In an open letter, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Chiril Gaburici, stated he will resign if the government refuses to replace the leaders of the General Prosecution, the National Bank, and the National Committee of Financial Market. The statement comes after a one billion dollar scandal raised public embarrassment on the government and national banks, followed by mass protests.
In the open letter, Gaburici claims that the financial system of Moldova is ‘’under siege’’, with the government holding ‘’no power’’ and the responsible institutions lacking to solve the problems regarding the bank scandal. He scolded them for failing to track down the one billion dollars stolen from the country’s banks. ‘’I don’t want to watch how some group of interests destroy the country. I am not negotiating with anybody about the prosperity and the future of our children’’, affirms the PM. In the letter, the PM proposes to change the leadership of the public institutions by public contests, with the participation of the civil society and the partners. He gives the Parliament a month to meet his request. If not, he will resign from his post as Prime Minister.
However, there seem to be no signs of officials stepping aside. Instead, the tables are turned as prosecutors announced they would investigate the Prime Minister’s own background over ‘’falsification of documents relating to the education of Prime Minister Gaburici,’’ following an Interior Ministry examination. ‘’Given that this concerns a person who holds high state office the investigation will be conducted by the general prosecutor’s office,’’ it said. In response, the PM fired back by saying ‘’the leadership of the National Bank and the state prosecutors’ office do not want a good country but the continuation of billions leaking out of Moldova.’’ All the information shown on my resume is trustworthy,’’ he stated.
Mass protests have been taking place following the major scandal in which one billion dollars disappeared from the three biggest banks in Moldova, which is equivalent of around an eight of the annual GDP. The investigation into this is ongoing, but not much is known. The protesters have called for resignations, naming corruption the main problem in Moldovan politics. Even though Moldova last year ratified a political and trade agreement with the European Union, the government has not yet tackled corruption and carried out sufficient reform measures. On top of that, Russia has been banning imports of wines, vegetables and meat from the agricultural country, exacerbating its economic woes and increasing disenchantment among Moldovan citizens.gdp
According to Arcadie Barbarosie, director of the Public Policy Institute, the citizens of Moldova have seen the country’s situation worsen after pro-European governments came into power in 2009. The country has ever since been in a state of economic meltdown and political tumult, especially now local elections are coming up on Sunday 14 June. Polls predict a strong majority for the pro-Russian opposition Socialists, as many have not seen any successive pro-Europe governments calming things down. ‘’The citizens’ hopes and expectations did not find any answer in the performance of the government,’’ Barbarosie said. Hence, ‘’citizens conclude that under the guise of European integration the corrupt political clans are solving their own problems, getting richer, while the citizens are getting disappointed and desperate,’’ according to executive director of ADEPT, Igor Botan. The upcoming elections might shine a light on which side Moldovan citizens stand after the political turbulence of last period.