Moldova’s political system: Introduction The politics of the Republic of Moldova operate in a system of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, where the PM leads both the government and a multi-party structure. The government exercises executive power. Both the government and the parliament vest legislative power. The judiciary is independent of both the executive and the legislature. Issues currently at the top of Moldova’s political agenda include the unrecognized secession of the republic of Transnistria, relations with neighboring Romania and entry into the European Union.
Moldova’s political system: Legislative branch The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova (Parlamentul Republicii Moldova) is a unicameral assembly with 101 seats. Its affiliates are elected through popular vote every 4 years. In turn, the parliament elects a president, who serves as the country’s head of state. The President names a PM as head of government and the PM gathers a cabinet; both the PM and her or his cabinet need to be approved by parliament.
Moldova’s political system: Government Capital (and largest city): Chişinău Official languages: Moldovan* Demonym: Moldovan, Moldovian President: Nicolae Timofti Prime Minister: Vlad Filat President of the Parliament: Marian Lupu Legislature: Parliament *According to the Constitution of Moldova; really a Romanian dialect.
Moldova’s political system: Current parties in parliament Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (Partidul Comuniştilor din Republica Moldova, PCRM) Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (Partidul Liberal Democrat din Moldova, PLDM) Democratic Party of Moldova (Partidul Democrat din Moldova, PDM) Liberal Party (Partidul Liberal, PL)
Moldova’s political system: Executive branchOffice, name President and PM President: Nicolae Timofti The parliament elects the president for a 4-year term. Party: None According to Moldova’s constitution, the Since: 23 March 2012 president, on seeking permission from parliament, will appoint a nominee for Prime Minister: Vlad Filat the office of PM; within 15 days of being Party: Liberal Democratic nominated, the PM candidate will ask Party, Alliance for European for a vote of confidence from the parliament relating to her/his work Integration program and whole cabinet. Since: 25 September 2009 The cabinet is subsequently chosen by the PM designate, who needs to be approved by parliament.
Moldova’s political system: Ministries Moldova has sixteen Ministries of Government: Ministry of the Internal Affairs of Moldova Ministry of Finance Ministry of Transport and Roads Infrastructure Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Ministry of Economy Ministry of Education Ministry of Construction and Regional Development Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Protection Ministry of Defense Ministry of Justice Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry of Health Ministry of Culture Ministry of Environment Ministry of Youth and Sports Ministry of Informational Technologies and Communication
Moldova’s political system: Judicial branch The Supreme Court of Moldova; the Constitutional Court is the single power of constitutional judicature.
Moldova’s political system: Administrative divisions Moldova is split into 32 raions (raioane), 3 municipalities (Chişinău, Bălți and Bender), one self-governing region (Gagauzia), and the breakaway republic of Transnistria, whose position is the subject of disagreement.
Moldova’s political system: International organization participation ACCT, BIS, BSEC, CCC, CE, CEI, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (candidate).
Moldova’s political system: Legal issues There is controversy over whether elections and politics in Moldova are conducted in a free and democratic climate on the part of specific groups. The United States Senate has held commission inquiries that examined Moldova’s elections, such as arrests and persecution of opposition politicians, threats and censorship of independent media, and state owned media bias favoring candidates supported by the Communist-led Moldovan Government. Other opponents of the Communist Party government have criticized it as being dictatorial. Nonetheless, former U.S. President George W. Bush said that “We note and welcome Moldova’s positive record since independence in conducting free and fair elections and in implementing democratic reforms.” There have also been accounts of politically motivated arrests as well as arrests lacking suitable lawful grounds; such arrests are claimed to be conducted against opponents and dissidents of the Communist Party government of ex-President Vladimir Voronin. In one specific instance, which was condemned by Western groups and individuals, opposition politican Valeriu Pasat was sentenced to ten years in prison on uncertain grounds. In recent months, the self-governing region of Gagauzia’s leadership has been more voiced in its objections that the Moldovan Government does not respect the region’s statutory-enshrined independence.
