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POLITICS IN TRANSLATION  / MOLDOVAN POLITICS: WHO'S WHO
29.09.2013


Michael Zeller received a bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Louisville in 2013, with minors in history and Russian studies. He participated in SRAS's Russian Studies Abroad program over the 2011-2012 school year and an SRAS-arranged internship at Memorial, a human rights NGO in Moscow. He went on to spend his summer studying abroad in China. He is currently at the University of Glasgow on an Erasmus Mundus Scholarship working on two master’s degrees: one in political science, the other in Russian, Central and Eastern European Studies. He intends to further his studies with a doctoral degree and hopes to make a career from his language skills and knowledge.

This article was published as part of SRAS's free monthly newsletter. Want the newsletter?


 

Transnistria-map
A map showing Moldova and the disputed area of Transnistria. Map from Wikipedia. 

Moldovan Politics
Major Issues and
Personages

By Michael Zeller
and Josh Wilson

Moldovan politics are some of Europe's most complicated. The country gives heavy authority to its parliament. In the 2000's, the country was the first in Europe to return the communists to power through free elections – electing a communist president and giving his party, for a time, a supermajority in parliament. With that exception, parliament has generally been controlled by loose and fractured coalitions of nationalists, liberals, and other smaller parties which have usually been united only in that they oppose the communists – not in how they would rule the country.

Major divisions in society have thus given the country a slow and inefficient government, an erratic economy, and resultant social and infrastructural problems.

Contemporary Moldovan politics have been most shaped by two issues: 1) the 2009-2012 Constitutional Crisis and 2) the War of Transdnestria from 1990.

1. The 2009-2012 Constitutional Crisis

The Moldovan constitution was amended in 2000 to require that parliament elect the president by a three-fifths majority. However, the Moldovan people have, since 2009, voted approximately 50% for the Communists and 50% for the coalition of parties which opposes the Communists. Although the constitution does provide for interim presidents (the Speaker of the Parliament or the Prime Minister, in that order), the constitution requires that snap parliamentary elections be held until a president is elected. Thus, an endless cycle of parliamentary elections was triggered and political stalemate was created.

A popular referendum was held in 2010 to amend the constitution again and return popular elections for the presidency. This was an attempt to end the crisis. Although more 87% of votes were cast in favor of the amendment, turnout was only slightly over 30%, just under the required 33% to be valid under Moldovan law.

2. The 1990-1992 War of Transnistria

Transnistria is an ethnically Russian republic that has held de facto independence from Moldova since 1992, although without international recognition. After Moldovan nationalist groups gained control of parliament and, in 1989, replaced Cyrillic Russian with Latinized Moldovan as the official state language, a political conflict was sparked that eventually led to Transnistria and Gaugazia, another ethnic republic, declaring independence. While Gaugazia was eventually brought back via peaceful means, armed conflict broke out with Transnistria, which in turn was supported by the Russian Army and continues to be protected by Russian peacekeepers. How to effectively reconcile with Transnistria and how to manage relations with Russia are two issues that Moldova has grappled with ever since.

Nicolae-Timofti
Nicolae Timofti

President
(Independent)

 



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Nicolae Timofti is the current President of Moldova. His controversial election in March of 2012 ended Moldova's nearly four-year constitutional crisis.

Timofti was born in 1948 in the small northern village of Ciutulesti. He graduated with a law degree from Moldova (Chisinau) State University in 1972. Before his election, he spent his entire career—more than 35 years—in Moldova’s judicial system.

Timofti’s election was possible only after three rounds of parliamentary elections pushed The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) into the minority. Although the PCRM stated that they would boycott elections for any candidate the Alliance for European Integration (AEI) nominated, and act which would push the country into a fourth round of parliamentary elections, three members of the Communist party stated that they would defect and vote for a non-affiliated candidate, if one were nominated, in the interests of resolving the crisis.

When the Alliance for European Integration (AEI) nominated Timofti, a candidate with no political affiliations or experience, these three Communist deputies: Igor Dodon, former Minister of Trade and Economics under the communist government, and Zinaida Greceanâi, former Prime Minister and former nominated (but unelected) Communist candidate, along with parliamentary deputy Veronica Abramciuc, defected to the Socialist Party of Moldova and secured Timofti’s election.

