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05.04.2013BOARD of Foreign Investors Association about the action of administration at Tirex Petrol




05.04.2013Candidate for prime ministerial post must be nominated by the end of next week, presumes Moldovan Parliament Speaker and Democratic Party leader Marian Lupu.



22.03.2013The ex-President of Moldova, Chairman of the Communist Party MP Vladimir Voronin says he doesn’t really see a particular need for holding consultations with the Liberal Democratic Party to launch the procedure of discharging Parliament Speaker Marian Lupu.





29.07.2002 POLITICAL LIFE TAKES TIME-OUT (A commentary by INFOTAG political editor, Anatol Golea)


Part 1. A new stage in political life starts with a lull

Moldovan political life has finally drifted into a traditional for this time of year dead season. Last Friday, before a recess, the Parliament held its last meeting attended by all the country’s leaders. Largely anticipated, the meeting proved to be just as largely disappointing.

The initial interest was driven by the fact that at the similar meeting exactly one year ago, President Voronin produced quite a stir amid the members of Government and the Parliament by delivering his one of the best ever speeches in which laid strictures upon both, the parliamentary majority made up of his party colleagues and his own Government.

The criticism addressed to the Cabinet was tough and extremely precise: the President addressed the issues of red tape and numerous violations on the part of controlling organs. For the first time ever, he came down on the side of local entrepreneurs and spoke in favor of economy liberalization and stimulation of market relationship. Furthermore, back then, the leader of State set a two-month period for the solution of all the major problems and the resumption of relations with the international financial organizations. The President’s speech came down as a cold shower upon the governmental officials, who in the words of Prime Minster and Parliament Speaker did a good job and therefore could enjoy their well-deserved holiday.

To do it justice, one has to admit that after the appointed two months nothing really happened. The Government continued working at its habitual pace, the entrepreneurs didn’t get any relief, nor any tangible measures from above were taken in this respect.

But still, remembering the last year precedent, the observers were expecting from Voronin more vivid ‘performance’, - hence the disappointment. As regards, Premier Tarlev, it looked as though he repeated his last year report with minor changes in figures and some expressions. The message, however, remained the same.

In his 40-minute address, the leader of the Cabinet expatiated on various accomplishments in industrial, agricultural and social spheres. At the same time, nothing was said about any problems or difficulties. The Premier didn’t even mention tensions associated with pre-shipment inspection – despite the previous promises to duly attend to this issue.

However, unlike one year ago, the Prime Minister did have something to say about warming of relationship with the international financial institutions. He stated that the problem was almost settled and that the tranche from IMF was due to arrive ‘by the end of the day.’ This time, however, the words of the Premier hit the bull’s eye and the long anticipated installment of $12.5 mln indeed reached the NB’s account a few hours later.

As to the other problems with international creditors, Tarlev simply passed them over in silence. He also made no mention of the upgrade of electricity tariffs and tensions between Union Fenosa and National Energy Regulatory Agency [ANRE], as much as he slipped over the subject of scandal surrounding Air-Moldova in connection with Governmental attempts to repossess 49% of its shares. Despite the fact that all of these left-outs presented keen interest for international organizations, such as the World Bank, Tarlev went on in a steady voice to deliver his speech, from which it was evident, that building of the socialism in Moldova successfully continued in accordance with the governmental program ‘Revival of Economy – Revival of the Country.’

Also, traditionally stylish was the appearance by parliamentary speaker Eugenia Ostapciuc. Having rendered an account of adopted pieces of legislation, Madam Speaker produced convincing figures illustrating drastic improvement in the working effectiveness of this year Parliament. The latter, however, raised little doubts, thanks to the capacity of absolute majority to pass any bill through the Parliament in no time. Such a majority is by far the most unique in the entire world’s parliamentary practice, let alone the contemporary history of Moldova. However, to be fair, one has to admit that practical experience is something our deputies could really do with at this stage, in order to reduce the number of faulty laws and resolutions requiring post-adoption revisions and amendments.

