Three Moldovan parties agree pro-EU coalition

By bne IntelliNews July 22, 2015

Iulian Ernst -

 

The three main pro-EU Moldovan parties have signed an agreement to form a coalition that, in contrast to the previous one formed after the November 2014 parliamentary elections, should enjoy a formal majority in parliament.

The three parties forming the Alliance for European Integration agreed on July 22 on the procedures for appointing the new prime minister, the parliament’s speaker and the president – who is currently indirectly elected by the parliament. The three parties promised to decide and announce the new head of the executive, the members of the government and the new parliament speaker on July 23.

The three parties promised, before the November elections, to form a coalition but failed to reach an agreement afterwards, paving the way for a fragile pro-EU minority coalition that had to depend on the informal support of the Communist Party (PCRM). Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici then resigned on June 12 after allegations that he forged his school diplomas.

The negotiations for the formation of a new, broader and more robust ruling coalition have been accelerated by the European Commission freezing its support for the country until a new government is formed. The IMF has also suspended talks with Moldova amid the political turmoil, placing a question mark on the country's public finance sustainability.

The three parties still have not sufficient support in parliament to appoint their own candidate as president. Moldova’s president is appointed with the vote of 61 of the 101 MPs. But the ruling coalition will organise a referendum to amend the constitution in this regard and thus avoid a political crisis next year when the term of President Nicolae Timofti expires. According to unofficial sources, the three parties want to have the president elected directly  – but this was not yet disclosed by the coalition’s officials.

“We have agreed on all the issues discussed during the previous days. It is a good, balanced political agreement that will secure a stable political majority for Moldova and will appoint very soon a prime minister,” Vlad Filat, head of the largest of the three parties (PLDM) announced. The members of the cabinet would be nominated on July 23, head of the second largest party (PD) Marian Lupu added. The ruling agreement will be fully disclosed and there will be no secret clauses, PLDM president Filat promised.

One key idea repeatedly mentioned by the leaders of the three ruling parties is that of equal power sharing. Equal power sharing was demanded by the Liberal party (PL) of Mihai Ghimpu – the smallest of the parties in terms of MPs, which refused in February to accept the terms imposed by the larger partners. But even under the agreement signed on July 22,  the two parties that have previously formed the minority ruling coalition will nominate the prime minister and the parliament’s speaker. The ministries will, however, be equally shared among the three members.

The Liberal Party will join the minority ruling coalition that has ruled since February with the informal support of the Communist Party of Vladimir Voronin. This will be the third time the three parties have formed a coalition, after they joined their forces for the first time in 2009 and changed the country’s orientation firmly towards partnership with the European Union.  

The Liberal Democrat Party will nominate the prime minister, the Democrat Party will nominate the parliament’s speaker and the country president would be nominated – next year, when the president’s term expires - by all the three ruling parties together, according to the principles agreed by the new ruling coalition.

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