Moldovan parties undecided on future ruling coalition

Moldovan parties undecided on future ruling coalition
By Iulian Ernst in Bucharest November 2, 2015

Moldova’s pro-European parties that until last week formed the ruling coalition have so far not agreed on continuing their collaboration, after one of the parties voted against Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet and for the dismissal of the government last week, reported.

Unless they decide to renew their partnership, despite major internal conflicts, the country faces deep political crisis, with an interim cabinet that would govern for at least several months, thus preventing the normalisation of relations with the country’s development partners.

However, even if they keep working together, their fragile majority in parliament and expected problems in nominating a common presidential candidate would likely result in early parliamentary elections in the spring. Judging from recent electoral polls, they would be unable to improve their position in parliament after any would-be elections.

On the upside for the pro-European camp, the main opposition parties – the Socialist Party (PSRM) and the Communist Party (PCRM) – are not ready to join forces yet.

The Liberal Democrat Party (PLDM) of Strelet will decide later this week on whether to renew its partnership with the Democrat Party (PD), which had supported the opposition’s no-confidence motion, and the other smaller partners. There are factions with different views on this, PLDM officials said after discussions were held over the weekend.

The Democrats, together with their smaller allies – the Liberal Party (PL) and the smaller party PPEM of former PM Iurie Leanca – have 35 seats in the 101-seater parliament. Together with PLDM they would hold a 54-seat majority.

The three parties have already mentioned the option of nominating Leanca as prime minister. Leanca, a former prime minister, pulled out from PLDM earlier this year and his nomination would further complicate the already delicate balance of renewing a partnership between PLDM and PD after last week’s no-confidence vote.

Delays in the formation of a new ruling coalition would push the country into a deep political crisis impossible to be resolved before the presidential elections next spring. The president cannot dissolve parliament in the last six months of his or her mandate, which in this case ends on March 23. This means that the country would have to be ruled by an interim or minority, unstable ruling coalitions until after March.

The outgoing prime minister, Valeriu Strelet, has said he would not remain as interim prime minister but would instead appoint one of the deputy prime ministers to head the interim cabinet.