While this was lauded as a victory for Moldova’s reformers, critics argue that during his tenure as Chairman of the Supreme Council of Magistrates, a body charged with appointing judges and taking disciplinary action against judges when needed, Timofti did little to reform Moldova's notoriously corrupt judicial system.

As President, Timofti has almost no political mandate and little political capital with which to work. Furthermore, the AEI coalition that engineered his election, while able to effectively unite against the Communists, is an otherwise diverse and fractured coalition. Timofti stresses Moldova’s continued desire to integrate with the European Union, thereby aligning himself with AEI's central plank. However, with parliament still immobilized by party gridlock and with the largely state-based economy deprived of consistent leadership, there is little President Timofti can do to advance the goal of European integration or even to pursue the economic and political development of Moldova itself.

Moldova’s constitution allots the President significant oversight of foreign policy and national defense, and affords powers of decrees, nominations, and consultation. Yet much of this is checked by parliamentary mechanisms. Thus, with a fragile and often fractured ruling coalition, Timofti’s election has failed to spur Moldova’s government to a significantly greater action; while the constitutional crisis has been solved, a political crisis continues.

The parliamentary elections set for late 2014 could break the impasse and furnish Timofti with a more pliable legislative composition. Alternatively, a victory for the Communist Party could portend Timofti’s removal since the Communists boycotted his election—as they have boycotted all legislative action taken by the ruling coalition of parties.

Vladimir-Voronin
Vladimir Voronin

Leader of the Opposition

Co-Founder:
The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM)


Two-term former President
(PCRM)

Vladimir Voronin is the longstanding head of The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM). Europe's first democratically-elected Communist leader, Voronin and his party ruled Moldova from 2001-2009 and are now the country's primary opposition party, controlling 42 of 101 seats.

At the age of 72—born in 1941—Voronin is a somewhat archetypal, aged communist leader. He was raised by his mother, his father having died while fighting against the Soviet annexation of Bessarabia in 1940. He holds several degrees – including in economics, political science, engineering, and law.

From 1961 to 1991, Voronin served in numerous administrative roles within various branches of the Soviet government and Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Simultaneously, he studied at several academies, including the Academy of Social Sciences (graduated in 1983) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs Academy (graduated in 1991). Voronin became Minister of Internal Affairs in 1988, from whence he strongly opposed the protests that advocated independence from the Soviet Union.

For more than two years after Moldova’s independence (declared August 1991), the communist party was banned. In 1993, however, Voronin helped create a new communist party, the PCRM, and was elected its leader shortly thereafter. After unsuccessful bids for the presidency and the post of prime minister, Voronin was elected President by parliamentary vote shortly after the 2001 elections. He served in this post for two terms, and through the controversial parliamentary elections of April 2009, during which he used the state police forces to quell protest activity. He resigned the presidency following the victory of the AEI coalition in the July 2009 elections.

During his presidential tenure, Voronin attempted to strike a balance between Moldova's foreign policy interests in the East and West. He pursued cooperation with the EU, but western-oriented objectives were undermined by his emphasis on good relations with Russia (which included, among other stances, opposition to NATO).

Furthermore, Voronin typically took a hardline stance on the Transnistrian conflict, refusing to negotiate with the de facto military regime in power there. Although resolving the conflict was a major stated goal of his administration, and while his administration originally accepted a Russian-brokered settlement in 2003, he soon backtracked on the deal and branded the Transnistrian government "a transnational criminal group" and called for an economic blockade of the territory. This resulted in considerably worsened relations between the two adversaries.

Although his party has consistently placed first in the polls as Moldova's most popular single political party, the PCRM has not held a supermajority in parliament since 2005. After 2009, Voronin failed to form a coalition to retain his position as president, sparking the constitutional crisis in which his party used its position as the dominant opposition to blockade any candidacy other than one made by itself.

The crisis significantly weakened the PCRM, costing it some support in the polls and the membership of several influential politicians including those that left the party specifically to support Timofti’s independent candidacy as well as influential members such as politician Marian Lupu (see below) and business magnate Vladimir Plahotniuc (see below).

