Moldova: Socialists Topple Govt In No-Confidence Vote


The cabinet of ministers led by pro-European Prime Minister Maia Sandu was ousted after losing a no-confidence motion initiated by the pro-Russian Socialist Party.

By Madalin Necsutu

Prime Minister Maia Sandu’s cabinet was ousted on Tuesday when it lost a no-confidence motion by 101 to 63 votes, only five months after it came to office.

It was defeated by the combined votes of the pro-Russian Socialist Party, PSRM, and the Democratic Party which was led until recently by the oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc.

The main issue at stake was the attempt to appoint a new General Prosecutor.

The process was launched last week but then was cancelled by the Justice Minister Olesea Stamate after she said she realised that the results were about to be rigged by Socialist representatives on the selection panel, as she claimed has happened before.

The government led by Sandu came to office on June 8 this year, after the PSRM and the pro-European ACUM bloc signed a temporary agreement and formed a parliamentary majority that was described as an “unholy alliance”.

The coalition committed itself to root out oligarch Plahotniuc’s influence, especially in the judiciary, and to free the state institutions from political control.

Before the no-confidence vote, Sandu expressed anger that the PSRM was now seeking to bring down the administration.

“You are so cowardly that you cannot say openly that you are afraid of true justice. You betrayed not only a government, but also the people who put their hopes in you,” Sandu told her former governmental partners.

The PSRM filed the no-confidence motion in the cabinet led by Sandu on November 6 after the government launched a new amendment to the Law on the Prosecutor’s Office, part of attempts to reform the judiciary, which are backed by the EU.

The Socialists said that Sandu’s cabinet had demonstrated total political and professional inability to solve current problems and to stop deepening the crisis in all spheres of society in Moldova.

They also sought to blame Sandu for the failure of the judicial reform.

The development has raised concerns in Brussels.

Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for EU foreign affairs and security policy, said that it sent “worrying signals for the reform process in the country”.

“The coalition had started a number of initiatives to deliver on the key commitments made since June notably in the fields of the fight against corruption, independence of the judiciary and investigation into the banking fraud,” Kocijancic said in a statement.

Sandu will now have to file her resignation to the president within three days, according to the law. After the resignation, the president will convene new consultations with Moldova’s parliamentary factions.

If a new government is not agreed in three months, early elections will be triggered.

However, if there are two failed attempts to install a government, early elections can be triggered even before the three months are over.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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