The lion share of the Speaker’s report was dedicated to what Ostapciuc does best – criticizing the opposition, discussing discipline and reminding the MP’s about their obligation ‘to serve the people and not their party or group interests.’

The audience snapped out of its sleep a little at the sound of President Voronin’s voice, who this time, however, refrained from talking about activities of the Parliament and the Government, and trying to evaluate and demand improvement of their work results.

His address was dedicated to just two topics, namely: the protest manifestations of January-April and the solution of Transnistrian question. Unlike the preceding speech by the Speaker, the message put across by the President was more of an appeasing and lulling nature. He called the cessation of protesting ‘a common victory’ and confirmed the intention by the Government to fulfill the PACE Resolution.

His prime attention was concentrated on Transnistrian problem, in which the President supported the initiative put forward by OSCE in the proposed draft of Settlement Agreement. At that, Voronin stated that Moldova is currently on the verge of a new stage of its political life that require new approach towards the reforming and renewal of the entire state ‘on both sides of the Dniester.’ He therefore suggested the deputies have a good rest, for the next session is going to be difficult.

Voronin didn’t specify exactly what he meant by that, though it was clear that it has something to do with the changing situation around Transnistria. Should there be any movement on the proposed settlement project, the entire next year, not just the session will prove difficult, for in that case subjected to change will be the State System, the Constitution, and the Parliament itself.

For the time being, all that can be said is that the new stage in the country political life has started with a traditional calm. In mid August, the President will go on holiday to the Adriatic shore of Croatia. Speaker of the Parliament will travel to China, following which she will have some rest at the sanatorium in Cahul. And the majority of the deputies will try to follow their suit.

At the offices remain will only a handful of ministers, along with their Premier Vasily Tarlev. Some say that those who don’t go on holiday, do so out of fear to find their chairs occupied by somebody else upon their return. May be it’s just a joke, in which case somebody might have his laugh in the autumn…

Part 2. Or is it just a lull before storm?

Every time, on the threshold on new parliamentary ‘dead season’ political writers predict ‘hot autumn’ afterwards.

It looks as though this year is not going to be an exception, although the faction between the President, the Parliament and the Government is now in the mists of time, there is no constitutional reform on the horizon, and the elections are a long way off.

Back in the early summer, leader of Christian Democrats Iurie Rosca casually uttered something about the possibility of new mass protests in fall. As the latter drew nearer he stressed that the autumn was likely to be much hotter that the last spring, and just before the end of the summer parliamentary session, the CDPP had called a constituency meeting for August 31.

The political circles showed fast reaction to this announcement by cracking jokes like ‘the meeting starts on August 31, but only God knows when it’s going to end’, remembering that these so-called meetings of January 9 and February 24 sustained a hundred-day protest rally during the winter-spring season.

This time around, however, the parliamentary majority [previously caught off guard] demonstrated prudence by taking necessary precautions in the form of passed amendments officially stipulating that in order to launch meetings like this, their organizers would need to obtain due permission from local administration. This way the opposition received a clear message that their ‘complete license’ privilege had just been revoked.

In the time that has passed since April, the Moldovan Government not only fulfilled the EC recommendations, but also prepared tangible ground for defense against the opposition. It is all too clear that the current ‘cease-fire’ is just temporary. The question is how long it will last. This break was something everyone needed so badly that when the salutary PACE resolution came, the ‘foot soldiers’ on both sides heaved a sigh of relief.

The opposition, however, didn’t take long to recover and first laid a punch on the Government, too fast to duck away from. The authorities now need to retaliate with a counter strike in order to feed the Strasbourg wolves and keep the local sheep alive. Rosca had little doubts that the Government, hungry for ‘professional legionnaires’ on its home ground, would simply ‘blow’ the task set by PACE.