Voronin's presidency has come under scrutiny for the wealth amassed by his son, Oleg Voronin, during that time. While no tangible links between President Voronin and his son’s fortune have been produced, the possibility of nepotistic corruption has provoked the ire of many voters in Moldova. Voronin and his supporters insist that charges have been fabricated to defame him and harass his son.

Voronin remains a member of parliament and the head of PCRM. Should the ruling coalition falter or flag in the time remaining before 2014 elections, Voronin could return to the Presidency.

Vlad_Filat
Vlad Filat

Founder and Leader:
Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova

Former Prime Minister 

 

 

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Vlad Filat is a former Prime Minister and the current President of Moldova's center-right Liberal Democratic Party (PLDM), which controls about a third of the Moldovan Parliament and the office of Prime Minister.

Vlad Filat was born on in 1969 in Lăpușna in northeastern Moldova. Following his discharge from the Soviet army in the summer of 1989, Filat began collegiate studies, eventually graduating with a law degree from the University of Iași (Romania) in 1994.

Filat entered politics in 1998, after working as an executive in a private trading firm for a few years. As part of the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM), he served in several departmental and ministerial roles, including director of the Privatization and State Property Administration Department. His critics accuse him of having profited considerably from corrupt privatization practices. 

In the 2005 parliamentary elections, which were marked by significant gains for democratic and reform parties at the expense of Moldova’s ruling communist party, Filat won a seat as part of the opposition coalition, The Electoral Bloc for Democratic Moldova. He broke with his party in 2007 and established the center-right PLDM.

When the constitutional crisis began in 2009, Filat helped form the Alliance for European Integration—comprising Filat’s PLDM (the predominant faction), the Liberal Party, the PDM, and the Our Moldova Alliance party. The Alliance garnered just over 50 percent of the vote, and 53 of the 101 seats in parliament, enough to control the parliament, but not enough to end the crisis. Filat served as Prime Minister throughout the crisis and, in December, 2010, also briefly served as one of the succession of interim presidents that Moldova had from 2009 to 2012.

Filat’s tenure as Prime Minister was marked by a lack of meaningful legislative activity. The crisis precluded any such activity and the fractured Alliance had divided departmental and ministerial control among its diverse and often feuding parties in such a way that Filat was only able to serve as a sort of chief administrator to the governmental departments.

Filat was ousted as Prime Minister after several government ministers and businessmen took part in an illegal hunting party in 2012. A member of the party was shot and killed—whether it was an accident is not known. The participants conspired, unsuccessfully, to conceal the incident. “Huntgate,” as it came to be known, was strongly pursued by Filat’s adversaries (though no direct connection with the Prime Minister was ever presented) and eventually it swelled into a massive indictment against the government.

The Communist and Democrat parties joined in a vote of censure in March 2013 that ousted Filat as Prime Minister. Filat remains a member of parliament, succeeded as Prime Minister by Iurie Leancă, who is also a member of the PLDM. A large electoral victory for PLDM in the 2014 elections could send Filat back to the post of Prime Minister.

Iurie-Leanca
Iurie Leancă

Prime Minister

Member:
Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova
 

Current Prime Minister Iurie Leancă, of the center-right Liberal Democratic Party (PLDM), is the son of a Romanian father and Bulgarian mother. He was born in 1963 in the southern town of Cimislia. Until recently, Leancă was a career diplomat.

He graduated in 1986 from Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO), renowned as college for future diplomats and foreign service workers. From 1986 to 1993, Leancă worked in Soviet/Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He served as the Minister-Councilor in the Moldovan Embassy to the United States from 1993 to 1997. Thereafter, he worked in several capacities for Moldova's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In late 2001, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of the Metropolitan Church of Bessarbia, which had brought a suit alleging that the Moldovan government had refused to recognize the church and thus was infringing on its right to operate and own property. Leancă was accused by lawmakers of not properly preparing the defense for the case and was forced to resign in early 2002.

