Moldova has been unsettled about early parliamentary elections or a transitional government as a way out of the current political crisis. Yet, Maia Sandu’s latest unexpected consultations with the parliamentary factions on unblocking the political situation complicated things rather than clarify them.
President Maia Sandu proposed last week a new candidate for the head of government – Igor Grosu, interim president of the Action and Solidarity Party. Mariana Durleșteanu is the candidate of the formalized parliamentary majority – the Socialists and the Shor Party. In case Maia Sandu opposes their candidate, the parliamentary majority will initiate the procedure of temporarily suspending her from office until a formation of a new government. It’s difficult to say what the prospects are.
President Sandu is not willing to give up and stands her ground: yearly elections and a new Parliament. In a recent interview for Free Europe Radio, she ruled out nominating a candidate of the current parliamentary majority even at the risk of violating the Constitution. Maia Sandu stated that she defends the interests of citizens till the end, pleading for a Parliament that does not subordinate to corrupt groups which enrich themselves at the expense of the citizens.
Since taking office several months ago, Maia Sandu has not given up the idea of early parliamentary elections, regardless of the criticisms leveled at her. First, early elections are an electoral commitment, accepted by the electorate and which she cannot and has no right to renounce.
Second, “the Parliament of Moldova reached a critical abnormal point, posing major risks for state security. This Parliament is no longer representative, deputies do not comply with their mandate, they are involved in all kinds of corruption schemes, they no longer respect their political identity, and they are traded for various amounts, depending on the positions they hold. With such a Parliament, we cannot change anything in Moldova,” says Sandu and insists on early elections as an emergency. “Everyone agrees that the country needs early elections, but not everyone admits it or has the courage to do it,” she affirms.
Therefore, early elections are neither a fad nor a whim of Maia Sandu. In her version, early elections must be a “crusade” against the mafia clans in the Parliament and the Government appointed by them. Things have gone too far and the situation has degraded too much. Parties with criminal presidents (the Shor case) have come to decide the fate of the cabinets of ministers, which, following the Moldovan political tradition, will have to play the game of those who brought them into the office and not of those who elected them.
Maia Sandu’s idea of early elections caught on because it has remained a problem that can no longer be overlooked. Immediately after the presidential elections, the Socialists reinforced their earlier position for a different Parliament, cleaner and without corrupt deputies, without thieves, and without party switchers.
On December 23, 2020, a day before Maia Sandu’s inauguration, President of the Parliament Zinaida Greceanâi publicly announced that “this Parliament does not represent the result of 2019 elections and must be dissolved.” On the same day, Prime Minister Ion Chicu announced the resignation of his Government. “I come with this decision so that the procedure for dissolving the Parliament and early parliamentary elections can be launched as soon as possible,” Chicu said.
I wonder whether the Socialists and Dodon ever wanted early elections and a new Parliament without liars, traitors, criminals, thieves, and corrupt deputies, if they themselves are the same exploiters, involved in varied corruption schemes. Even after Igor Dodon lost the elections and no longer holds any public office, he still controls the Parliament and the Government, forming a monstrous coalition with the Shor Party. Dodon just changed his office; otherwise, he is the same boss.
Less than a month after Chicu and Greceanîi made their statements, the Socialists changed their discourse, announcing that, considering the crisis we are going through, they want first a Plenipotentiary Government, instead of the interim one, and after that – early elections. The other parliamentary parties adhered to the same position, arguing that it’s not the proper time for early elections, the economy is down, the social security and assistance is down, the pandemic is wreaking havoc, and people are desperate. We better form a new Government, overcome the crisis, and then have elections. Each of the parties remained in their positions.
Things took an unexpected turn last Tuesday after Maia Sandu called the parliamentary factions for consultations. During the consultations of the Socialist Party delegation with Maia Sandu, their proposal to the head of the government Mariana Durleșteanu withdrew her candidacy. On the same day, the president nominated Igor Grosu, interim president of the Action and Solidarity Party, as a candidate for the head of government. The next day, the Socialists went to the Constitutional Court and demanded the annulment of the decree. Moreover, Igor Dodon announced that they agreed with Maia Sandu to proceed to early parliamentary elections, but Sandu rushed to nominate Igor Grosu. Yet who and what determined Durleșteanu to resign? What will the Parliament do with Grosu’s candidacy? The fight continues.