Moldova’s Liberal Party starts procedures to impeach president

Moldova’s Liberal Party starts procedures to impeach president
Liberal Party leader Marian Ghimpu calls for vote on dismissal of President Igor Dodon.
By Carmen Simion in Bucharest September 22, 2017

Moldova’s Liberal Party proposed to the parliament on September 21 that President Igor Dodon should be suspended and a referendum on his dismissal should be held, the party announced.

The party previously tried to impeach the president but did not manage to gather the needed signatures, and is likely to struggle again this time. According to Moldovan law, the signatures of one third of MPs are needed to initiate procedures to dismiss the president, and the votes of two-thirds are needed to dismiss the president. However, the Liberal Party currently has just 11 seats in the 101-seat parliament.

The party has made a raft of accusations against pro-Russian Dodon, accusing him of breaching the constitution by making statements against the Moldovan state, insulting those who support reunification with Romania and opposing the participation of Moldovan troops in a military exercise in Ukraine.

The document posted on the party’s website also claims Dodon violated the constitution when he congratulated Vadim Krasnoselsky on winning the presidential elections in Transnistria, thus recognising the legality of the elections in the breakaway Moldovan republic.

In a video posted on the party’s website, its leader Marian Ghimpu is shown in the parliament brandishing a photo of Dodon in a bathrobe — the president was widely mocked when pictures of him in a bathrobe monogrammed with the word “President” surfaced — in front of a rubbish dump. “Put Dodon in the garbage,” the caption says. 

However, the Socialist Party (PSRM), which supports Dodon, has already called Ghimpu’s move ridiculous, according to unimedia.info.

“It is a ridiculous statement, characteristic of our clown in parliament. Mr. Ghimpu has the task of keeping the party in the political arena, because he will not be in the next parliament,” PSRM MP Vlad Batrincea said.

One Liberal Party MP, Iurie Dirda, is also reported to have quit the party after Ghimpu’s move, saying it was “unrealistic”. 

If Ghimpu is to have any chance of succeeding, he will need to win over MPs from other parties represented in the parliament, such as the senior ruling Democratic Party (PD), the Communists or the Liberal Democratic Party (PLDM). 

Considering the latest events on the Moldovan political scene, the Democrats would have reasons to back the Liberal Party’s move. Dodon has already rejected twice the government’s nomination for the defence minister, Eufen Sturza, according to Unimedia. Dodon has also sent 12 bills back to the parliament.

However, while the pro-EU Democratic Party has clashed with Dodon, who is taking steps to strengthen Moldova’s relationship with Russia, there has been speculation in the Moldovan media that the relationship between the party, headed by the unpopular oligarch Vlad Pahotniuc, and Dodon is not that bad, and that the two could even be collaborating behind the scenes. 

Nonetheless, parliament speaker and Democratic MP Andrian Candu has already called the Liberal Party’s initiative a PR move.

“The president’s resignation, or better said the suspension through impeachment, is a more complicated procedure, it is not carried out only through a decision. According to the procedure, a commission should be set up to analyse the breach. Then, the findings are sent to the Constitutional Court which decides on the circumstances and them the parliament can make a decision,” Candu said, according to deschide.md.

“Even if an impeachment decision is adopted, which can last up to 30 days, a referendum should be organised. It is more complicated than a simple PR action such as that of our colleagues from the Liberal Party,” he added.

 

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