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Moldova ruling coalition pledges stability, path to European future

May 25, 19:44 UTC+3 CHISINAU
The parliamentary majority formed around the Democratic Party of Moldova is stable and can establish order in the country, the party’s first vice-chairman says
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© AP Photo/John McConnico

CHISINAU, May 25. /TASS/. The parliamentary majority formed around the Democratic Party of Moldova is stable and can establish order in the country, the party’s first vice-chairman pledged on Wednesday.

"I make a pledge to maintain stability and political equilibrium in the country, which is vitally important for normal functioning of state institutions and for the development of a healthy business environment," oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc said at an economic forum in Chisinau, attended by the former president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, and other foreign and Moldovan politicians.

Moldovan people are tired of crises, said Plahotniuc, who is ‘coordinator of the ruling coalition’. "They want to live better. They want tranquility and order in the country. In order to ensure this we must keep following a European path, and this will help us get things that attract us in European countries," the politician noted.

He highlighted the problem of corruption, saying fight against it would be among the primary goals of the coalition. This is an old problem that is deeply rooted and can be solved only through reforms in all state institutions," he noted.

Plahotniuc also pledged "to reform controlling agencies that stifle business". "This approach scares away potential investors. The government must offer a clear and simple procedure for regulating control over the business," he added.

Moldovan people don’t trust pro-European authorities

Since last spring, Moldova has been rocked by huge protests of the opposition demanding dismissal of the coalition of pro-European parties that came to power in 2009. Its rule was marked by a chain of corruption scandals. A huge corruption scandal broke out and the former Prime Minister Vlad Filat was arrested in October 2015 on charges of withdrawing 1 billion euros from three Moldovan banks; a sum, which equalizes the country’s annual budget. Filat’s Liberal Democratic Party formed the nucleus of the then ruling coalition. Due to corruption scandals and a slump in living standards, more than 80% of the population don’t trust the authorities, suggest opinions polls.

For the first time in the history of Moldova, protests united the left (Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova and Our Party) and the right (Dignity and Truth (DA) Civil Platform). They share demand for the resignation of the government, but DA platform activists seek European integration and accuse the country’s leadership of "compromising this slogan through engaging in theft".

Protests led to a new disintegration of the ruling coalition with the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova forming its nucleus, and arrest of Filat on charges of withdrawing 1 billion euros from three Moldovan banks; a sum, which equalizes the country’s annual budget.

Filat denies wrongdoing, saying Plahotniuc is behind his arrest, as thus he removed a political competitor in fight for power inside the ruling alliance. After the scandal, the Liberal Democratic Party went into opposition, and the Democrats and the Liberals formed a new ruling majority with a group of defectors from the opposition Party of Communists.

Grey cardinal

At the start of the year, the democrats suggested for premiership Vladimir Plahotniuc, dubbed as "grey cardinal of Moldova’s politics" by local mass media. However, the president did not back the candidate after consultations with EU diplomats/ Pavel Filip, also a nominee of the democrats, became Prime Minister of Moldova instead. Plahotniuc himself visited the US in May, meeting with Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs presenting himself as coordinator of the coalition.

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