Moldova heads towards minority government

By bne IntelliNews January 22, 2015

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Moldova’s three main pro-EU parties failed to reach an agreement on forming a ruling coalition by the self-imposed deadline of January 21, despite encouragement from their European partners the previous day. A parliament session on January 21 ended without the appointment of a speaker, amid the lack of a clear political majority.

Vlad Filat, president of the largest of the three pro-EU parties, the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM), said that negotiations are continuing. However, Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) president Marian Lupu is calling for a minority PDLM-PDM cabinet, - excluding the Liberal Party (PL) - with the formal or informal support of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM).

Despite expectations of a PLDM-PDM-PL coalition, this alternative scenario is gradually gaining ground. It would involve the PLDM appointing Natalia Gherman-Snegur, the daughter of Moldova’s first president Mircea Snegur, as prime minister, and forming a government with the PDM, with the support of the PCRM.

Half of the three-month period allowed by the constitution for the formation of a functioning ruling coalition has already passed without any visible progress. Lawmakers have been summoned again on January 22, but there are no indications that the political deadlock will be resolved.

However, accepting the PCRM’s support would mean that Moldova’s new government would diverge from its pro-EU orientation before the November 30 election. While not openly advocating entry to the Russian-led Custom Union, Voronin and his party are not in favour of European integration and opposed the Association Agreement signed with the EU in 2014. A minority government with PCRM support could be expected to limit reforms and might result in alteration of the Association Agreement.

PCRM leader Vladimir Voronin has offered to conditionally support a speaker and minority cabinet nominated by the PLDM and PDM. The Communists’ conditions including replacing acting Prime Minister Iurie Leanca and the right to nominate one of the two deputy parliament speakers. Filat is expected to accept these conditions given his rivalry with Leanca, even though the PLDM said before the elections that Leanca would keep his position, according to the head of think tank Politicon, Anatol Taranu, Infotag reported.

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