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The foundations of a criminal dictatorship are being set in Moldova!

The foundations of a criminal dictatorship are being set in Moldova!
Source: www.dw.com Photo: jurnal.md 25.01.2018 08:48
The government has turned Moldova into a tangle of electoral stratagems. The state institutions have surrendered one by one to the oligarchy, and former political and business partners have been put in jail.

A real machine that consumes massive funds, most likely of dubious origin, is working in the shadows to ensure that the Democratic Party continues to hold the reins of power after the parliamentary elections to be held in autumn.

The state institutions have surrendered one by one to the oligarchy, former political and business partners have been put in jail following “closed-door” trials, with judicial decisions having become predictable. The contests for important positions are merely formal, without any contenders and with results that are easy to anticipate. Public tenders are faked; those in power have created their own civil society to mimic a dialogue that is applauded by European bureaucrats, the mass-media has been brought to its knees and is now owned by those in power, hundreds of mayors who have won the elections as representatives of various other parties have suddenly joined the Democratic Party (PD)... All of this has been taking place against the backdrop of a reduction in civil liberties, justified by the power-owned mass-media through propaganda, such as “the example set by European countries” and the need to “comply with the EU Association Agreement”. The European idea is thus irrecoverably compromised, since the foundations of a future dictatorship with a criminal tinge are being set in Moldova right at this very moment.

At present, Moldova is led by just one man. He holds press briefings during which he reads his speeches from a sophisticated tablet and never answers any questions asked by journalists. He does, however, periodically grant written “interviews” to online press outlets, especially those which are funded by Bucharest. The man leading Moldova does not hold any state office. He is only the PD leader, but everything that he says at the briefings organised by the party is immediately implemented at governmental level. Although he is, de facto, managing the poorest country in Europe, a country where pensioners receive less than 35 euros per month and the daily food ration of a kindergarten child does not even reach 2 euros, this oligarch can afford to fly overseas in private luxury jets. What he does with his money is indeed his business, but this discrepancy does give rise to suspicion, especially when it involves a person who is no stranger to controversy.

The chronology “speaks for itself”

On 7 April 2009, young people took to the streets to protest against a new victory of the Communists in parliamentary elections. Their peaceful protests were hijacked and degenerated into street violence that even resulted in deaths. The police displayed strange and provoking behaviour. In the end, the Communist government was removed and power was taken over by a coalition of allegedly pro-European parties which, during the early elections, promised to shed light on the violent acts that took place in April 2009. The truth has, to this day, still not been uncovered, and all police chiefs that have been investigated for the atrocities that took place back then have been, over the years, declared not guilty by various national courts. Most of those who led the law-enforcement bodies at the time either have been reinstated and promoted, or are serving the man who is, de facto, the current leader of the Republic of Moldova.

We will not dwell on the political unrest that followed up until 2014, which was generated by the risk of PD sliding into a left-wing coalition that could end this country’s European course. We must, however, note that the visit to Kishinev made by the Head of the Presidential Administration in Moscow, Sergey Naryshkin, in 2010 is not be ignored. In November 2014, shortly before the parliamentary elections, the first suspicions arose with regard to a billion dollars (approximately 18% of the country’s GDP) having been stolen from the Moldavian bank system. Fraud of such scale could not be covered up. The Governor of the National Bank was replaced (but was not subject to criminal prosecution) and the American company “Kroll” was contracted to identify the route of the money and the people involved. The latest report by the American detectives was recently sent to the National Bank of Moldova and was “redacted” so that only a summary containing a single name - Ilan Shor - was released in the public domain. Other names of people involved were not made public, and the Prime-Minister Pavel Filip says that “90% of those who appear in the report are completely honest people”. The document is kept locked away at the National Bank of Moldova and has not even been sent to the Moldavian prosecutors.

Parliamentary elections took place in the Republic of Moldova on 30 November 2015. Following these elections, PSRM ended up with 25 mandates, PLDM with 23, PCRM with 21, PD with 19 and PL with 13 mandates.