After seven years of work independently and in the private sector as a consultant, Leancă ran for parliament as part of the PLDM. He was elected and joined Prime Minister Vlad Filat’s cabinet as Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. In that role, Leancă spearheaded the “Rethink Moldova” initiative, aimed at supplanting the country’s image abroad as a poor, backwards post-Soviet republic with a new image as a developing, modernizing country committed to European ideals and integration into the EU. That effort garnered significant support from the West, including monetary aid from the EU, US, IMF, and World Bank.

Following a political scandal in late 2012—known colloquially as “Huntgate” (see above)—that eventually resulted in a vote of censure against then-Prime Minister Vlad Filat, President Timofti appointed Iurie Leancă acting Prime Minister. He was subsequently confirmed to the post by a parliamentary vote of confidence, supported by the new “Pro-European Coalition”—consisting of the PLDM, Democratic Party, and the Liberal Reform Party (a seven-member offshoot of the Liberal Party; see entry on Ion Hadârcă, below).

Like the rest of the government, however, parliamentary deadlock has significantly reduced Leancă’s ability to conduct governmental business.

Marian-Lupu
Marian Lupu

Leader:
Democratic Party of Moldova 

 Former Minister of Economy 

Former Presidential Candidate and Member of
The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM)

Marian Lupu leads the center-left Democratic Party of Moldova, which controls 15 seats in Moldova's 101-seat parliament.

The son of a pair of professors, Marian Lupu was born in 1966. He studied economics at Moldova (Chisinau) State University and received a doctoral degree in economics at the prestigious Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (then known as the Plekhanov Moscow Institute of the National Economy). After the disintegration of the USSR, Lupu took additional courses in economics sponsored by the International Monetary Fund (in 1994) and the World Trade Organization (in 1996).

Throughout the 1990s, Lupu climbed the ranks in the Ministry of Economy, notably serving as director of Moldova’s TACIS program (an EU initiative aimed at transitioning former Soviet states to market economic systems). Prime Minister Vasil Tarlev appointed him Minister of Economy in mid-2003, where he served until the parliamentary elections in March 2005. In that cycle, Lupu won a seat with The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) majority and was then elected Speaker of Parliament.

Many considered Lupu a likely successor to then-President Voronin (who was constitutionally obliged to step down after his second consecutive term) when the April 2009 elections were set. However, after the civil unrest following the elections was quelled, Voronin supported the candidacy of Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanâi (who had succeeded Tarlev the year before). After her candidacy failed on consecutive attempts—despite receiving unanimous support from the PCRM—and the parliament dissolved for another election, Lupu abandoned the communists.

He joined, and became the new leader of, the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM). His defection drained significant support from the PCRM, which lost 12 seats (from 60 to 48) while the previously unrepresented PDM won 13 seats. Together with the other opposition party leaders, Lupu formed the governing AEI coalition.

AEI put Lupu forward as its presidential candidate. However, as the PCRM regarded him as a traitor, they boycotted his election. Thus, Lupu remained a factional leader within parliament until Acting President Mihai Ghimpu dissolved parliament and called for new elections late in 2010. In those elections, the AEI coalition gained six seats, bringing their total seats to 59, two short of the number necessary to elect a president. Lupu was chosen as Speaker of Parliament and thereby assumed the interim Presidency. He occupied that office for approximately fifteen months, until communist defections allowed for the election of Nicolae Timofti (see above).

Lupu is a somewhat enigmatic figure. Before quitting the PCRM, he seemed a simple, albeit talented, technocrat with some oratorical flair. His reputation as a reforming progressive politician, both during his time in the PCRM and afterwards, is based more on his publicized stance rather than policy initiation, of which he has little record. He remains leader of the Democratic Party and was, until April of 2013, Speaker of Parliament. Despite the lifelong enmity he won by leaving the Communists, Lupu will probably stay an influential power broker in Moldovan politics for years to come.


 mihai-ghimpu-web
Mihai Ghimpu

Leader:
The Liberal Party


Co-Founder (former):
The Popular Front of Moldova

 

 

 

 

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Mihai Ghimpu is the leader of the recently fractured Liberal Party, which once controlled 12 seats of parliament. After the split, Ghimpu now has just 5.

