Romania’s eastern neighbor, the Republic of Moldova, has entered since Saturday in complete political chaos following the formation of an unexpected political alliance between the pro-Russian socialists and the pro-western opposition bloc ACUM, supported by a rare agreement between the US, the EU and Russia.
The two movements’ alliance control 61 out of the 101 seats in the Parliament and voted a new government headed by the pro-European politician Maia Sandu.
The current government, controlled by the powerful oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc, has reacted by claiming that the decisions of the Parliament are illegal.
The government is supported by the Constitutional Court, reputedly controlled by Plahotniuc, that took some bizarre decisions during the last couple of days.
The constitutional body declared that 3 months means always 90 days and that “optional” means “mandatory” in the country’s legal patois.
The same body has declared unconstitutional all Parliaments’ decisions in the last couple of days, a measure considered a total abuse by many legal experts.
In fact, the current Constitutional Court has denied former decisions of the same body through the last decisions, according to former members of Moldova’s Constitutional Court.
“Do we still have a Constitutional Court? After the last decisions, I think that we no longer have one. It is clearly stipulated in the Code of Justice that only judgments that have entered into force can be appealed and reviewed. Only some mentally disturbed persons can cancel decisions that have just been written,” Mircea Iuga, a former member of the Constitutional Court, told Moldovan online media platform Ziarul de Garda.
The Republic of Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe, is now the scene of a terrible political battle.
Since Sunday, the country has two government and two presidents claiming legitimacy. Both governments had meetings on Monday with opposite decisions: the anti-oligarch government decided to dismiss the heads of police and of other important structures, while the other government tried to show that it is still in office.
The ACUM-Socialists bloc and the pro-Russian president Igor Dodon form a anti-oligarch alliance which is considered legitimate by the EU, the U.S. and Russia.
On the other hand, the “pro-oligarch” power claims that the former government headed by Pavel Filip is still legitimate and seems to be recognized by Moldova’s main institutions controlled by Plahotniuc – including the justice system, the police and many local authorities.
But many experts say that, without external support, Plahotniuc has little chance to maintain power.
“It is the first time since 2014, after the annexation of the Crimea, when on a relatively visible subject, Russia and the Western Powers manage to get on the same side of the table and say, “It’s over. Plahotniuc belongs to the criminal world,” Armand Gosu, a reputed expert in former-USSR countries, told g4media.ro.
„So, to have against you the EU, the US and Russia, it is quite difficult. Perhaps Plahotniuc wants to negociate an exit,” Gosu added.
In the face of this complicated situation, Romania, the most important country in the area, had a low-profile reaction.
In fact, both the presidency, which currently runs the “Moldova case”, had reacted through a press release saying virtually nothing noticeable.
The Romanian government’s reaction was only one notch higher but Romania seemed rather embarrassed by the changes in Moldova.
Some experts say that this attitude is determined by the fact that many Romanian officials supported Plahotniuc and still play on his side.
According to some sources, Plahotniuc has acquired Romanian citizenship – with a different name – with the support of Bucharest. To make things way more complicated than they appear, Plahotniuc has also acquired Russian citizenship.
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