Moldova’s political system: Legal issues (cont.) Moldova successfully joined the World Trade Organization and the Southeast European Stability Pact in 2001. Of main importance have been the administration’s attempts to warm relations with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and to fulfill agreements started in 2000 by the previous government; agreements in these areas was decisive, since big government debts that were due in 2002 needed to be postponed. The government has made concerted attempts to look for ways to pay for Moldova’s power supplies. In political terms, the government is dedicated to put forth a budget that will involve social safety net items, including health, education, and raising income and wages. The Moldovan Government backed democracy and human rights in FY 2001. Political parties and other organizations distribute newspapers, which frequently condemn the administration’s policies. There are a number of independent news services, radio stations, and an independent TV station. Legislation passed in 1992 legalized religious freedom, but required that religious groups be recognized by the government.
Moldova’s political system: Human trafficking A Soviet law from 1990 and a parliamentary decision from 1991 that approved creation of social groups provide for independent trade unions. However, the single structure is the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Moldova, the heir to the previous organizations of the Soviet trade union system. The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Moldova has tried to influence administration policy in work issues and has criticized numerous economic policies. Moldovan work law, modeled off ex-Soviet legislation, provides for communal bargaining rights.
Moldova’s political system: Transnistria Moldova’s Declaration of Independence specifically and frankly claims Moldovan sovereignty over the land of Transnistria as the territory is “a component part of the historical and ethnic territory of our people”. Nonetheless, the Declaration itself is used as a disagreement against Moldovan control over Transnistria because it criticizes the nonaggression pact of 23 August 1939 between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany as “null and void” and as the only proper union between the two lands. Transnistria’s population is roughly 32% Moldovan, 31% Ukrainian, and 29% Russian. After it unsuccessfully attempted to establish control over the breakaway region in the War of Transistria, Moldova proposed a somewhat large cultural and political self- governing to the region; this dispute has damaged Moldova’s relations with Russia. The cease fire accord of July 1992 created a tripartite peacekeeping force consisting of Moldovan, Russian, and Transnistrian units; negotiations to solve the conflict persist, and the cease fire remains in effect. The OSCE is also attempting to pass a negotiated resolution and has played an observer mission role for numerous years.
Moldova’s political system: Transnistria (cont.) Some progress made by Russia in the early 2000s in demolishing the weapons and munitions of the Organized Group of Russian Forces stationed in Transnistria have advanced expectations that Russia proposes to obey the Istanbul Accords of 1999. The nation is still divided; the Transnistrian region bordering Ukraine is occupied by separatist forces. The new communist administration has shown increased resolve to solve the escalating pr0blem, but due to fundamental disputes with the separatist authorities in Transnistria concerning the region’s position and complex international political pressure put forth by the U.S., the OSCE, the EU, and particularly Russia, these efforts have not resulted in success.
Nicolae Timofti Born 22 December 1948 in Ciutulești. Current president of Moldova since 23 March 2012; led Moldova’s Supreme Magistrate Council and was elected president by parliament on 16 March 2012. Was born to Elena (b. 1927) and Vasile Timofti and has four siblings; his family moved to Florești early in 1949. His paternal grandfather Tudor Timofti was expelled by Soviet authorities to the Amur region on 6 July 1949; he died there four years later. Graduated from Moldova State University’s law school in 1972 and spent two years in the Soviet Army before he started his career as a judge in 1976. “He is a person who was with us when we started reforms in the 1990s,” Mihai Ghimpu recalled. Was nominated to the Higher Judicial Branch; was appointed chairman of the Supreme Council of the Magistrates in 2011. Made Moldova’s European orientation policy a priority, after he was elected to parliament, because it was the country’s policy throughout the preceding years. Former acting President and Speaker of the Parliament of Moldova Mihai Ghimpu praised Timofti as “…a progressive man, [which] means a lot for the Republic of Moldova.” Is married to the lawyer Margareta Timofti; they have three sons: Alexei (b. 1977) works as a lawyer for the World Bank in Washington, Nicu (b. 1980) is a sports journalist in Chișinău, and Ștefan (b. 1989) studies economics in Chișinău.
