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Moldovan Democrats forge coalition with ex-Communists

December 24, 2015, 18:45 UTC+3 CHISINAU
The coalition is planning to nominate its own candidate to the prime minister’s post as counterweight to presidential candidate Ion Sturza
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Moldova's Parliament

Moldova's Parliament

© EPA/DUMITRU DORU

CHISINAU, December 24 /TASS/. The Democratic Party of Moldova (DPM) has created a coalition with a group of deputies who have split from the Communist faction of the Moldovan parliament. The coalition is planning to nominate its own candidate to the prime minister’s post as counterweight to presidential candidate Ion Sturza, who was appointed by Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti earlier this week.

Sergey Syrbu, a Democratic Party of Moldova deputy, said on Thursday that 34 deputies in the 101-seat Moldovan parliament had signed a declaration.

The new coalition will be called the Social Democratic Platform in Moldova. "It should form the nucleus of a stable parliamentary majority," Syrbu said. "By this decision, the Democrats are assuming responsibility for the situation in the country, which has found itself on the verge of a new political crisis," Syrbu went on to say.

"When the president-proposed candidate to prime minister Ion Struza fails to win the parliament’s support, we are going to submit our own candidate to the head of state," Syrba said.

Moldova’s Party of Socialists, which controls the biggest faction of 24 deputies in the 101-seat Moldovan parliament, seeks early parliamentary elections and will support no candidate to the prime minister’s post from pro-European parties, the party leader, Igor Dodon, told journalists.

"Sturza who headed the Moldovan government in 1999 is remembered for corruption and delayed pensions and salaries, which were frequently paid in flour and rubber overshoes. The Socialist will not vote for such a candidate to the prime minister’s post," Dodon said, adding that Moldova was extremely poor under Sturza’s premiership and huge masses of people were leaving it in search of a better life in other countries.

Dodon believes that a certain group of Moldovan oligarchs stood behind Sturza’s nomination. "Their goals have got nothing to do with Moldova’s interests. They want to cover their crimes and create an illusion of renovation by using an old and discredited politician," Dodon said.

According to Moldova’s constitution, the candidate to the prime minister’s post has got 15 days for his cabinet and submit it and his programme to parliament for approval. Sturza needs the support of parliamentary majority in the 101-seat parliament.

Earlier this week, 14 deputies from the 21-member Communist party faction announced their intention to quit it. Observers say that in coalition with the Democratic Party of Moldova, which now has 20 mandates; 13 deputies of the Liberal Party of Moldova and a number of independent MPs, they stand every chance to form a majority in parliament.

The government of Liberal Democrat Valeriu Strelet stepped down under pressure from opposition parties supported by the Democratic Party of Moldova on October 29. It happened amidst mass opposition riots and a split in the ruling "Alliance for European Integration", which comprises the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (LDPM); the Democratic Party of Moldova (DPM); and the Liberal Party (LP). A fight for power among the former allies prevented them from forming the parliamentary majority and approving a new government for the past two months despite pressure from the United States and the European Union that urged the Moldovan authorities to go ahead with European integration and start a campaign against corruption.

Last week, opposition leaders in Moldova accused Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti of usurping power because of his inability to nominate a candidate for the prime minister’s post for 6 months.

Marian Lupu, the leader of the Democratic Party of Moldova, threatened President Timofti with impeachment if he nominated a candidate to the prime minister’s post without consultations with representatives of other parties in the Moldovan parliament. The presidential press service responded with a statement, which accused the democrats of exerting pressure on Timofti demanding he nominate businessman Vladimir Plakhotnyuk as candidate to the post of Moldova’s prime minister. The local media calls Plakhotnyuk "the grey cardinal of the Moldovan politics." President Timofti has asked western diplomats for support because of pressure exerted on him and his family.

Moldova has been shaken by anti-government protests for the past 3 months. The situation became worse after Moldova’s former prime minister, Vladimir Filat, had been arrested on suspicion of corruption. Filat is the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova, which forms the nucleus of the pro-European coalition. Later, the parliament voted for the resignation of a government led by Liberal Democrat Valeriu Strelet.

The fall of the second cabinet over the past 6 months has led to a new collapse of the ruling Alliance for European Integration, which has been in power in Moldova for the past five years. Moldova’s ruling pro-European coalition includes the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova; the Democratic Party of Moldova and the Liberal Party.

Unlike in Moldova, the Supreme Council (parliament) of Transdniestria, an unrecognized republic, which is officially part of Moldova, has approved Pavel Prokudin as the republic’s new prime minister at its first plenary session held since the November 29 parliamentary elections.

The deputies voted unanimously for Prokudin who had been appointed by Transdniestria’s President Yevgeny Shevchuk.

Prokudin told the lawmakers he would focus on decreasing Moldova’s enormous budget deficit, which was the root cause for delaying salaries and pensions.

"A package of anti-crisis documents is to be adopted in January," Prokudin said.

Prokudin is 49 years old. He is currently combining the jobs of a souvenir factory director and director of the Bendery Fortress military memorial complex. He is going to succeed Tatiana Turanskaya, who was elected to parliament in the November 29 parliamentary elections, as a new prime minister.

According to the constitution of Transdniestria, the head of state appoints the prime minister with parliament’s consent. The deputies have the right to reject the proposed candidate but no more than two times. After the third attempt, the president has the right to appoint his candidate and dissolve parliament.

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