29 October 2020

Gheorghe Russu

Vice-director, The Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption

Parties-Phantoms, Parties - State Institutions, Parties - State Enterprises


20 parties have registered in the current election campaign. Many people say it is a too big number for such a small country as Moldova. At the same time, much more parties could take part in the election campaign.

Last week illustrated

Activists launch Moldova’s first ‘Space Camp’ © Susan Coughtrie

Ghimpu's Decree Entering the "Unconstitutionality" Stage

The Communists are celebrating and the Liberals are having the blues. Meanwhile, the "symbolic" victory of the Party of Communists following the Liberal Party's "normative-argumentative" failure creates new conditions for reanimation and consolidation of the Alliance for the European Integration.
Denis CENUSA, 16 July 2010, 11:42

From the very beginning, the decision of the Constitutional Court which annulled the acting President Mihai Ghimpu's decree declaring the 28th of June the Soviet Occupation Day was declared political. Indeed, the Court's activity has been politicized with the professional criteria being inferior to the political ones which have been obvious since the moment of the selection until appointment of the judges. [1]. It's an irony of fate but the Court's judges are selected for 6 years making the attempts to "purify" or "depoliticize" exponents of the most vital state judicial institution vain. Therefore, some of 6 judges appointed by the Communist leadership have been tending to serve interests of the "connected" political forces. It is this fact that constitutes the essence of criticism addressed to the "black gowns".

Irrespective of the volume and the content of suspicions regarding the real "independence" of the Constitutional Court from politicians, Ghimpu's Decree vaporized with its effects to be repaired. The Alliance members including the Liberal leader will have to find ways to ease the public impact which can be produced in conditions of the "dismantling of the monument" placed at the National Great Assembly Square. The four ruling parties' task will be not only to eliminate the tension generated in society by the disputable "decree" but also to return back to normal the relations with Moscow offended by the so-called "history falsification attempts" as if practiced by the new leadership in Chisinau.

Shortcomings of Ghimpu's decree

Back in the beginning of the scandal around Ghimpu's decree, the Democrats' leader Marian Lupu explained that establishment of national holidays was within the Moldovan Parliament's, not President's competence. Of course, the Constitution's text doesn't provide it directly, instead stipulating a zone of extensive attributions of the state's head even if simultaneously containing an interpretation potential. Therefore, the article 88 of the Fundamental Document reads that a President (including the acting one) may execute any attributions fixed by the law. At the same time, the article 94 of the Constitution gave the possibility to M. Ghimpu to issue decrees that must be executed throughout the country after they've been published in the Monitorul Oficial of Moldova. In general outline, the conditions for issuing the decree were met. [2]. If so, then what was behind its annulment by the judges. Dumitru Pulbere, the Court's Chairman, accused Mihai Ghimpu of giving "a judicial assessment to the historical events".

Besides, the acting President surpassed the competence fixed by the Constitution. Altogether, the Liberals' leader infringed over 10 constitutional articles. Given the Supreme Law's clauses, we can say that the acting head didn't follow in full measure but at the same time didn't contravene to the legislation in force.

So far not talked much about, but the main problem of the "decree" is that M. Ghimpu acted in discrepancy with the article 77 of the Moldovan Constitution stipulating a large representativeness and therefore the wide role coming from this characteristics. That is, the country's President represents the state and is the guarantor of the sovereignty [...] and unity and integration of the state's territory. [3]

It is this aspect that can be imputed to the country's President who didn't take into account different segments of the society which were deeply disappointed by the unilateral issue of the "decree". From the Court's point of view, Ghimpu's decree rather represents a threat to the "unity and integrity" of Moldova. Perhaps, the decree would be incontestable if it was supported by the Parliament by means of the absolute legislative protectorate. Instead, the decree became the object of the Party of Communists' address to the Court. It is clear that except disputing the constitutionality of Ghimpu's decree, the Communists can't have another reaction at the process of restoration of the historic truth. From this point of view, the Party of Communists' goal was to disapprove the decree judicially understanding ineluctability of the document's historical justification.

Taking advantage of the decree's normative vulnerability the Communists were very optimistic in the decree contestation process. They weren't alone to show calmness during this time. Although not expressed publicly, practically everybody except the Liberals counted on such a decision not subject to an appeal made by the Court.

As a result, the Liberals obtained a new liberal emblem of "resistance" against the Communists and any objections to that will give rise to the pro-Romanian people's support to the emblem. On the other hand, the Alliance managed to neutralize the "Ghimpu's act" in the most peaceful way right before the talks with Russian sanitary authorities over the Moldovan wines' quality as well as before the resumption of the discussions regarding the Transnistrian conflict in the „5+2" format. The created situation is convenient for all local politicians even though it feels like the Liberals are the ones to lose the most.

Liquidation of the decree and the electoral effects

In addition to the aid to the flooded areas, speeches about the "decree" will also fill in the electoral space. Unlike 2009 elections, the Liberals will want to base their approach to electors on "the historical truth" risking isolating themselves on the political right wing.

We can also expect "the war of monuments" before the early elections according to the well-known scenario of the Christmas trees. Mihai Ghimpu has all chances to become a kind of a spiritual leader of the national revival reanimated after a series of political metamorphoses happened as the Party of Communists went to opposition. These "symbols" are not just electoral assets exclusively for the Liberals, but are the emotional incentives necessary for promoting participation in the 2010 referendum with a strong mobilization of the Communists willing to boycott it.

No matter how necessary rehabilitation of the historical memory is, observation of the legal framework is a must for creation of democracy and provision of stability of the post-Communist governments. With all that, neither the Liberals, nor the Communists will give up their positions, carefully supporting public contradictions regarding the past and historical anachronistic reminiscences which are considerable from the political perspective to which Moldova remains anchored.


1. Under the Article 136 (1) of the Moldovan Constitution, the Constitutional Court consists of 6 judges appointed for a 6-year-long mandate. Under p. (2) of the same article, 2 judges are to be appointed by the Parliament, two - by the Government and two - by the Supreme Council of the Magistrates.

2. The decree of the President of Moldova on declaring the 28th of June 1940 the Soviet Occupation Day, Nr. 376 of 24.06.2010, published on 26.06.2010 in Monitorul Oficial,Nr. 107, art. Nr : 330,⟨=1&id=335006

3. The article 77, p.(2) of the Moldovan Constitution: "The President of the Republic of Moldova represents the state and is the guarantor of the sovereignty, national independence and territorial integrity of the country."


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