The No-Confidence Motion Did Not Pass

The No-Confidence Motion Did Not Pass
25 July 2020 | 09:59

The current Government, led by Prime Minister Ion Chicu, remains in office. The no-confidence motion initiated by the Dignity and Truth Platform Party did not pass. Forty-six deputies voted for the no-confidence. The deputies who voted for the no-confidence motion were from the Dignity and Truth Platform Party, the Action and Solidarity Party, Pro Moldova, and the Shor Parties. However, the no-confidence motion didn’t pass because 51 votes were required to pass it. The independent deputy Alexandr Oleinic did not vote. Therefore, the Chicu Government remains in office. According to the law, deputies cannot initiate another no-confidence motion in this parliamentary session.

The decision came after a five-hour debate. During this period, several clashes took place between the deputies part of the majority and the opposition. At the same time, the live transmission was stopped and the journalists were not allowed to assist at the debate of the no-confidence motion. In the end, the deputies from the Socialist and the Democratic Parties applauded the decision.

On July 20 (Monday), in the morning, several representatives of the parliamentary opposition announced the debate of the no-confidence motion against the Chicu Government, initiated by the Dignity and Truth Platform Party, and supported by the deputies from the Action and Solidarity Party. Alexandru Slusari, the Vice-President of the Parliament, said that the Permanent Bureau scheduled a meeting for 10 o’clock in the morning, which was to decide the examination of the motion on the same day.

The decision took the opposition by surprise, as they were expecting to examine the no-confidence motion on July 23, the day when the parliamentary sessions usually take place.

The deputies said that Monday is generally scheduled for visits to the territory and that the government would like to speed things up to ensure that the motion does not pass.

“The government is afraid to be swept away from power. In addition, there is open complicity of the two parties (the Socialist Party and the Democratic Party), which continues to apply abusively the Regulation and various procedural scams, just to keep control over the legislative agenda,” declared the deputy of the Dignity and Truth Platform Party, Igor Munteanu.

The same morning, the Shor Party parliamentary faction announced that two of its deputies, Vladimir Vitiuc and Igor Himici, were diagnosed with COVID-19 and will not be able to attend the meeting. Under these circumstances, the chances that the no-confidence motion would pass decreased. This made Slusari, the leader of the Dignity and Truth Platform Party parliamentary faction, suspect an agreement. 

“Don’t be surprised, if there is already an agreement between President Igor Dodon, Vladimir Plahotniuc, and Ilan Shor on the issue of the Airport,” Slusari wrote on his Facebook page.

Shor Party Deputies’ Request Was Ignored 

The meeting started with Shor Party deputies’ protests, who demanded the rescheduling of the meeting and offering two deputies from the Shor Party, who got infected with COVID-19, the possibility to vote. Their request was ignored by the parliamentary majority, which also rejected the request for a secret or a roll-call vote. At the same time, Pro Moldova deputy Sergiu Sîrbu was reproached for having come to Parliament with a loudspeaker.

The debate on the no-confidence motion began with the Prime Minister’s report. He accused the Government led by Maia Sandu, former Prime Minister and leader of the Action and Solidarity Party, of leaving over 11,000 public employees with salary arrears and making no move towards European integration. Chicu’s statements angered the Action and Solidarity Party and the Truth and Dignity Platform Party deputies, who protested loudly and chanted: “Liar, Liar!”  

Press Access – Restricted

Eventually, deputies of the Socialist Party rose from their seats and tried to calm the deputies from the opposition parties. All were on the verge of a fight.

Prime Minister Chicu could not present his report to the end. Subsequently, Zinaida Greceanîi, the President of the Parliament, and a member of the Socialist Party announced a 30-minute break. 

However, there were other incidents. During the break, there were more altercations between members of the government and the opposition, which could not be seen because the live broadcast was stopped and the press was not allowed to enter the meeting room.

Under these circumstances, several opposition deputies offered to escort the journalists to the meeting room of the Parliament, and let them attend the debate of the no-confidence motion. However, several State Protection and Guard Service (SPPS) officers stopped them at the entrance and altercations followed again. 

Marina Tauber, a deputy from the Shor Party, shouted and demanded that the press have access, while she had several altercations with SPPS officers. Two years ago, Tauber came under the scrutiny of the media after she assaulted several journalists, driving them away with a broom from an event in Orhei organized by the Shor Party.

Finally, the press got permission to enter the meeting room, and the meeting continued without incidents. Chicu concluded his report and answered the questions of the deputies, two from each faction and parliamentary group.

The Voting Procedure: for and against

Before the vote, each faction delegated representatives to give speeches in front of the deputies.

“The Chicu Government has shown how one should not govern. The alliance of the Socialist and Democratic Parties leads nowhere. This Government is unable to ensure the safety of citizens on the left bank of the Nistru River and is unable to manage the pandemic crisis,” said Igor Munteanu, the deputy of the Dignity and Truth Platform Party.

