ELECTIONS & TRANSPARENCY: Democratic Party, Dignity and Truth Party, and National Unity Party

ELECTIONS & TRANSPARENCY: Democratic Party, Dignity and Truth Party, and National Unity Party
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05 July 2021 | 14:33

AThe snap elections will be held this Sunday, July 11th. ZdG publishes the most important details about the candidates registered for the early parliamentary election. We decided to check the potential future deputies based on last year’s polls. We present the first candidates in the lists of the Democratic Party, Dignity and Truth Party, and National Unity Party.

Democratic Party of Moldova

Pavel Filip, leader of the Democratic Party, was elected after Vladimir Plahotniuc’s resignation and flight from the country in July 2019. Over the years, Filip and the Democrats participated in taking several controversial decisions and actions being accused of capturing state institutions. His name is linked to the case of usurpation of power in the state, initiated after the withdrawal of the Democrats from power. Pavel Filip, together with his colleagues Monica Babuc, Alexandru Jizdan, and Nicolae Ciubuc, challenged in court the order to start the criminal investigation, but all the courts rejected their appeal. The General Prosecutor’s Office representatives stated for ZdG that the criminal investigation, in that case, is ongoing. In October 2018, the Filip Government, invested on January 20, 2016, amid protests in front of the Parliament, privatized as a matter of urgency and in suspicious conditions the largest airline – Air Moldova, the fugitive deputy Ilan Shor was also interested in that scheme, as ZdG wrote in an investigation. After the withdrawal of Democrats from the government, a criminal case was started on this case. Filip assisted the runaway oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc for a long time and after the oligarch fled the country, he secretly visited him in Washington. Filip tried to hide the identity of his parents-in-law and their interests in the walnut market. In July 2020, Filip was sued by his former party colleague, Andrian Candu, for defending his honor, dignity, and professional reputation. In May 2021, Candu dropped the lawsuit.
Pavel Filip is also on trial with his former party colleague Eugeniu Nichiforciuc, the next court hearing being scheduled for July 26, this year. For the past two years, Filip indicates an official income of 35,000 euros from the Parliament, and his wife16,000 euros from the Burex company, managed by the couple’s two sons. His wealth declaration also includes a 316-square-meter house, built in 2010 and registered in the name of the youngest son, about which ZdG wrote in January 2016 that it was not found in Pavel Filip’s wealth declaration. The candidate also declares the house in Pănășești, inherited in 2004, four hectares of land, owned, but also two watches received as a gift. Filip sold his BMW bought in 2005, for 5,000 euros and does not declare that he would have another car. In five bank accounts, the democrat keeps about 8,000 euros.

Alexandru Jizdan, second on the list, is a deputy from the Democratic Party.
He built his career, marked by controversy, in the structures of the Ministry of Interior. He was fired after the scandal of the Royal Forest, were at a hunting game, one man was shot and killed by accident. He was previously decorated because he performed his duties properly during the protests of April 2009. In June 2019, Jizdan was among the fiercest Democrats who did not accept the resignation. In his wealth declaration, Jizdan indicates for two years an official income of 40,000 euros from the Parliament, and his wife, from activities in the private field, over 25,000 euros. The Jizdan family owns an apartment obtained in 2000, with over 20,000 euros, and two houses – a villa of 330 square meters, located in the city of Codru, near Chișinău, indicated in the declaration to the value of 50,000 euros, but which in reality would be worth several times more, and the second house, 108 square meters, obtained in 2018 and which would be worth only 1,500 euros. The candidate owns a Land Rover Discovery of 20,000 euros and a Volkswagen Golf, of 8,000 euros. In May 2021, the National Integrity Authority ordered the confiscation of the unjustified fortune of the democrat for over 40,000 euros. Jizdan had a complaint at the Prosecutor General Office, for alleged false declarations in documents. However, Jizdan claims that “it is a confusion,” and that he sued the Integrity Authority.