Born 19 November 1951, Ghimpu studied law at Moldova State University from 1974 to 1978. After working as a lawyer for a decade, Ghimpu cofounded the Popular Front of Moldova in 1988, a well-organized coalition movement that advocated for Moldova to reunite with Romania. The Popular Front would become one of the strongest voices for the nationalist policies that sparked the Transnistrian War.

Ghimpu was elected to parliament as an independent candidate because, in the 1990 elections, the USSR allowed only the Communist Party and independents to register. However, Popular Front members took 27% of the seats and, joining with other independents and moderate Communists, formed a majority in parliament that year, pushing the Communists into the opposition. Ghimpu was one of the politicians to vote for Molodva's successful 1991 Declaration of Independence.

The Front lost most of the credibility it had, however, after it was publically blamed for the disastrous Transnistrian War. The coalition also proved fractured and unable to govern effectively. It broke up in 1993.

Ghimpu then joined the Bloc of Intellectuals in 1994 and then, after they broke up, the Reform Party in 1997. However, since the Reform Party failed to pass the seven percent threshold, Ghimpu did not return to parliament after the 1998 elections.

The Reform Party elected Ghimpu chairman in 1998. The party—which was renamed the Liberal Party in 2005—did not receive enough votes to win seats in parliament until July 2009. Then, after his party garnered over 14 percent of the vote (resulting in 15 seats), Ghimpu joined Vlad Filat and Marian Lupu in the AEI coalition. Together they made Filat the Prime Minister, Lupu the President, and Ghimpu Speaker of Parliament.

However, with the Communists boycotting votes to elect Lupu, Ghimpu assumed the office of interim President. Serving in that capacity until late 2010, Ghimpu focused on moving Moldova towards EU membership. Some expected him to push for Moldova’s reunification with Romania—since he had strongly supported that step since he took up politics. Ghimpu, however, decided not to pursue that initiative, believing that he did not have the proper mandate to do so. He did, however, take many initiatives that further infuriated the Communists – such as setting up a government commission to "study the crimes of the Soviet regime in Moldova," instituting Soviet Occupation Day (a national holiday to remember those crimes), and unveiling the Monument to the Victims of the Soviet Occupation, unveiled in central Chisinau where the main statue of Lenin used to stand.

In May 2013, the Liberal Party suffered an internal power struggle between Ghimpu and Ion Hadarca, former president of Moldovan Popular Front (see below). Seven Liberal Party deputies split with the party to join the Pro-European Coalition as The Liberal Reform Party.

This drastically reduced Ghimpu’s political influence. He has since tried to demonstrate the illegality of the current ruling coalition—arguing that deputies are not permitted to form new parties in the middle of a parliamentary session—but to little effect. The 2014 parliamentary elections could revive his party and wither the offshoot. For now, his future as a major figure in Moldova remains in a very tenuous position.

Ion-Hadarca
Ion Hadârcă

Leader and Co-Founder:
Liberal Reform Party


Leader and Co-Founder (former):
The Popular Front of Moldova 

Ion Hadârcă is the leader of the Liberal Reform Party, a group of deputies that broke with the Liberal Party. The Liberal Reform Party holds seven parliamentary seats and is part of the governing Pro-European Coalition.

Ion Hadârcă was born in Sîngerei in central Moldova in 1949. Hadârcă was a published poet by the age of 16. After completing his compulsory term of military service, Hadârcă enrolled in the Ion Creangă State Pedagogical University. He graduated in 1974 and went on to doctoral studies at the Institute of Language and Literature of the Moldova Academy of Sciences from 1974 to 1978.

Then, Hadârcă began work at the state publishing firm in Chisinau. However, he resigned in protest amid what he said was increasing censorship after the political demonstrations in Poland in the early 1980s. In the late 1980s, under glasnost, he entered politics.

Hadârcă founded the People’s Front of Moldova, leading the coalition into the 1990 parliamentary elections. Despite not being officially recognized, the party ran its candidates as independents and secured, collectively, 27% of the vote. Forming a coalition with other dissenting candidates such as moderate communists, the Front gained a majority in the Congress of Soviets and eventually led the vote for independence in 1991. However, the coalition was fractured, unable to govern effectively, and lost much of its public support after the Front's disastrous nationalist policies led to a civil war with Transnistria.

