUM Bloc and the Socialist Party - regarding a temporary coalition or alliance established to solve some problems. And in fact this temporary period expired in August. According to the expert, there were three important aspects regarding this period, in which the two parties agreed to cooperate. Firstly, it concerned taking stocks of the Democratic Party’s legacy and, in his opinion, the temporary coalition had sorted that out during the parliamentary debates on the budgetary-fiscal policy.

Secondly, the expert mentioned that another important aspect was the creation of the three parliamentary inquiry committees dealing with the investigation of the banking fraud, the privatization of public property, etc. This activity is still ongoing. "The third aspect is about the de-politicization of legal and regulatory institutions and that is where things are going wrong. And I do not think that their actions have been ill-intended, rather based on political instinct, but the idea of de-politicization has been somehow compromised. The solutions have existed in this regard since 2016, when it was proposed to pass a framework law, which would establish the general rules on how appointment in key positions should take place”, noted Igor Boțan. According to him, unfortunately, another path was chosen, and that idea was compromised and the impact will be very negative.

"Now this temporary alliance announces through its exponents that, in fact, the proposed objectives cannot be achieved in very short terms. It is necessary to extend these coalitions and the most important point intervenes here - if both parties understand that there is a need for extension, it is necessary for every citizen to know exactly what this coalition is going to do next. An agreement is needed, from my point of view. On the basis of this written agreement, the Government will draw up its action plan and Parliament will make its legislative plan. We do not know for how long, let the parties decide that. But without such documents, it seems to me that things are getting from bad to worse, "said Igor Botan.

Vasile Bolea, a member of the PSRM group, says that the relations between the two components of the government are "working relations". The components have been united by a purpose -  the desire to change things in the country, to de-oligarchise state institutions and to get back to normal. A temporary agreement containing the basic commitments was signed, and, in his opinion, it was completed 95%. "Now comes the next dilemma - what do we do next? We have not once said that we opt for this coalition to hold on in the next four years, because we have many things to do in the country. For the irreversible uprooting of the elements that captured our state, two or three months are not enough. ”said Vasile Bolea.

The MP said that one needed to know the final destination to be reached, and, in this regard, a roadmap should be developed, at the level of the Legislative, at the level of the Government and at the level of the coalition ruling the country. Therefore, says the MP, it was proposed to sign a second agreement, which will cover, in the medium term - one year to two, the actions of the next stage. These are actions in the social, entrepreneurial, etc. field. In this regard, the PSRM appointed a group that wrote down the vision of the party. It was also presented to ACUM Bloc colleagues. A series of discussions followed, including on the fact that the Government’s action plan should be adjusted to the wishes of the PSRM. Vasile Bolea maintains that even if there are differences in various approaches or ideas, they should be discussed, and eventually a joint position should be presented to the society.

Dan Perciun, PAS group MP, ACUM bloc, said that since the creation of this coalition, everyone had understood that relations would not be simple. And this is because there are three political entities - two with very close views, and the third with different views on many topics. In his opinion, despite some differences of opinion, during the last months, there has always been a platform for dialogue and discussions. And it was possible to find a compromise on many complicated topics. "I see the quality of relations as complicated, but with enough room for dialogue, so that some divergences, which appear and are important, can be solved," he said.

The MP acknowledges that the past three months have been complicated. In particular, as regards the appointments to some key positions in the state. He wished that some things had happened differently. According to him, the results of contests were determined not by ill intentions but by the lack of ability to anticipate certain things that happened in the competition committees. Dan Perciun also says that things could have been done differently, but some conclusions have been drawn and, in the future, such omissions would not be allowed. As for what happens further, the MP says that there must be clarity on the priorities of the Parliament and the Government. In his opinion, they must be publicly stated, assumed and recorded in a document, which may be signed at institutional level by the main state institutions.

Dinu Plîngău, MP of DA Platform, ACUM Bloc, argues that depending on the stages, situation and commitments, the relations between the components of the new government differ, "either they are heated or more productive". In his opinion, however, this is part of the democratic process, which must take place, including in Parliament. If previously the relations of parties within ACUM bloc were practically the same, with PSRM the relations were quite tense until the signing of that agreement. And this is because there is no mutual trust. However, that political agreement aiming at dismantling the "system created by Plahotniuc" was signed. "Two months of working communication followed, based on the signed agreement and commitments", said Dinu Plîngău.

The MP says that the process of desoligarchization has not been yet completed, because of a deep-rooted system and endemic corruption. "Therefore, we are in a rather complicated situation where, on the one hand, we have achieved some objectives that we have committed to attain in the short term. On the other hand, the Government found itself in a rather delicate situation, including from financial point of view. Commitments on different dimensions envisaged in our electoral programs will follow. They concern the judiciary, improving the economic situation, social issues. And then comes the time when we have to ask ourselves the question: "what do we do next, do we go with the socialists to achieve long-term goals?", says Dinu Plîngău. In his opinion, this is possible, if certain red lines are not crossed and certain party interests are not placed as a priority to the detriment of state interests.

"Relations between governance components: practice, expectations, challenges" public debates constitute the 116th edition of "Developing political culture in public debates" cycle, held with the support of Hanns Seidel German Foundation.

The Agency published 5 news stories on the debate (see the English version of www.ipn.md): on 19.08.19, „Relations between governance components: practice, expectations, challenges. IPN debates” - https://www.ipn.md/en/relations-between-governance-components-practice-expectations-challenges-ipn-deb-8004_1068090.html; „Dan Perciun: We do not regret collaborating with PSRM, yet some regret certain decisions” - https://www.ipn.md/en/dan-perciun-we-do-not-regret-collaborating-with-psrm-yet-some-regret-certain-dec-8004_1068092.html; „Vasile Bolea: We hope that this coalition will work over the course of the next four years” - https://www.ipn.md/en/vasile-bolea-we-hope-that-this-coalition-will-work-over-the-course-of-the-next-f-8004_1068094.html; „Igor Boțan: If it comes to early elections, the mixed system will favour PSRM” - https://www.ipn.md/en/igor-botan-if-it-comes-to-early-elections-the-mixed-8004_1068096.html, „Dinu Plîngău: ”Compared to Plahotniuc's time, now we have democratic processes"” - https://www.ipn.md/en/dinu-plingau-compared-to-plahotniucs-time-now-we-have-8004_1068098.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