The parliamentary groups during many weeks have unanimously maintained that they want snap elections. However, there is no clarity as to when these elections can take place, when and how they can be initiated and how the snap elections can be held. Answerers to these and other questions were formulated by the invitees to IPN’s public debate “What parliamentary parties think about snap elections, if they anticipate them?”.
According to the standing expert of IPN’s project Igor Boțan, the scenarios for inducing snap parliamentary elections are described in Article 85 of the Constitution. Snap elections are called when Parliament cannot vote in a new Cabinet. For the circumstances that justify the dissolution of Parliament to be ascertained, it is important that the President should propose at least two candidates for premiership. If Parliament does not give a vote of confidence to at least one of them, this will be a reason for dissolving the legislature. The second reason for dissolving the legislative body is the Parliament’s inability to produce laws during three months. If a new Cabinet is not formed during 90 days of the resignation or dismissal of the Government, regardless of the reasons, Parliament is anyway dissolved and snap elections are called.
Igor Boțan said similar situations haven’t existed during approximately 30 years of independence. “Since 1994, four legislative bodies were elected as a result of snap elections, but these elections were never due to the Parliament’s incapacity to name a Government. The first time Parliament was dissolved in October 1993, when a majority of votes could not be found to ratify Moldova’s entry into the CIS. Snap elections were then held for three times because Parliament was unable to elect the President by a qualified majority of three fifth of votes”.
The expert noted that in January 2016, the Constitutional Court passed a judgment saying that if the MPs do not ensure the composition that provides the quorum for investing the Government, the attempt is considered failed. “That’s why the most important criterion that would prove the sincerity of the parliamentary groups when the say that they want snap parliamentary elections is for the group leaders to state that they would not take part in the investiture of the Government. This would exclude any speculations and would be an indicator that the parties do not play a particular game,” stated Igor Boțan.
Socialist MP Nicolae Pascaru said the current Parliament was elected on the crest of the Moldovan oligarchy and the people lost confidence in it. However, a large part of the current MPs are honest persons with constructive ideas who want to change something in the country. The PSRM is primarily for snap elections, but the country should not be plunged into several political crises.
According to Doina Gherman, MP of the Party of Action and Solidarity, the current legislature is the key problem in Moldova now. This Parliament should leave and the people proved this by their vote in the presidential elections, where over 1.5 million people voted for the two candidates who reached the runoff vote and who built their election campaign messages on the idea of inducing snap elections. The people’s will should not be discussed, but should be implemented. No matter what Cabinet is proposed, this will be the emanation of Plahotniuc, Dodon and Shor who now form the parliamentary majority.
Dinu Plîngău, MP of the Party “Dignity and Truth Platform”, noted there are subjective and objective conditions for the Parliament to be dissolved. The Chicu Government’s resignation didn’t hasten the dissolution of Parliament and the organization of snap parliamentary elections. On the contrary, after the presidential elections, the political parties, especially the parliamentary ones, tried to adopt positions. “After the failure of Igor Dodon and the Party of Socialists in the presidential elections, they tried to shift full responsibility for what will happen on President Maia Sandu at a time when the Republic of Moldova is in a social, economic and pandemic crisis”. Dinu Plîngău said now that it is not known if snap elections will be held or not, the parties that in the interim will assume governance will evidently go in elections on weaker positions as all the responses over the existing problems will have to be given by the parties and representatives of the parties that are objectively on key positions.
Democratic MP Ludmila Guzun said the current legislative body should leave and the laws adopted by the undeclared PSRM-Shor majority during the last two weeks of the previous session, on whose constitutionality the Constitutional Court is to pronounce, are an argument in favor of this.
“Beyond the interest of the parties that will compete in snap elections, people’s interests should also be taken into account as the country needs to be governed before the snap elections, during the election campaign and until a parliamentary majority is formed. The parties that undertake to vote in an interim Government run the risk of losing popularity, but this risk should be taken by someone,” stated Ludmila Guzun.
Representatives of the Shor Party were also invited to the debate, but they rejected the invitation. The MPs of the Pro Moldova Party who were invited to the debate didn’t react in any way.
The public debate “What parliamentary parties think about snap elections, if they anticipate them?” is the 167th installment of the series “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.