Vlad Filat Born 6 May 1969 in Lăpușna. Current PM of Moldova since 25 September 2009. Is the second child of Maria and Vasile Filat. Was raised in a part of Lăpușna called Talcioc, along with his two sisters Ala and Valentina and his brother Ion. Graduated from high school in 1986; worked at the school radio station in 1986 and 1987 until he was called up for military service. Conducted his compulsory military service in the Soviet Army (8 May 1987-15 August 1989) in Simferopol. Studied at the Cooperation College of Chișinău from 1989- 1990 (Kooperativny technikum) and went on to study law at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iaşi from 1990-1994. As a student, he led the “League of Students from Bessarabia in Romania”, a group created by Moldovan students in Romania; among his fellow students in Iaşi was Alexandru Tunas. While he was studying in Iaşi, he met his wife Sanda in the fall of 1991; they were married only three months after they started dating. Began and carried out further business in Romania, between 1994 and 1998; served as general supervisor of “Remold Trading SRL” in Iaşi from 1994-1997 and President of the Administrative Council of “Dosoftei” company in Iaşi from 1997-1998.
Marian Lupu Born 20 June 1966 in Bălți. Current President of Parliament since 30 November 2010; also served as President of Parliament 24 March 2005-5 May 2009. Was acting President of Moldova from 30 December 2010-23 March 2012. His family moved to Chișinău when he was 6 years old. His parents gave him the nickname Marcel because they admired the Romanian accordion composer Marcel Budală (1926-1989). His father, Ilie Ion Lupu (b. 1938), was a professor of mathematics at the Moldova State University and T.G. Shevchenko University as well as a novelist and political advocate of the former Communist Party of Moldova; in the 1990s, his father militated for re- legalization of that party after it was outlawed in 1991. Met Vladimir Voronin only once (in 2008), at an observance where Lupu received the Order of Work Merit. His mother taught French language at the Nicolae Testemițanu State University of Medicine and Pharmacy. Was an affiliate of Komsomol from 1980-1988 and an affiliate of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1988-1991. Studied at “Gheorghe Asachi” High School of Chișinău until 1983; also studied Economics at Moldova State University until 1987 and at Plekhanov Moscow Institute of the National Economy from 1987- 1991 in Moscow, where he acquired his Ph.D in Economics. Also attended stages at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. in 1994 and World Trade Organization in Geneva in 1996. Other than his native Romanian, he speaks English, French, and Russian. Was married in 1992 and has two children, Sanda and Cristian.
Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova Communist, far left party. Led by former President Vladimir Voronin. Founded 22 October 1993. Is the only communist party to have had a governing majority in the ex-Soviet republics. Another communist party, the Communist Party of Moldova, was founded in 2012; it claims that the PCRM is not communist, but social democratic. Holds 42/101 seats in the Moldovan parliament and 10/32 seats in Moldova’s districts. Is a member of Union of Communist Parties – Communist Party of the Soviet Union (International affiliation) and Party of the European Left (European affiliation).
Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova Liberal-conservative, centre-right political party. Its Founding Congress was held on 8 October 2007; current PM Vlad Filat was elected as its leader. Filat, formerly a notable affiliate of the Democratic Party of Moldova who was upset with the approach that political party took under Dumitru Diacov’s leadership, was originally the focus of the party’s initiative group. Almost immediately, a large number of local subdivisions of the Christian Democratic Popular Party, saddened with Iurie Rosca’s policy of collaboration with the Communist Party of Moldova, joined the PLDM. Drew numerous notable affiliates of the civil society. Won 16.57% of the votes during the 29 July 2009 parliamentary election; is represented in the parliament by 18 representatives. Almost doubled its results at the early parliamentary election held on 28 November 2010; acquired 32.2% of the votes and had 14 more representatives. Holds 32/101 seats in the Moldovan parliament and 15/32 seats in Moldova’s districts. Member of Alliance for European Integration (National affiliation) and International Democrat Union (International affiliation) and observer member of European People’s Party (European affiliation).