Wanting to be hilarious, politicians launch offensive messages

The debate themed “What do politicians think about us, society, when they throw eggs, harsh replies and offensive words at each other? What do we, society, think about this type of political relations?” focused on the incident when the Communist leader Vladimir Voronin was accused of offending Moldovan of African origin John Onoje, who is a member of the National Liberal Party. During a protest staged by the PCRM, Vladimir Voronin said that the rulers ‘brought a negro from Africa to promote their policy”. Political analyst Victor Gurau, substitute candidate for councilor on the Chisinau Municipal Council on behalf of the PCRM, said that Vladimir Voronin did not speak about John Onoje. He did not give names and made no gesture to make a connection with this person. According to Victor Gurau, the given sentence was only a metaphor addressed to the government, while ‘negro’ means a person who works for other people and are paid for this. Vitalia Pavlichenko, the chairwoman of the National Liberal Party, said that Vladimir Voronin referred namely to John Onoje and the mass media and the people understood this. She stated that Voronin made the given statement because John Onoje has unionist views and openly expresses his disagreement with the policy pursued by the PCRM. According to Vitalia Pavlichenko, Vladimir Voronin’s statements represented a discriminatory attack. She also said that some of the politicians use such statements to manipulate public opinion and incite hatred and this leads to polarization of society. Expert Igor Botan, director of the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT, said the politicians often use metaphors in order to be hilarious, not to discriminate against somebody or offend somebody. However, John Onoje, who is a Moldovan citizen, must enjoy all the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, including not to be discriminated and constrained, and he can say what he thinks about unionism. The problem appears when he becomes activist. The executive director of the Resource Center for Human Rights (CReDO) Sergiu Ostaf said the politicians should not be only political entrepreneurs, but also politicians responsible for what they say and for the impact of their words. According to him, the Communist leader’s assertion is a stereotype racist expression and this is regrettable as the opinion of Vladimir Voronin counts for many persons. The debate was held within the Development of Political Culture through Public Debates Project that is supported by the German foundation Hanns Seidel. The participants in the event approved of the debate. Vitalia Pavlichenko said this project aims to familiarize the people with indispensable elements of the political culture, while Igor Botan stated the debates are interesting because all the sides involved in a certain situation are represented in them.
  • sergiu ostaf despre declratia lui vladimir voronin.mp3
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  • victor gurau despre declaratia lui vladimir voronin.mp3
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  • vitalia pavlicenco despre declaratia lui vladimir voronin.mp3
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