Iulian Ernst -
Moldova’s Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici resigned on June 12, just four months after he was endorsed by parliament, amid a scandal related to his allegedly forged graduation diplomas. He said he did not want his diplomas to become a major topic on the national agenda.
His resignation also follows a row with the leaders of the leaders of the ruling Liberal Democrat Party (PDLM) and Democrat Party (PD), on how to solve the problems at the three banks put under special administration after an alleged $1bn fraud. Moldova is also facing economic recession and growing autonomy pressures not only in Transnistria but in two other regions as well.
The informal agreement between the fragile minority pro-EU coalition and the Communist Party (PCRM) of Vladimir Voronin, is hardly functioning and, in the lead up to local elections on June 14, rumours had been circulating about the formation of a new majority government.
Under the most likely scenario, the coalition will nominate another candidate and keep functioning as it is. Gaburici, a former manager at telecom company Azercell, plays no key role in the political structure of the parties and can be easily replaced. “I am not a politician, I am a manager and I feel I did my job well,” Gaburici said when announcing his resignation.
Over the weekend, Gaburici took a firm step by urging the parliament to replace the central bank governor, head prosecutor and head of financial stability authority. This would be essential for further progress on the investigations on the bank frauds, he implied.
Later, during the week he claimed that he reached an agreement with the ruling parties over some specific reforms in the banking sector. He did not mention the reforms, but the conflict between the government, which advocates the banks’ liquidation, and the ruling parties, which planned to keep them alive, was public. The leaders of the two ruling parties openly announced this week that they wanted to nationalise savings bank BEM, which is at the centre of the alleged bank frauds.
Gaburici will act as interim prime minister until a new candidate is nominated. Considering the difficult and sluggish negotiations after the November parliamentary elections, it is not easy to forecast whether the coalition will nominate another candidate, or the two ruling parties will try to enlarge it in order to gain more support in parliament and promote reforms more effectively.
The most straightforward solution to Gaburici’s resignation is having him replaced with another candidate of the same coalition. If the coalition still depends on the informal support of the PCRM, Voronin will have a say in the nomination.
Alternatively, the coalition could invite the Liberal Party of Mihai Ghimpu to join them, but the conflicts between them have been so open recently, the likelihood for such a scenario is rather low.
Pro-EU sentiment in Moldova has lost much of its impetus amid the political squabbling and lack of lack of concrete reforms, particularly in the judiciary. Indeed, the PLD and the PD would currently not pass the 6% threshold required to enter parliament, according to a poll run by sociologic studies centre CBS-Axa between May 6-18.
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