Thursday, September 3, 2009

The communists, abetted by the Constitutional Court, deepen Moldova's economic crisis

It is already evident that Moldova is in urgent need of a government committed to resolving the country's problems.

The state budget has run out of money and is borrowing from commercial banks to make ends meet, a strategy which can only be short term. State sector salaries are being cut and functionaries being sent on forced holidays without pay. Private firms are being pressured to pay their taxes in advance.

What is needed is a quick transfer of power from the Communists to the Alliance for European Integration (AIE). This could be facilitated by a formal and timely resignation letter from Vladimir Voronin, paving the way for Mihai Ghimpu to become the interim head of state. Ghimpu could then nominate Vlad Filat as Prime Minister and negotiations with the International Monetary Fund could begin in earnest.

The communists, however, are doing everything in their power to stall the transfer process. While Voronin has announced that he will resign, he hasn't actually done it, and will probably wait until the last possible day he could maintain a claim to the interim presidency (September 14th). In reality the presidency became vacant on May 22nd, but the AIE's chances of persuading this Constitutional Court to uphold that view are next to zero.

Another communist delaying tactic was their appeal against Ghimpu's election as speaker. In truth, the Constitutional Court should not have admitted this appeal, as it relates to matters of parliamentary procedure, which are outside the competence of the court. However, 5 of the judges recently received expensive watches from Voronin, and Chief Justice Pulbere was given the Order of the Republic, the highest honour in the land. Accordingly the Court has acceded to the communists' request and set a hearing for September 8th. This further delays the transfer of power, as parliament is reluctant to take decisions and pass laws until the Court has made its ruling.

Also delaying change with all his might is Valeriu Todercan, Teleradio Moldova chief, who refused to broadcast yesterday's meeting of Parliament. In a written tirade, he accused Parliament of undercutting TRM's independence and threatening democracy. This from a man who's station has been a communist poodle for many years already, delivering incredibly slanted news coverage to the Moldovan people. The AIE will eventually figure out a way of levering him out, however in the meantime he will obviously try to be as much of a nuisance as possible.

The communists may think that all the stalling is clever, however the delay in putting in place a new administration is costing the country dearly. I hope and believe that in the near future, both the AIE and the people of Moldova will hold the PCRM and the Constitutional Court to account for this further contribution to Moldova's suffering.

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