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Moldova’s parliament to discuss resignation of its speaker

January 22, 2013, 1:43 UTC+3

Moldova’s Interior Ministry joined the investigation last week, opening two criminal cases

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CHISINAU, January 22 (Itar-Tass) – Moldova’s parliament is expected to hold an emergency session Tuesday for discussing a possibility of resignation of its Speaker, Marian Lupu, and his first deputy, Vladimir Plahotniuc, the parliamentary press service said.

A decision on convening an emergency session was taken upon a query of the oppositionist Communist Party. The Communists have called on the fellow MPs to dismiss Lupu and Plahotniuc in the footsteps of resignation of the Prosecutor General, Valeriu Zubco, for an attempt to conceal from the public the murder of businessman Sorin Paciu on a hunting trip.

Public indignation was caused by the fact that the tragedy in the Master’s Woods wildlife preserve occurred December 23, 2012, but the public at large learned about it only ten days after from Sergiu Mocanu, a leader of the Antimafia movement.

The latter man told a news conference that “Plahotniuc, First Deputy Speaker of parliament and First Deputy Chairman of the Democratic Party, forbade Zubko to report the incident.”

The Prosecutor’s Office that took investigation of the murder under tight control, named the Chairman of the Appeals Chamber of Chisinau, Gheorghe Cretu, as the main suspect in the murder case. Cretu was discharged from the post later.

Moldova’s Interior Ministry joined the investigation last week, opening two criminal cases.

Interior Minister Dorin Recean told reporters the investigators had obtained evidence on numerous violations during the mischievous hunting trip. Now they are expected to clear out whether or not hunting for boar on the wildlife preserve grounds had been authorized properly and why the hunters had tried to conceal Sorin Paciu’s death from the public eye.

Moldova’s Prime Minister Vlad Filat, who insists on firing Zubco “for creating a situation that damages the government’s reputation”, has demanded an emergency parliamentary session to review the case. The Communist Party issued an identical demand and held an action of protest in Chisinau.

“The past few weeks have become a most shameful period in the Moldovan government’s history,” the Communist Party leader, former President Vladimir Voronin said in this connection.

Observers say the resounding scandal has grown over into a political crisis fraught with a breakup of the ruling Alianta pentru Integrare Europeana /Alliance for European Integration/ coalition, which included the Democrats controlling the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Liberal Democrats, who are represented in the government by the Prime Minister and the Interior Minister.

Conflict situations among the parties constituting the coalition have sprung up more than once in the past. To prevent the escalation of the scandal, which has clearly taken on a political taint, the coalition leaders have decided to set up a special parliamentary commission.

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