Public Discussion: Passion, forgiveness and reconciliation in Moldovan politics

on the organization of the debate
Passion, forgiveness and reconciliation in Moldovan politics”. 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 22 April 2019, Debate 109 brought together: Socialist MP Gaik Vartanean, ACUM MP Igor Munteanu, and the Project’s Standing Expert Igor Boțan. The Democratic Party was also invited to delegate a speaker, but no one showed up.   

Why this subject and why this selection of participants?

Because Moldovans can barely make out anything – or at least to the extent that would have been normal in a society based on transparency – from what the three major parties say and do in the aftermath of the February 24 elections. There is a frenzy of statements made by the actors involved, some of them controversial, shocking, inflamed, intransigent, while others come late or fail to appear at all. It’s a bit confusing to watch all these reciprocal invitations to have discussions, which are often not followed by any discussions. We barely understand what is the point of advancing unacceptable conditions in the first place. Why all these delaying tactics? It’s kind of worrying that one of the three major players seems to have taken a leave from all this post-election fuss. Why? Are they planning anything in secret? 

What is the general public supposed to make out of such statements and actions? Which of them are “tactical smokescreens” and which are for real? The speakers invited today are here to discuss the difficulties of the government formation talks, and in particular the communication problems involved.

The project’s standing expert said the Bloc ACUM behaves prudently and such behavior is welcomed. “I, as a citizen, want the politicians to be principled and to take into account voters’ opinions. On the other hand, the Socialists can also be understood as the situation is rather difficult. However, questions appear in relation to the PSRM. As a citizen, immediately after the elections, I thought it would be normal to have a coalition between the Socialists and the Democrats as both of the parties are of the left – the first are socialists, while the second are social-democrats. The programs of the Socialists and the Democrats 70% coincide. They pursue the same pro-Moldova policy, balanced foreign policy, the Republic of Moldova as a bridge between the East and the West,” noted Igor Boțan.

According to him, earlier, even if the Party of Socialists was in opposition, it found the middle ground with the Democratic Party, also when the electoral system was changed. “It seemed that these two parties can work together and reach a compromise, but this didn’t happen. Even if the Socialists and the Democrats had discussions in the format proposed by the Head of State, it was reached the conclusion that there are agreements between the two parties as regards the economic and social problems, but there is disagreement as to the political themes. I cannot yet understand these political themes and don’t know which are they. I can yet suppose that they refer to de-oligarchization as the Party of Socialists four years ago insisted on this theme, but didn’t develop it in practical terms and publicly. So a question remains here,” stated the expert.

“The second very important thing is that, if an alliance is eventually formed between the Socialists and the Bloc ACUM, this alliance would be an alliance of three, not of two entities as the PDM anyway remains in power by the secretaries of state it appointed and who will not be replaced, including by the control over the law enforcement and regulatory institutions. Before the expiry of the mandate of the previous legislature, appointments were made at the Constitutional Court, the National Agency for Energy Regulation, the Court of Auditors and other institutions. These things were prepared beforehand so that if the PDM is formally in the opposition, it will be very present in the government. The Socialists also understand this and this is a problem in the political discussions between them. The PDM could refuse to concede anything and the negotiations have no sense in such a case. There are very subtle things that should be eventually addressed, taken into account and dealt with. It is not known what the contradictions between the PSRM and the PDM are,” stated Igor Boțan.

He considers the politicians should overcome the personal frustrations and should start discussions and then identify principles and give them a form in accordance with their electoral and political programs. The PDM remains one of the very important players on the political arena. Its force was always related to unpredictable actions. Its leader not only once withdrew and then returned forcefully. Storms followed after periods of quietness and no one should believe the PDM left.

According to Igor Boțan, the PDM should also be invited to discussions so that the people see how this party answers the questions why no one wants to cooperate with it. “How did it happen that the relations both with the EU and with the Russian Federations were deteriorated up to the limit after which the ban against Moldova is maintained and it is not known when it will be lifted. There are many things the PDM should clarify and the people should hear these answers namely from the Democratic leaders. For the purpose, they should be invited to discussions,” noted the expert.

He also said the snap elections, if it is presumed that the PDM is preparing for them, do not seem to be a solution as the same situation will most probably be reached, but half a year could pass until then. But the economic, social and financial situation in the country will worsen further. “There are no cheering preconditions for the PDM and this party’s leader should understand this. We saw the results of the Ukraine elections and the see the expectations of the elections in Romania and even of those to the European Parliament. Many factors show the situation does not improve and the prospects for these parties cannot improve, and that important political force should at least take part in discussions,” stated Igor Boțan.

The Democratic Party was also invited to the debate, but it delegated no one to take part.

The debate titled “Passion, forgiveness and reconciliation in Moldovan politics” is the 109th installment of the “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” Series, organized by IPN and Radio Moldova, with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

The Agency published 4 news stories on the debate (see the English version of on 22.04.19, „Passion, forgiveness and reconciliation in Moldovan politics. IPN Debate” -; „Gaik Vartanean: ACUM is not politically mature and is not ready to cooperate with other parties” -; „Igor Munteanu: To break political stalemate, Parliament sittings should be resumed” -; „Igor Boțan: PDM should be invited to discussions for people to see how it answers questions” -

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

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