Monica Babuc, number three, is a Democratic Party deputy. She joined the political party in 2010, after leaving the Christian Democratic People’s Party. She was the adviser of Iurie Roșca, but also of the oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc. Democrats promoted her to the post of Minister of Education in 2013. In December 2016, during her term, performers Pașa Parfeni and Cătălin Josan, critics of the Democratic Party, were excluded from the show Golden Horseshoe. Monica Babuc was close to Plahotniuc, but after the oligarch fled Moldova, she accused him of being involved in the destruction of the Democratic Party. Babuc declares, for the last two years, an official income of about 44,000 euros from the Parliament, and her husband, employed at Moldovagaz, received about 10,000 euros. Babuc also indicated a donation of 8,000 euros. The Babuc family owns two apartments – one of 37.1 square meters, obtained in 2003, and another, with an area of 79.3 square meters, purchased in 2019 for about 18,000 euros, and a house, which she received as a donation in 2017. The Babuc family keeps 12,000 euros in bank accounts. In 2015, when she was Minister of Education, Monica Babuc was investigated by the former National Integrity Commission. Although they found that she had not declared her share of an apartment, a car, some bank accounts, and shares held in the share capital of some companies, the Integrity Commission ended the case, stating that the violations were unintentional.

Dignity and Truth Party

Andrei Năstase, list leader of the Dignity and Truth Party, former prosecutor and lawyer, became known to the public especially after the anti-government protests he initiated in 2015, from the position of leader of the Civic Platform Dignity and Truth, transformed in December 2015 into a party, he is elected president. At the beginning of his political career, Năstase’s name was often associated with that of his godfather – Victor Țopa, a businessman, sentenced to prison by national courts, because he would have taken over, by blackmail, shares held by foreigners in Victoriabank. Țopa and Andrei Năstase, who was his lawyer, declared that the case was a political one. In 2016, Năstase entered the race for the presidency but later withdrew his candidacy in favor of Maia Sandu. Following the new local elections in 2018, Nastase was elected mayor general of Chișinău, but the election result was invalidated by the court. Following the 2019 parliamentary elections, Năstase becomes a deputy, a mandate he submitted shortly, to access the position of Minister of Interior in the Sandu Government. In the local elections in October 2019, Nastase tried again to become mayor general of Chișinău but lost the election to the socialist Ion Ceban. Ten days later, Nastase also lost his ministerial seat, after the Sandu government was dismissed. However, he remained with the position of councilor in the Chișinău Municipal Council, which he holds until now. Nastase also participated in the presidential election in November 2020, obtaining 3.26% of the votes. In the last two years, the Năstase family had an income of about 125,000 euros. Most of the money, 96,000 euros, came from his wife, employed by a German company. The candidate declares the same luxury real estate, located in the city of Codru, and several other real estate located in Mândrești, his native village, inherited from his parents. The Nastase family drives two cars: a Volvo XC 90, manufactured in 2018 and acquired in 2019, and a Nissan Maxima, manufactured in 2004 and obtained in 2005.

Alexandru Slusari, second on the Dignity and Truth Party list. Slusari is a deputy and vice-president of the Parliament and the founder and vice-president of the political party, a position he has held since December 2015. He previously worked as a lawyer on several projects and companies. Currently, Slusari is listed as the majority founder of Rural-Asig company which provides insurance intermediation services, is also associated with the company European Soy Beans Producers, a marketing company related to agricultural production. In the last two years, the Slusari family had an income of almost 40,000 euros. He owns an apartment of 113.1 square meters and ½ shares in another apartment of 45.2 square meters.

Igor Munteanu is third on the list, also a current deputy, is the founder and former executive director of IDIS Viitorul, an NGO that deals with research in the social, political, and economic fields. In the period 2010-2015, he held the position of Moldovan Ambassador to the USA, Canada, and Mexico. For two years he was the adviser of the former president of Moldova, Mircea Snegur. He is an associate at Sinergetic Grup and holds a share in the Officefive company. In the last two years, the Munteanu family has had an income of about 27,000 euros. The candidate owns a house and an apartment of 90 square meters. He drives a Toyota Venza car with an indicated value of almost 22,000 euros. In the bank accounts, the candidate’s family keeps almost 50,000 euros.

