Stoianoglo arrest doesn’t do any favors for government, say Romanian pundits

The suspension from office and the criminal probe against Prosecutor General Alexandr Stoianoglo isn’t doing any favors for the government, think the Romanian political pundits Sorin Ioniță and Armand Goșu. The removal of an under-performing chief prosecutor by a government that won the election on an anti-graft campaign would otherwise be a good idea, say the experts, but not in the way it’s been done.

Armand Goșu, an expert on the ex-Soviet space, thinks the dissatisfaction of the public and the government with the job done by the Prosecutor General is justified, given the sluggish progress made on high-profile case during his two years in office.

“We have a newly elected Parliament, a President who has won a popular anti-corruption mandate, and when you have a Prosecutor General who in two years does not deliver something that would meet the expectations of the people, of the political class, he automatically comes into conflict with the rest of society. What is presented to us as a protest has little substance, I haven’t noticed in Moldovans any feeling of political passion for this case. At the same time, I don’t see why there was an urgent need for arrest, and perhaps some institutions in Chisinau have exaggerated. From a political point of view, what is happening now does not benefit the President or the Government”, said Armand Goșu during the TVR Moldova talk show “Punctul pe Azi”.

Sorin Ioniță, president of the think-tank EFOR , also thinks the Stoianoglo case is detrimental to the government’s image.

“This is the first fusillade of a civil war that is about happen, as it happens in any captured country when you start getting serious about anti-corruption. The deep pockets who previously ruled this country and who have now fallen out won’t let let themselves be taken to prison so easily and are kicking up a fuss. With this Stoianoglo case, the whole country saw that he was an executor of the gang. But what is happening now does not help the government and President Maia Sandu. I don’t think Maia Sandu or Minister Litvinenco told (prosecutors) to do what they did. I’m afraid the government and PAS could end up harmed because of some guys’s excess of zeal”.

Alexandr Stoianoglo was placed under house arrest for 30 days in a criminal investigation that started following a complaint by PAS lawmaker Lilian Carp, who alleged among other things that Stoianoglo, while being an MP, promoted legislation that facilitated the Moldovan leg of the infamous Russian Laundromat.

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