EDITORIAL: The Fight Is Just Beginning
It has finally happened. The times of change, of which there was so much talk, have arrived. Some may celebrate it, others may feel angry or disappointed, but the move has started. The change, for which Maia Sandu, together with all the political right and our strategic partners, fought for in two consecutive election campaigns, has been produced.
Following two electoral conflagrations, we obtained what we have wanted since 1990, something we had only occasionally and episodically: we have a president who promises to be other than the former ones (hopefully not only on the screens); we have a different Parliament with a steady majority that will be able to hold Moldova in its hands and will not betray, like others, after the first temptations and challenges; we have a different Cabinet of Ministers, which hopefully will follow the example of Druc and Muravschi governments, the first Moldovan Cabinets, which were devoted to the national interest.
On Friday, with the vote of the Action and Solidarity Party, the Parliament appointed the Government. Thus, on August 6, the Action and Solidarity Party actually came into the full power of governing, following its electoral promise. On Monday, on the very first working day, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița convened the Government in a meeting and immediately connected the “vacuum cleaners”. The “general cleaning” announced by the Action and Solidarity Party has started. “In the first months of activity, your task is to be half ministers, half prosecutors. The citizens and I are willing to know the schemes through which funds from your ministries and subordinate institutions have been embezzled. Those who steal must be fired, those who work – promoted and appreciated,” was the Prime Minister’s message of mobilization.
The first resignations followed. Twenty-two State Secretaries and general secretaries were fired, and nine new ones were appointed. In the same meeting, the general director of the National Medical Insurance Company was dismissed and a new head of the General Inspectorate of Border Police was appointed. The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office and the National Anticorruption Center detained, following an operation, 18 high-ranking functionaries from the State Institute for Land Use and Territory Planning for abuse of office, corruption, and influence peddling. The Agency for the Recovery of Criminal Property applied seizure of goods of about 200,000 euros. Sergiu Litvinenco, the Minister of Justice, submitted to Parliament a draft amendment to the Prosecutor’s Law, which involves additional mechanisms of evaluation and dismissal of the Prosecutor General. A day after that, President Maia Sandu convened a meeting of the Supreme Security Council, which examined the measures taken by the competent bodies to prevent the evasion of persons accused of criminal liability, in cases of high corruption …
This happened after the escape from Moldova of the convicted businessman Veaceslav Platon, who four years ago was sentenced to 18 years in prison in the case of bank fraud and whom the General Prosecutor’s Office recently acquitted (?!) For this reason, Prosecutor General Alexandr Stoianoglo was charged with complicity and his resignation was demanded.
The ice has broken. “We are starting to make order from the top, we are starting to fight big corruption, high-level abuses, eliminating the corrupt judges and prosecutors. These harmful people must be eliminated from the system and at the next stage – sanctioned … Millions of people are watching you. The challenges are great, and the expectations are very high,” Maia Sandu drew the attention of the ministers.
Commitments follow one after another. The Action and Solidarity Party may want to impress. But most likely, they, and especially the Government, are in a hurry not to delay the changes. “The current Government has an extremely important mission – to prove to the people that Moldova can be governed by honest people, who act in conformity with the law.
This government will neither steal nor create laws to allow theft, it will not share public money as a percentage, will not create companies with exclusive rights on public acquisitions, will not privatize state property for their family members, and will not protect crooks, bandits, and monopolies that rob the people of this country … We will clean the state institutions of corrupt people, we will do everything possible for the judiciary to clean itself of interest groups that sell decisions and protect thieves, we will do everything possible to recover the money from the billion theft and other schemes that is hidden in other countries or even in Moldova. We will aim at confiscating the assets of the corrupt and with that money we will repair schools, asylums, houses of culture and roads,” these are some key landmarks in the governing program of the Gavrilița Cabinet.
The Action and Solidarity Party has planned to do what all the governments, presidents, and parliaments up to them failed to do. Will they succeed? It depends on the level of corruption in the system. If Shor and Platon, sentenced to seven and 18 years in the largest corruption case, are free, it means that the resilience of the system remains high.
Fighting the system requires general mobilization. Unfortunately, the Action and Solidarity Party keeps itself isolated from the rest of the political environment. Obviously, you can’t ally yourself to anyone, but being alone is not the solution. For now, the Action and Solidarity Party count on the strategic partners in the West. They matter a lot; however, the fight for a new Moldova will take place in Chișinău, Cahul, Ungheni, Soroca …
At the beginning of the 1990s, all the struggles for de-Sovietization were won due to unitary effort and general mobilization. For the Action and Solidarity Party, the fight is just beginning.