On a Scheduled Basis. How Moldova got the Government

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Today, the Government of Natalia Gavrilita was approved by parliamentary vote without any obstacles, and it could start implementing its rather ambitious program from Monday.
Vladimir ROTAR, RTA: So, six months later, the republic finally acquired a permanent government. Natalia Gavrilita and her team delivered their program to the national main legislative body and, subsequently, gained 61 deputy votes which are more than enough for approval. I must say that the today's parliament session initially held no particular surprises. Taking into account the existing PAS mono majority, there was practically no chance that the Gavrilita’s Cabinet of Ministers would not gain the required number of votes. Moreover, before the start of the session, we knew that the Shor faction decided not to vote for it though it was meant to be a supporter of the new government. Of course, holistically, it did not change anything. Therefore, the only really unexpected point can be only a small force majeure, i.e. a power outage in the parliamentary hall due to a smoky microwave oven – a funny episode that once again emphasized that our policy is a kind of provinciality. Although some comments, especially from ill-wishers of the new national leadership, saw a bad sign in this episode, as well as today's torrential rains that covered Moldova. Thus, the main intrigue revolved around how the potential composition of the Cabinet will, firstly, in fact, cope with this test, and how sharp and tricky the questions from the opposition deputies would be. However, as it turned out, neither Shor, nor the Communist and Socialist bloc decided to “inundate” the team that came to parliament, apparently deciding to postpone work on gradually reducing the swollen PAS rating until the first failures of its protégés. So, for example, Vladimir Voronin wished good luck to the new Cabinet of Ministers, and Vlad Batrincea logically stated that there are simply no points to criticize the parliament so far – although he stung the deputies for intention to expand the number of ministries and Vice-Prime Ministers. Others, based on the presented program, expressed concerns or recommendations. Perhaps, only the socialist Vladimir Bolea “stepped up to the plate”, saw populism in the planned reform of justice, and predicted a future attack by the authorities on the media. In addition, he (un) successfully poked fun at the nominees about the allegedly unsatisfactory gender balance. Against the background of some herbivorous opposition, more interest was aroused by the presented program, which was published a few days earlier. Natalia Gavrilita, in principle, again relayed the key messages of the PAS election document: “professional and honest people to govern Moldova”, de-oligarchization of the political system, “balanced foreign policy”, an uncompromising fight against corruption and the purge of government agencies. Not without a small injection of populism – for example, it was announced that the property of corrupt officials should go to social projects like renovating schools and hospitals. Explaining the decision on expanding the structure of the government, the new prime minister said that the old one was designed by Vlad Plahotniuc to facilitate control over the country. As a result, the increase in the number of ministries was also voted by 58 deputies. The list of measures also includes care for the elderly and deferring payments on loans to microfinance agencies. Other priorities relate to the fight against the pandemic, including awareness campaigns and business support, justice reform and budget adjustments to gain access to funding from the EU and the International Monetary Fund. Among the main problems of the country, the head of the cabinet named emigration and aging of the population, as well as poverty and social insecurity. Therefore, one of the four priority areas, where we intend to focus in the short term, is precisely connected with social sphere. These are already known plans to increase benefits and pensions, including bringing the pension level to at least MDL 2,000. Thus, from Monday on, the new government could start fulfilling its duties, as well as to implement the planned ambitious program. According to Gavrilita, it is aimed at completing transformation of the state according to the European model. By the way, it is curious that in addition to good wishes and beautiful words, there are also a considerable number of accurate numerical indicators such as the average salary of MDL 15,000 and a list of specific infrastructure and other projects, most of which should be implemented by 2025. This is commendable, since after all, it is clear that the time will come when the PAS will be asked for every figure, especially if the Gavrilita’s Cabinet of Ministers turns out to be a “long-liver”. Therefore, we can now wish the government only good luck. They inherited a difficult legacy, and the number of tasks that need to be solved promptly is very large: raising external funds, development of a solution to increase pensions in the last quarter of this year, and the search for good personnel to fill positions in ministries and agencies. And most importantly, it is imperative to at least partially meet the expectations of people, many of whom voted in November 2020 and July 2021 not particularly for the PAS and its leader as for changes in the country. And it is very easy to disappoint them, which can be seen in the example of our eastern neighbor. Let us hope that the new republican leadership will do much better.