Moldova’s pro-European parties negotiate to form a new government

Tue 3 Nov 2015

Moldova’s pro-European parties negotiate to form a new government

Amid  protests, economic problems and the 1 billion dollar corruption scandal that saw former Prime Minister Vlad Filat arrested last month, Moldova’s European integration alliance is negotiating to form a new government. Last week the pro-European minority coalition government of liberal democrat Valeriu Strelet (PLDM) was dismissed when 65 MPs in Moldova’s 101 seat parliament voted for a no-confidence motion, brought forward by the opposition Socialist Party (PSRM) and Communist party (PCRM). PLDM’s coalition partner the Liberal Party (LP) abstained from the vote, while its other coalition partner, the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) supported the vote. With little trust between the two former coalition parties, it is unclear how the negotiations will proceed and if Moldova will stay on its Pro-European course.

Social Democrats

According to leader of the social democratic PDM Marian Lupu,  they  voted in favor of the motion because  PM Strelet  for the past period “has been dealing only with his party”. Furthermore Lupu accuses Strelet of “obstructing the investigation in the case of the Banca de Economii” (one of the banks involved in the corruption scandal) and “being behind the “Truth and Dignity” platform, which fights against the alliance parties, along with Vlad Filat”. Filat was arrested last month in connection with the theft of the billion dollars, in what the PLDM argues is a political motivated plot by PDM figure and oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc to extend his power. Meanwhile the PDM has started negotiations with the LP and independent MPs from the Leanca group, as the PLDM refused to take part. The parties talked about the “need to continue the European path”, while Lupu expressed “hope that the colleagues from PLDM will be part of the future alliance too”.

LP leader Mihai Ghimpu said that "he will not be a member of the minority government, neither of an alliance where left-wing parties would be present." He called on the PLDM to “follow our example”, as  “we also went through such a situation. They also wanted to destroy our party and attracted MPs from our party on their side. We were removed from the government. But we accepted to return to the government for the sake of the European integration”. Like the PDM, the LP also accuses the PLDM of being connected with the “Truth and Dignity” platform, who have organized mass protest in the capital for the past few months, leading to political unrest.  Furthermore Ghimpu said that the accusations against Filat are reasonable and that “the Interior  Ministry was controlled by the PLDM”. 

Liberal Democrats
Now ex-PM Strelet said that “for the PDM, it would be a difficult task to convince the Liberal-Democratic MPs to form a new alliance” and  he “would prefer the PDM to continue its games without the PLDM”.  He accused the PDM of “committing a political crime” by supporting the motion because it “violated the alliance agreement”. Adding that the responsibility for the governing is now on the PDM, he said they “must prepare, as they declared publicly, for any scenario, with or without the participation of the PLDM in the formation of the alliance”. But Strelet also places blame on his own party for the current chaos as they “made many mistakes when the ruling alliance was formed and conceded a lot in the name of the European integration”. Strelet is hesitant about working together again in the alliance as he said “we can no longer identify ourselves with the wrongdoings committed until now and with the tendencies to conserve a corrupt system”, adding that he “sees this tendency in the behavior of the Democratic Party”.  However for the PLDM “the European integration is regarded as an absolute priority”. The PLDM is expected to reach a decision about their participation in the negotiations next week.