Hadârcă served two terms and then decided not to stand for election in 1998. Following a decade of political inactivity—wherein he returned to his previous work of composing poetry and translating Russian poetry—Hadârcă joined the Liberal Party, led by Mahai Ghimpu (see above). He was elected to parliament in 2009.

In April 2013 after supporting a motion to replace Ghimpu as President of the Liberal Party with Dorin Chirtoacă (see below), Hadârcă was expelled from the party, but retained his seat in parliament. The following month, he was joined by six Liberal Party MPs who defected from the party to help him create the Liberal Reform Party. If Hadârcă can consolidate this new party and lead a solid group into the 2014 election, he may again become a prominent political leader in Moldova.

Dorin-Chirtoaca
Dorin Chirtoacă

Mayor of Chisinau


Member:
The Liberal Party 

Dorin Chirtoacă is the mayor of Chisinau, Moldova’s capital city. He is a member of the Liberal Party.

Born in 1978, he is the son of Ion Chirtoacă and Valentina Ghimpu, sister of Liberal Party leader Mihail Ghimpu. Chirtoacă was educated in Romania – receiving a baccalaureate degree from Costache Negruzzi College in Iasi and then a law degree from the University of Bucharest in 2001. From 2001 to 2003 he worked as a producer at TVR1, a television station in Romania. In 2003, he joined the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights as their Project Coordinator for Moldova.

Chirtoacă joined his uncle’s Liberal Party in 2005 and was nominated by that party to run for mayor of Chisinau. After two invalidated rounds of voting (due to prohibitively low voter turnout), Chirtoacă came in second to independent candidate Vasile Ursu. In June 2007, he ran again and won, garnering over 60 percent of the vote and defeating the communist candidate, Iordan Veaceslav. Chirtoacă was only 29 when he became mayor, making him the youngest to ever hold that office in Chisinau. He was reelected in 2011, winning just over 50 percent of the vote.

As mayor, Chirtoacă has advocated movement towards EU integration and urged membership in other Western associations, including NATO. Like his uncle, Chirtoacă supports reintegration with Romania, but has not aggressively pursued the matter.

Dorin Chirtoacă is the most prominent politician of his generation. He has cross-party support that could translate into a run for higher office. For the time being, Chirtoacă seems comfortable as mayor of the capital city. However, it is possible that he could declare candidacy for the 2014 parliamentary elections and lead a revitalized Liberal Party therein.


Vladimir-Plahotniuc
Vladimir Plahotniuc


Net Worth:
$1.7 Billion


Member:
Democratic Party of Moldova


Former Member of
The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM)
 

Vladimir Plahotniuc is a high-ranking member of the Democratic Party (PDM) and a wealthy businessman with a personal net worth estimated at about 1.7 billion USD.

Vladimir Plahotniuc was born on New Years’ Day 1966 in central Moldova. He holds several degrees, including an MBA from the Technical University of Moldova (2002) and a bachelor of law degree from the University of European Studies of Moldova (2006).

While his business career has been long, two of Plahotniuc’s most important business ventures were as an executive with Petrom Moldova (a Romanian-owned oil and gas producer) from 2001 to 2011 and as Chairman of Victoriabank (the country’s leading commercial bank) from 2006 to 2011. Additionally, Plahotniuc owns Moldova’s two largest television broadcasters, Prime and TV 2 Plus.

In 2009, Plahotniuc, erstwhile member of the PCRM, joined Marian Lupu in defecting to the Democratic Party. At first, he merely supported the party financially in the same manner he had supported the PCRM. Then, he was elected to parliament in late 2010. He currently occupies several important committee and party positions.

Critics accuse Plahotniuc of corruption on a grand scale, and of using his connections with Voronin and the communist party to enrich himself in the 2000s. Critics say that he now employs the tremendous resources under his control to further grow his fortune and strengthen his political position. Nevertheless, no substantial evidence of criminality has ever been presented against Plahotniuc.