In spite of the expectations, the authorities found a decision worthy of Solomon regarding major points of PACE Resolution. They didn’t precisely follow the prescription on Bessarabian Church, but amended the law and did away with the registration. From now on, the Government doesn’t need to register the cults – on the contrary, they have to report to the authorities their existence. The passed amendments provision possibility of imposing ban on certain cults in cases when their activity contradicts the law and their members get too involved in local politics. It may well be that some of these amendments will later be applied to the Church of Bessarabia as well, but, for the time being, the official Chisinau visibly obeyed the PACE Resolution.

So far, the authorities have shown better tactics than the opposition would have liked to them to do. Following the speeches against reorganization of the State Television into Public made by dedicated pro-communist orators, Voronin personally took a stand from which not only put forward a legislative initiative to this effect, but convinced the Parliament in the importance of its adoption. Furthermore, the Parliament entertained an alternative and rather democratic proposal and even managed to have it approved in the first reading.

In the second reading, however, that fell on the last day of parliamentary session, the deputies chose to adopt the planks of presidential draft, concerning mostly the membership of the Supervisory Board of the nascent Teleradio-Moldova Plc. The Parliament ruled that the Board should be made up of 15 members equally representing [5 each] the President, the Parliament and the Government. Hurt in their feelings, the opposition – Social Democratic Alliance – withdrew from the fight and the ruling party carried the day by adopting the law straight afterwards in two ‘shakes of a lamb’s tail’ (aka readings).

The latter, in turn, may serve one of the topics for the 31 August rally. Undoubtedly, apart from it, there’ll be other reasons for attaching continuance to this meeting, such as autonomy of judicial instances, local administration issues, and the much too loved in Moldova linguistic problems… No coincidence that the innocent ‘constituency meeting’ is skillfully timed with the ‘Limba Noastra’ bank holiday, so unpardonably ignored last year by the ruling party, for the first time in the history of independent Moldova. It is very unlikely that the vexed Romanian scholarships issue will be passed over in silence either.

A considerable role in the development of political process in Moldova has been assigned to the legislative initiative launched by the Social-Democratic Alliance with regards to the electoral system reform – a kind of a showdown of strength for the Braghis Party on the threshold of new political battles. Owing to his successful idea of forming a permanently operating round table – a sort of mediator structure between the Government and the uncompromising Opposition – the authorities secured for Braghis a place on the list of its top political opponents. One can also go as far as to say that Braghis had his little victory when the Central Election Commission [CEC] supported his idea of referendum in spite of the pressure imposed by the parliamentary leaders.

The decision taken by CEC is bound to add some headache for the ruling party; otherwise the Parliament Speaker Eugenia Ostapciuc and her Vice Vadim Mishin wouldn’t have put up to it such a fierce resistance. The current election system served perfectly the interests of the Communist Party that lacks vivid personalities in their midst. They are the ones who benefited greatly from this system during the last elections, having their candidates voted in lists into power. Similarly to that, their Ukrainian counterparts had a good run in lists too, but failed remarkably in single-member constituencies.

Nowadays, the parliamentary majority has something to think about. On offer there two options, i.e. to launch within the next six month another referendum convincing the people not to change anything (a parliamentary form of rule is just enough), or agree to the initiative put forward by the Centrists and amend the system through the Parliament, effectively ‘cutting its own throat.’

An important issue for the opposition this autumn shall become an Agreement on Transnistrian Status. The discussion is going to be lengthy, for which the sides are preparing well in advance, hence the scheduled for Tuesday, July 30, picketing by the Liberal Party supporters of OSCE, Russian and Ukrainian diplomatic missions.

Also, this autumn expected some Cabinet reshuffles. For Prime Minister Tarlev the alarm whistle was blown by his former colleagues from Bucuria. Their claims, promulgated upon the sufferance of the President, for now, look quite presentable and, should need be, can be adduced to the case of corruption, if there be any need for changing the Government.

But all of these events may or may not unfold in autumn, which, going by the signs, should be just as any other autumns we’ve seen so far. Topics for discussion are more than enough. As to the political stability in the country, it will depend mostly on what methods of convincing each other the sides will employ.

MAIB promotii