National Unity Party

Octavian Țîcu, party leader, historian, and university professor. He is currently an unaffiliated deputy. He reached the Parliament’s lists on the Bloc formed by the Action and Solidarity Party and the Dignity and Truth Party, but later left the faction and remained an independent deputy in the bloc. In December 2019, Țicu was unanimously elected president of the National Unity Party, replacing Anatol Șalaru. Thus, in the November 2020 elections, he ran from the National Unity Party for the position of head of state but obtained only 2.01% in the first round. For the first time, Țîcu became involved in political life in 2013, when, at the proposal of the Liberal Party, he was Minister of Youth and Sports for three months. Two years later, in 2015, he joined the formation initiative group of the European People’s Party of Moldova, led by Iurie Leancă. In the 2015 local general elections, he was elected district councilor in Ungheni by the Electoral Bloc led by Leancă. In the last two years, the Ţîcu family declares an income of 50,000 euros. He has an apartment of 128.3 square meters, located in the center of Chișinău, and a Ford Focus car, manufactured in 2017 and acquired in 2018. In the bank accounts, the family keeps about 17,000 euros.

Iurie Reniță, second on the National Unity Party list, a journalist by profession, is a deputy in the faction formed by the Action and Solidarity Party and the Dignity and Truth Party. Before joining the Parliament, in 2010-2015, appointed by Mihai Ghimpu, Reniță held the position of Ambassador of Moldova in Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro, and later, from 2016 to 2017, he was Ambassador in Belgium, but also the head of the Mission of Moldova to NATO. For eight years, he practiced journalism and later was employed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The candidate’s name appears in a notification of the socialist deputy, Vlad Bătrâncea, submitted to the National Integrity Authority, to initiate the control over Reniță’s fortune and personal interests. However, the control has not yet reached finality. Iurie Reniță is the deputy who in the spring of last year made public the video images from the meeting of the former Democratic leader, runaway oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc with former president Igor Dodon, in which Dodon receives a black bag, allegedly with money for his Socialist Party. Then, Reniță denied any connection with Plahotniuc and explained that he received the video fragment in the mailbox. In February, this year, Reniță was forced by the court to deny the information made public, such as that the company Exclusiv Media was involved in money laundering, that former president’s wife, Galina Dodon, manages Exclusiv Media, and that Exclusiv Media is one of the companies that monopolized the advertising market in Moldova. In the last two years, the Reniță family has had an income of 45,000 euros. The candidate declares a 70-square-meter apartment and a Volkswagen Passat. At the same time, in the bank accounts, the deputy’s family has approximately 50,000 euros.

Ana Guțu, third on the list, Ph.D. in philology and university professor, vice-president of the political party. In 2009-2014, the candidate was a deputy in the Parliament, being elected on the Liberal Party lists. In 2013, together with 6 other deputies, Guțu left Liberal Party, forming the Liberal Reform Party. Around the parliamentary elections in November 2014, following some conflicts within the party, Ana Guţu left, and in September 2015 she founded a new party, called Right, which advocated for the Union of Moldova with Romania. Subsequently, in 2017, the political party merged with the party led by Anatol Șalaru and was renamed National Unity Party, and Guțu was elected vice-president of the party. In January 2020, she was appointed by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, at the proposal of the former president of Romania, Traian Băsescu, and Eugen Tomac, to the position of Secretary of State at the Department for Relations with Moldova, Government of Romania. Subsequently, she ran in the Romanian parliamentary elections for the Popular Movement Party, whose honorary president was Trăian Basescu. Ana Guțu’s career is closely linked to the Free International University of Moldova, where she has held several positions since 1995. In 2013, the National Integrity Center, now National Integrity Authority, had initiated a control procedure regarding the candidate, being suspected of conflict of interest, as well as holding the position of first vice-rector of the university in parallel with the parliamentary activity. Then, Guțu declared that she suspended her activity as vice-rector once she accessed the Parliament, and the control would have been initiated on command. In the last two years, the Guțu family has had an income of about 15,000 euros. The candidate indicates an apartment of 66 square meters and ½ from another apartment of 84 square meters. Guțu drives a BMW X5 car, manufactured in 2008 and purchased in 2010. At the same time, she declares jewelry worth 2,000 euros. In the bank accounts, Guțu keeps 25,000 euros. In 2016, when she runs for president.

AUTHOR MAIL eng.zdg@gmail.com

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