They had spoken long about the imminent resignation of the Gavrilița Government in Chisinau. But the fall of the Government was yet abrupt as the Prime Minister announced her resignation shortly after returning from the seventh meeting of the EU-Moldova Association Council that was held in Brussels. In accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Moldova, the Premier’s resignation leads to the fall of the whole Cabinet. Gavrilița’s tenure was marred by a series of problems, including the acute energy crisis after which Moscow reduced dramatically the gas supplies to Moldova and the soaring inflation following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, the keeping of the Republic of Moldova afloat was recognized as the Government’s accomplishment. This merit in the avalanche of foreign crises that seriously affected the economy and the social sphere should not be neglected at all.
In the political corridors in Chisinau, the fact that an attempt to dismiss the Gavrilița Government was made back last December on the initiative of President Maia Sandu is not a big secret. But something went wrong then and some of the observers pointed to a first big dissension in the relationship between President Maia Sandu and the parliamentary majority of the PAS. It was even suggested that Maia Sandu was losing control over the parliamentary majority. It was rumored that the personal interests of the influential member of the Gavrilița Government – Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spânu – a political figure whose reputation had been altered owing to the multiple accusations of insufficient managerial output and who in particular areas of public opinion was even suspected of corruption, but without conclusive evidence, were the reason for that failure. In that attempt made in December, it was invoked the non-acceptance by the parliamentary majority of Recean as a candidate for Premier for the reason that he hadn’t contributed to the PAS’s victory in the parliamentary elections.
In her farewell discussions, outgoing Premier Gavrilița presented the results of the 18 month-rule of her Government in a pink color. In reality, the situation is much more polychromous. Alongside incontestable accomplishments, such as the maintaining of control over the malign effects of the multiple hardly manageable crises, the Gavrilița Government left behind a state of increasing dissatisfaction in society with the government – a public perception that the economic conditions and living standards have worsened. The justice sector reform that brought the PAS to power is a clear failure of the Government that left. The members of the team of the Gavrilița Government, with small exceptions, had defective public communication, leaving the impression of chaos in governance. The granting of the EU candidate status to the Republic of Moldova didn’t save the situation and sociological polls predicted that the PAS will lose government in the next parliamentary elections.
The necessity of stopping and of inversing the negative trends in the public perception of the pro-European government made Maia Sandu insist on the necessity of replacing the Government. After the failed attempt of last December, the President of the Republic of Moldova this time thoroughly prepared the operation to substitute the government team. The events happened during one day on which Maia Sandu first chaired the meeting of the Government with the parliamentary majority inside the Presidential Palace, as a result of which Natalia Gavrilița officially resigned as Premier. The President’s consultations with the parliamentary groups were held later at a swift pace and the candidate for premiership was ultimately designated by presidential decree.
As Associated Press reported, “the President of the Republic of Moldova nominated her security adviser Dorin Recean, an economist and businessman aged 48, who served as minister of internal affairs in 2012-2015, as Prime Minister designate of the country”. Immediately after the nomination, Recean said that he will immediately start to form the new Cabinet and the ensuring of “order and discipline” in the government institutions, giving of a new impetus to the economy and ensuring of peace and stability are his key objectives. “We need unity to overcome this difficult period,” Maia Sandu noted during the procedure for nominating the candidate for Prime Minister, promising a new Cabinet will be constituted “swiftly’.
President Maia Sandu honored her obligation as the Recean Government was sworn in quickly, this Thursday. The new Government has to fulfill a very difficult mission in the situation in which the Republic of Moldova is now: to ensure a jump in the efficiency of governance by promoting economic development projects, fighting poverty, propelling the justice sector reform, adjusting the legislation to the Community aquis and reforming institutions. The new Premier will have to improve the Government’s public communication and to remove the image handicap of his predecessor as Premier. The policy of the Recean Government should provide the PAS with heavy arguments in favor of its success in the next local and parliamentary elections and should become the main support for Maia Sandu in next year’s presidential elections.
The obtaining of a vote of confidence in Parliament for his Cabinet was the first major test passed by politician Dorin Recean. This showed that his nomination for premiership wasn’t a reason for dissension inside the ruling party. But immediately after being sworn in, the new Cabinet will have to take the fire test by handling situation generated by the protest announced for this Sunday. After the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, in a news conference on Monday announced that the Russian Federation has been implementing an action plan for removing the democratically elected governed in Chisinau, the movement that named itself For People and that was initiated by the Shor Party informed that a protest march will be staged in front of the Parliament Building on February 19. As MP Marina Tauber, the representative for the fugitive MP Shor, announced in Parliament, the protesters this Sunday will demand that the Government should pay the bills of all the Moldovans for three winter months.
Such a demand formulated in the name of the protesters goes beyond cheap political populism. We are witnessing a provoking call to destabilize the situation in society by formulating unrealistic demands with devastating economic consequences as the Government is requested to pay the bills not only of the people in need, but also of those with large incomes, who do not encounter social difficulties. It is this way absolutely evident that the protest organizers who are not realty preoccupied with the social condition of the people facing financial difficulties, actually aim to destabilize Moldovan society in full concordance with the warning deriving from President Maia Sandu’s announcement concerning the destabilization operation that is to involve internal forces associated with fugitive oligarchs Ilan Shor and Vlad Plahotniuc. Public perception of the correlation of citizens’ expectations with the real capacity of the new Government to cope with the real challenges in Moldovan society depends on how the Recean Government will manage the protest scheduled for this Sunday.
IPN publishes in the Op-Ed rubric opinion pieces submitted by authors not affiliated with our editorial board. The opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily coincide with the opinions of our editorial board.