on the organization of the debate “The priorities of the Moldovan political class and society in an electoral year. The viewpoint of parliamentary parties”, the 27th installment of the “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” Series; Public debates series held by the news agency IPN in its conference room with the support of the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”
Debate 27 was a continuation and deepening of the subject discussed in the previous debate, this time from the point of view of parliamentary parties. In this way, the subject of priorities of the political class was fully covered, helping society to get a diverse picture of the situation, enabling them to assess the fulfillment of priorities when they go to the polls in November. Such an anticipation of events, prior to the start of the election campaign, seems to be helpful especially now when the members of the political class appear to be sincerer and less influenced by campaign tactics. At the same time, the two debates, covered on a large scale by the media attending the events, served as a fairly effective instrument for increasing the accountability of the political class as well as of society in a year that is crucial for the country's development course.
The debate showed that both the governing and opposition parties have determined their priorities for the period left until the election and for the electoral period. While the ruling parties make effort to fulfill all the plans concerning the European course, the Communist opposition considers that the legislative election should be held now as the period that remained until the end of term will be lost for society.
Liberal Reformist MP Ana Gutu said a parliamentary party centers on the government priorities. “We must implement the initiated projects until the end of the term. We are sure that we will sign the Association Agreement with the EU so that the current Parliament manages to ratify it. We have two major events this year – the signing of the accord and the liberalization of the visa regime – that will crucially affect the country’s progress. All the government priorities will center upon these events,” she stated..
Liberal-Democratic lawmaker George Mocanu said the priorities of a party are the same – to ensure the people’s safety and prosperous life and to guarantee the rights. “The priorities of the PLDM haven’t changed and we come closer to their accomplishment, step by step. In 2010 we said that we will obtain a liberalized visa regime with the EU and this became a reality in 2014. We defined the steps that must be taken on the path to European integration. Changes must be also made in education. For the first time the allocations for this sector are larger. Another priority is to create jobs and ensure decent incomes. We know that we have yet a lot to do. We must attract foreign investments,” he stated.
Communist MP Artur Reshetnikov said the government promised many things and often forgot about these promises or made the opposite. “We understood that the election campaign already started in Moldova unofficially. It’s not right. We consider that the time until the start of the campaign is lost. The elections should be better held now so that a serious government is chosen. All their actions from political viewpoint are illegal and do not represent the people’s interests. Regretfully, the government repeats the priorities stated in 2009 and 2010. We the Communists aim to restore democracy and the rule of law in Moldova,” said the MP.
Political analyst Nicolae Negru said the discussions gradually turned to the elections. “These replies show that the power and the opposition struggle for things that are not connected with strategies and priorities. From my viewpoint, a party should base its priorities on fundamental state and social interests. Not always the offers of a party can be accepted by the whole society. A party must be able to communicate with society and convince the people that what they offer is in the interests of the state. The European integration objective was affected as in certain historical moments the ruling parties weren’t lucid and disciplined enough,” said the expert.
Executive director of the Association for Participatory Democracy Igor Botan, permanent expert of the IPN project, said the elections are coming and it’s easy to see parties’ priories judging by the carried out campaigns. “The broadest campaign is the campaign of the ruling parties. It is called Euro-information. The fact that a massive information campaign is conducted in an electoral year makes us think that the ruling parties want one more mandate. The setting of priorities does not mean that they do not have a broad view on what is going on. It means that having limited resources, they will do what is more important. My opinion is that a line should be drawn and things should be summed up,” stated Igor Botan.
The Agency published 7 news stories on the debate (see the English version of www.ipn.md): on 03.03.14, “Parliamentary parties set priorities before elections” - http://www.ipn.md/en/arhiva/60402; on 04.03.14, “IPN debate: Moldova should learn lessons from situation in Ukraine” - http://www.ipn.md/en/arhiva/60408; on 05.03.14, “PLR carries out actions associated with pre-election campaign, Ana Gutu” - http://www.ipn.md/en/arhiva/60435, “Artur Reshetnikov: PCRM insists on holding early elections” - http://www.ipn.md/en/arhiva/60436; “George Mocanu: We should go towards EU only with Liberal-Democratic government” - http://www.ipn.md/en/arhiva/60437; on 06.03.14 “Igor Botan: Sudden change of government priorities generates protests” - http://www.ipn.md/en/arhiva/60460; “Nicolae Negru: Government and opposition must unite society!” - http://www.ipn.md/en/arhiva/60461.
Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN
Public debate: The priorities of the Moldovan political class and society in an electoral year. The viewpoint of parliamentary parties