Is the Governing Coalition Falling Apart?

The Minister of Justice canceled the results of the contest for the Prosecutor General position, proposing new amendments to the Law on the Prosecutor’s Office, on November 6. Later on the head of the executive Maia Sandu declared that the Government is assuming the responsibility for the new amendments to the Law. The Socialist Party, which is part of the governing coalition along with the ACUM Bloc started to react against the Prime Minister’s decision. On November 8, the European Union Delegation, along with the U.S., German, French, and U.K. embassies launched messages to urge the governing coalition to overcome the political crisis. Later on, during the parliamentary meeting, the Socialist deputies in the parliament filed a motion of censure against Sandu’s government.

On November 6, the Minister of Justice canceled the results of the contest for the Prosecutor General position. According to the Minister the members of the commission did not have sufficient access to some information to verify the integrity of the candidates, and some members disproportionately appreciated some candidates, which led to the influence of the final results.

The Minister also proposed a new amendment for the Law of the Prosecutor’s Office, so that the Prime Minister can submit a list of candidates for the Prosecutor General position to the Superior Council of Prosecutors.  

After the Minister’s declaration the government has assumed responsibility for the new amendment to the Law of Prosecutor’s Office. 

On November 7, Sandu, stated, during In PROfunzime, a TV program from PRO TV, that she suspects that the head of the state would be afraid of justice or wants to control the General Prosecutor’s Office.

On the same day but on a different TV Show, the Fourth Power, on N4, President Igor Dodon mentioned that 90 percent, the Sandu Government could fall. However this should not necessarily provoke early parliamentary elections.

On November 8, Prime Minister Sandu met with the members of the Socialist parliamentary faction. After the meeting the Socialists broke the document with the agreement signed between the ACUM Bloc and the Socialist Party, accusing those in ACUM Bloc and the Prime Minister of violating the provisions of the agreement when the Government assumed the responsibility regarding the modification of the Law of the Prosecutor’s Office.

However even if they broke the document with the agreement the Socialists claim that they want to keep the ruling coalition in the same format, together with the ACUM Bloc. 

The Socialist gave time to the Prime Minister to withdraw the project till 03:00 p.m., when the Parliament will meet in plenary, for the first time in the last three weeks.

In the mid of this political crisis the U.S. embassy to Moldova, the French embassy to Moldova, the German embassy to Moldova, the U.K. embassy to Moldova, the Romanian embassy to Moldova, along with the E.U. delegation to Moldova expressed their support for the Sandu government and the governing coalition, urging the political leaders to find as soon as possible a consensus regarding this political situation. 

The embassies stated that the crucial reforms for the development of democracy in Moldova have been delayed for too long. 

Today, the Socialist deputies in the parliament filed a motion of censure against the government led by Maia Sandu. 

Despite the motion of censure, President Dodon remains optimistic that the current political tensions are not fatal for the governing coalition. He mentions that the ACUM Bloc has three days left to withdraw the project by which the Government assumed responsibility for the amendments to the Law of the Prosecutor’s Office.

On the same day during a TV show on NTV Dodon stated that a possible coalition in case the government falls could be formed only with part of the ACUM Bloc.

At the same time, the President excluded the possibility of forming a governing coalition with another parliamentary fraction.

Previously Andrian Candu, former President of the Parliament, and member of the Democratic Party stated that the Party will also join Socialists’ motion of censure. Today the leader of the Democratic Party and former Prime Minister Pavel Filip, stated that the party has to discuss the issue. 

In Moldova the search for a Prosecutor General began in July 2019, after the then Prosecutor General, Eduard Harunjen tendered his resignation. Since then, the Superior Council of Prosecutors initiated two contests for a new Prosecutor General, having had to cancel the first contest due to new amendments to the Law of the Prosecutor’s Office.  The current contest launched on September 30 brought up 20 candidates, of which 16 passed to the interview stage and four have made it to the final stage of selection. 

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