As expected, the Constitutional Court ruled on Natalia Gavrilita’s re-nomination for prime minister against the president, provoking a further downward spiral of the political situation in Moldova into a serious and hopeless crisis
Yesterday, the country’s Constitutional Court partially satisfied the request of the Socialist Party deputies and recognized Maia Sandu’s decree on re-nominating Natalia Gavrilita for the post of prime minister as conflicting with constitutional norms. Along with this, the court did not examine the second part of the request on the alleged gross violation of the current legislation by the president, for which the head of state should have been brought to justice.
Prior to that decision, multifarious rumors were voiced in public space primarily by the PSRM supporters. Through their commentators and affiliated media, they articulated the idea that the Constitutional Court’s decision would be made in favor of Maia Sandu, as the judges were subject to unprecedented pressure from some influential ambassadors to Moldova, and that calls with “strong requests” were coming from high offices in Washington and Brussels. Whether this is true or not is a question, but the verdict was almost completely not in the interests of the president.
In addition, the day before the Constitutional Court’s session, two sociological companies presented the latest poll results, as well as current indicators of political parties in the context of potential parliamentary elections. According to the data of the Association of Sociologists and Demographers of Moldova close to the party of socialists, from among those citizens who made a decision, PAS can receive 36% of the votes, PSRM – 32.7%, Shor – 9.7%, Our Party – 7.5%. In turn, according to the findings of the Public Opinion Barometer, which is close to Maia Sandu, 48.6% of the determined voters are ready to vote for PAS, for the Socialist Party – 26.6%, Shor – 8.2% and Our Party – 6.2%.
Even the average indicator of both polls, which, by the way, leave out the diaspora voting known to have contributed 15% to Maia Sandu’s victory in the presidential elections, suggests an obvious conclusion: the current president’s party today has a real opportunity to win a required number of votes enabling to receive 51 mandates and independently appoint the government. This possibility of a total shake-up in the parliament in the event of early voting seems to be the driving motive of the vast majority of deputies who want to avoid snap elections by hook or by crook.
The High Court’s ruling on the presidential decree vitalized the internal political situation, which had been dormant for some time, invigorating various political forces and interest groups. Statements of their leaders allow an assumption that the self-preservation instinct is pushing them towards the most unpredictable inter-faction coagulation forms.
Back to Moldovan sociology, attention should be paid to one very remarkable indicator in a survey conducted by the Association of Demographers and Sociologists of Moldova. In particular, it states that 27% of the country’s citizens are willing to see Andrei Nastase as a new cabinet chief, despite the fact that the rating of the DA Platform, chaired by this politician, does not exceed several percent, according to the same sociological study.
The figure of Andrei Nastase so blatantly promoted by the socialists once again confirms the validity of the hypothesis that he is still one of the compromise candidates for a certain coalition configuration. This is confirmed by yesterday’s synchronized rhetoric of Nastase and the Democratic Party leaders about the need to nominate an alternative minority government to avoid the threat of a cabinet involving the Shor party.
According to experts, the CC conclusion became another reason for the DA Platform leader to impose his agenda on Maia Sandu and convince her that attempts to provoke early elections by legal means have run out. Therefore, the most justified decision should be to form the next government headed by her former ally in the ACUM bloc.
Maia Sandu, apparently, decided to avoid intrigues keeping distance from the political combinatorics in the bowels of the current parliament, difficult for her to understand. In addition, she decided to go to a frontal clash with Moldovan legislators, pointing out with an ultimatum that a solution could be found either via early elections or a referendum. Based on the content of her yesterday’s briefing, one can be absolutely sure that the head of state has no plans to nominate any candidate for prime minister from the current parliament.
Such a maneuver puts most of the right-wing and pro-European deputies before a difficult choice – to side with the Socialist Party and the Shor who are inclined to declare a political war and a no-confidence vote in the overly self-confident president, or save face and remain on “the side of truth” which is now embodied by Sandu with a high trust rating.
Maia Sandu’s principled readiness to go to the end intensifying confrontation with her main opponents makes it possible to predict her next steps. No legal actions on the part of the president are expected in response to a probable nomination of a candidate from the next parliamentary majority, that is, the decree on the nomination will not be signed. At the same time, the head of state will apparently wait for the first decade of April when the 45-day period expires, which started after Natalia Gavrilita’s attempt (not) to get a vote of confidence in parliament. As the required period of time is coming to a close and if the current situation persists, the proper conditions may ripen for the presidential appeal to the Constitutional Court to establish the grounds necessary for holding early parliamentary elections in order to resolve the intractable internal political crisis.
Yesterday once again confirmed that Moldova is in a deep impasse and in a situation of tough confrontation between the country’s legislative body and the presidency. The internal Moldovan reality which is gradually becoming uncompromising, the absence of legal ways out of the current situation may eventually lead to the fact that the pursuit of justice will be continued on the streets of Chisinau and other large cities.
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