It is not clear whether Plahotniuc aspires to higher political office. However, his current wealth, position, and influence with Moldova’s business, media, and government make Plahotniuc a major, perhaps the chief, "opinion maker" in Moldova.


Igor_Corman
Igor Corman

Speaker of Parliament
(Democratic Party
of Moldova
)


Igor Corman is the Speaker of Parliament for the new Pro-European Coalition and one of Moldova’s leading figures in foreign affairs.

Igor Corman studied history as an undergraduate at Moldova State University, completing his degree in 1990. Corman went on to earn a Ph.D. in history from the University of Iasi (Romania) in 1996. Moreover, Corman completed several post-doctoral studies programs in international affairs, including one at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany. 

In 1995, Corman entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He served in Moldova’s Embassy in Germany from 1997 to 2001, and returned there as ambassador from 2004 to 2009. At the invitation of the Democratic Party, Corman stood for election in 2009. He was appointed to chair the parliamentary Committee of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. Following the disintegration of the Alliance for European Integration coalition in early 2013, Corman and the Democrats joined in the Pro-European Coalition. On 30 May, he was confirmed as Speaker of Parliament.

His rather quick elevation to the speakership has made Corman a much more formidable figure. While he does not have the power to set the legislative agenda due to the enduring parliamentary gridlock, Corman is working to guide Moldova towards European integration and further westernization as an influential government administrator. He has strong cross-party appeal, as evinced by his election to the speakership by all 58 members of the usually fractured governing coalition. An increased share of seats for the Democrats in 2014 could possibly propel Corman to the higher offices of Prime Minister or President.


Iurie-Muntean
Iurie Muntean

Executive Secretary: 
The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM)

Iurie Muntean is the executive secretary for Moldova’s Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM). Executive secretary is the second highest party position. He has served as a parliamentary deputy since 2009.

Iurie Muntean was born in 1972. He has an extensive educational background, most prominently including a law degree from Moldova State University in 1994, an MBA from Bled School of Management (Slovenia) in 2000, and numerous international studies and training seminars.

Professionally, Muntean’s work before entering politics in 2009 is rather evenly divided between two entities: the Ministry of Economy and the Agency for Restructuring and Enterprise Assistance (ARIA). The latter was a joint EU and World Bank initiative aimed at transitioning Moldova to a market economy and stimulating development. In these two economic entities, Muntean specialized in legal consultancy and foreign relations. With nearly 15 years of experience in the field of foreign economic relations and international and domestic law, Muntean is recognized as an authority on Moldova’s economy.

After assuming a seat in parliament with the PCRM, he was appointed to the Committee on Economic Policy, Budget, and Finance. In March 2010, longstanding PCRM leader Vladimir Voronin appointed Muntean executive secretary of the party. Voronin has since hinted that Muntean is a likely heir to the party chairmanship—which Voronin has occupied for two decades—simultaneously dispelling speculation that he would hand over leadership to his son, embattled businessman Oleg Voronin.

Within the party, Muntean is considered a moderate, a strong economic and foreign policy technocrat and supporter of European integration. Despite a slight scandal in which he was photographed dancing to a famous Romanian national hymn, Muntean has consistently opposed reunification with Romania. At the age of 41, he is one of the foremost political figures of the generation that came into adulthood amid the liberalization of the late 1980s and the chaos of the 1990s. Muntean may be the key to a resurgent communist party and an electoral victory in 2014.



More information on

Moldovan Politics
(in English)

Moldova Azi and AllMoldova.com are English-language news portals that offer information about the political, economic and social life in the Republic of Moldova.

Tribuna is an English-language news portal devoted specifically to Moldovan politics.

The Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT is an independent centre of analysis and consultation on the decision-making, political, electoral and socio-economic processes in the Republic of Moldova and in the wider region. ADEPT's mission is to promote the democratic values and support citizen active participation in public affairs.

Parties and Elections in Europe provides a comprehensive database about the parliamentary elections in the European countries and autonomous subdivisions since 1945 and additional informations about the political parties, the political leaders, the composition of governments and the electoral laws.

The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova is available in English online.

Moldova.ORG is an independent (non-political & non-governmental) portal that provides Moldova's and international news and information, operated by The Moldova Foundation (USA).



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