bne IntelliNews -
Moldova’s ruling coalition has dropped Maia Sandu as its candidate for prime minister and instead chosen Valeriu Strelet, head of the Liberal Democrat Party (PLDM) caucus in the Moldovan Parliament, who is seen as a more centrist, consensus figure.
Sandu, who has the reputation of being a radical reformist, had also been nominated by the PLDM, though she is not a member, but she failed to gain the support of the junior ruling partners
. PLDM and its partners, the Democrat Party and the Liberal Party, hold a fragile 55-seat majority in the 101-seat parliament.
While assuring political stability, Strelet, who is a career politician and a member of the senior ruling party, is likely to closely follow the line of the party and to opt for gradual reforms, in contrast to Sandu.
His nomination unlikely to boost the credibility of the pro-European parties, which have lost ground in voters’ preferences after failing to deal with key unresolved issues such as the banking sector frauds since the parliamentary elections in November.
“There exist a principle of consensus in the nomination of the ministers. […] I will treat with respect the nomination of the [ruling coalition’s] parties,” Strelet said.
“I have accepted the nomination because I am a party member. I am in politics since 1993 and I am in parliament since 2009. I know want it means the role of the party and the trust from fellow comrades,” Strelet said.
The statement strikingly contrasts with the statement of Sandu, who, when nominated, stressed that she expected to be consulted over ministerial nominations and expected to reach an agreement with the parties of the coalition on the key elements of the ruling strategy.
The main priorities outlined by Strelet are the resumption of relations with the country’s development partners. Firstly, Moldova has to have an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, Strelet stressed. Another key target is cooperation with European partners, especially on justice reform under the EU association agreement, which is vital for the functioning of key institutions in the country, he added.
Strelet, a historian by education and politician by career, also studied economics and law at the Moldovan Academy of Economy and runs a business in the agri-chemical sector.
He has been a member of the Moldovan parliament since 2009. In 2011 he was elected president of its Liberal-Democratic faction.