On 15 October 2015, following Ilan Shor’s self-incrimination, Vlad Filat, the leader of the most important pro-European parliamentary party and the main political and business opponent of the current PD leader, the oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc, was detained and then convicted. Filat was sentenced to 9 years in prison for traffic of influence and passive corruption. All this, after the businessman Ilan Shor admitted that Filat took a bribe of 250 million dollars from him. The power-owned media tried to promote the idea that Filat had stolen the billion and has been punished. At present, in spite of having received a sentence to be served for another case, Shor is free and manages public money as mayor of Odorhei. The “Kroll” report shows that the banking fraud that paralysed Moldova in 2014 is specifically linked to this person. After Filat was arrested, PLDM collapsed. In April 2017, several deputies who had left PLDM formed the “European People’s Group”, which was founded on the political platform of the former Prime-Minister Iurie Leanca - who, in his capacity as Prime-Minister, had signed the government-backed guarantee for taking money from the National Bank reserve to credit the three banks from which the famous billion dollars were stolen. Now, the “European People’s Group” is part of the PD-controlled government, after PL left the coalition. Iurie Leanca is Deputy Prime-Minister in the Filip government.

The liberals have withdrawn into the opposition after prosecutors drove Dorin Chirtoaca, the mayor of Kishinev and nephew of the PL leader, into a corner with two criminal prosecution cases. At the prosecutors’ request, Chirtoaca was suspended from his duties; at present, the acting mayor is Silvia Radu - a person who, according to the Kishinev press, has enabled PD to take over the capital’s town council.

On 29 October 2015, 21 Communists, 25 Socialists and 19 deputies from the Democratic Party dismissed the government led by the Liberal-Democrat Valeriu Strelet. And this even though PD had its own ministers in that government. The motion had been filed by the Socialists.

In December 2015, 14 Communist deputies left Vladimir Voronin’s faction and formalised their relationship with PD in March 2017 by joining the group led by Vlad Plahotniuc. This way, PD ended up with 34 deputies.

On 20 January 2016, ignoring procedure and contrary to the spontaneous protests taking place outside the building, the Parliament installed the Filip government based on the votes of 57 Democrat, Liberal, former Communist and former Liberal-Democrat deputies. The then-president, Nicolae Timofti, managed at the last minute to prevent Vlad Plahotniuc from taking over as Prime-Minister, by invoking the suspicions of corruption to which the latter is subject. After calling a meeting with foreign ambassadors and complaining that both he and his family were put under pressure, Timofti did, eventually, swear in the Filip cabinet, behind several police cordons.

On 4 March 2016 the Constitutional Court, led by another former prominent Liberal-Democrat, Alexandru Tanase, re-established the right of citizens to elect their president by direct vote and brought back, without the Parliament’s vote, a regulation that had been defunct since the year 2000. Pursuant to this amendment, in November 2016, pro-Russian Igor Dodon became the President of the Republic of Moldova following a confrontation in the second round with the leader of the Action and Solidarity Party, Maia Sandu. The involvement of the PD-owned media and of the Church, who supported Igor Dodon, was key to ensuring Dodon’s victory. Today, Alexandru Tanase is Minister of Justice in the Filip government.

On 20 July 2017, contrary to the street protests and the recommendations issued by the Venice Commission, the Democrats, Socialists and Popular-Europeans voted to change from the proportional representation electoral system (based on party lists) to the mixed electoral system - a move which, according to the civil society, was meant to promote “local barons” into the Parliament that will be formed as a result of the 2018 elections. This was the only chance that the detested PD had to push its own people through into the future legislative body. Plahotniuc’s Democrats did this in tandem with Igor Dodon’s Socialists, and Iurie Leanca’s Popular-Europeans assisted them.

A real machine is working in the shadows to ensure that PD remains in power

At the end of December 2017, the civil society formed an initiative group that aimed to initiate a legislative referendum in order to cancel the mixed electoral system. On 12 January 2018, the Central Election Commission refused to register the initiative group and blocked the initiative of the civil society. The same members of the Central Election Commission will organise parliamentary elections based on the mixed system in the autumn of 2018.

The key point: There are only two political players and a left-wing post-electoral coalition. Plahotniuc and Dodon are trying and succeeding to share power. PD is juggling with the threat of an invasion by “Russian tanks”, posing as a pro-European group, whilst PSRM, which serves Dodon, is waving the threat of a union with Romania to “feed” the part of the electorate who have pro-Russian views. They have divided the radio and TV media in the Republic of Moldova and, as a result, can accredit any lie they want, can politically annihilate anyone and render invisible any political leaders that could damage the “electoral machine” that they have built over time in parallel to subordinating the state institutions.

Vitalie Calugareanu, DW-Kishinev
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