“Dodon’s Government will go down in history not only as of the most arrogant and incompetent but also as the most cowardly one. I am addressing Dodon, the one who brought the country into this disaster. Do you know that this Government is mocking at people? Do you know that because of the incompetence of this Government, our people are getting poorer? Do you know the country will remain blocked? Do you know that your government is not going to help the economy? Do you know that Moldovans who came home need help? They have no jobs here nor can they go back to where they earned their money. All of Plahotniuc’s schemes have been taken over. Your government conducts deficient diplomacy with our foreign partners and you quarreled with all our neighbors,” mentioned Igor Grosu, the president of the Action and Solidarity Party faction in the Parliament.

Pro Moldova leader Andrian Candu said that the current government led by Chicu “made mistakes and must leave,” and the projects for which the government took responsibility are to support the presidential election campaign in autumn.

“The fall of this regime is inevitable. We neither forget nor forgive. The members of the Government must be held accountable for the illegalities committed. Even today, the government has not fulfilled its promises to doctors. People are on the verge of poverty,” Candu pointed out.

The Democratic Party did not vote for no-confidence motion against the Chicu Government.

“We understand the game. All interests with the government are related to the presidential elections. The current government has the misfortune to work in a difficult period. If this no-confidence motion passes, we will not have a Government until October. I wish the current Government success,” a Democrat Party deputy mentioned. 

“There is a pandemic in the world. However, the Chicu Government managed to run the country during this period. They managed to maintain stability. Some experts predicted that one euro will reach over 35 lei. Where are they now? We have stability and there is no panic. The foreign partners trust this Government,” shouted the Socialist Party deputy Vladimir Golovatiuc.

Before voting the no-confidence motion, Chicu gave a short closing speech.

“I’m trying to understand what the citizens of Moldova saw on TV today? They saw us, the people who must solve their questions. Dear deputies, there is such a word as shame, and I say we should be ashamed of what we have shown here today. And if we are not ashamed, people will not live better, no matter what doctrines we come with, what declarations we issue. I count on the responsibility of your vote. The decision is yours. Finally, I want to ask you all to understand that Moldova, like many other states, has already entered a very difficult period. We must not hide behind illusions. It is very clear what is happening with the economy and no one knows what will happen next with the pandemic. We’ll harm our people even more if we continue to do what we did today in Parliament. Stay healthy,” Chicu claimed.

The no-confidence motion initiated by the Dignity and Truth Platform Party did not pass. Forty-six deputies voted for the no-confidence. The deputies who voted for the no-confidence motion were from the Dignity and Truth Platform Party, the Action and Solidarity Party, Pro Moldova, and the Shor Parties. However, the no-confidence motion didn’t pass because 51 votes were required to pass it. The independent deputy Alexandr Oleinic did not vote. Therefore, the Chicu Government remains in office.  

According to the law, deputies cannot initiate another no-confidence motion in this parliamentary session. Chicu was pleased with the vote of the deputies. The deputies of the Socialist and the Democratic Parties stood up and applauded after the result of the vote was declared.

The Deputies Went on Vacation

“Today is a shameful day in the history of the Moldovan Parliament. Regarding this no-confidence motion, the government could present absolutely nothing. It was a poor show. They just made the situation tense in the plenary and violated both the law and the limits of common sense,” said Popșoi.

Andrei Năstase, the leader of the Dignity and Truth Platform Party and one of the authors of the no-confidence motion text, expressed his disappointment with the result of the vote.

“Moldova was deprived today of the chance to get rid of Dodon’s catastrophic government, which threw the country into isolation and despair. This government lacks vision and intuition. It behaves like an electoral agent and admitted a deficit in the state budget of over €917.3 million (18 billion lei). During the pandemic, this government made savings of over €4.17 million (82 million lei) at the expense of 30,000 children from vulnerable families,” said Năstase.

Dodon, who is seen as the informal leader of the Socialist Party and the governing alliance, was satisfied with the result of the vote. He hopes that Sandu and Năstase understand that they entered the oligarchs’ game, and plead for a dialogue with all the parties in the Parliament.

“The no-confidence motion fell because it was an action without content, a political improvisation, and was based exclusively on the oligarchic scenario of snatching some deputies from the majority. But today, the oligarchs received a good lesson. They learned that money cannot buy everything and everyone,” Dodon said.

The Parliament took a break after the vote of the no-confidence motion. The Parliament hastily approved several projects while postponing the others. Towards the end of the day, after 10 p.m., the deputies of the majority proposed the end of the first ordinary session of the current year and officially went on vacation. Until autumn, the deputies will not meet in sittings, except on extraordinary occasions.

The draft amendment to the Electoral Code has been postponed for the autumn-winter session. According to the Socialist Party deputy Vasile Bolea, the draft amendment to the Electoral Code has been postponed because the document is not completed yet. 

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