04/04/2005 - Results
It was without surprise that on 4th April Vladimir Voronine, President of the Republic (Communist Party PRCM) was re-elected by secret ballot by Parliament for a second four year mandate as head of State. Since the constitutional reform in 2000, the President of the Republic must, in order to be re-elected, win the vote of at least three-fifths of the 101 representatives that is 61 votes.
Since the Communist Party, that holds the majority in Parliament, has only 56 representatives Vladimir Voronine had to rally votes beyond his own party winning 75 votes that is fourteen more that the minimum required. His only opponent, the president of the Academy of Science, Gheorge Duca (Communist Party) won one vote only. The latter had been put forward by the Communist party in order for the election to take place; the other two parties in Parliament – the Moldova Democratic Bloc and the Popular Christian Democrat Party relinquished the opportunity of putting a candidate forward.
Both opposition parties disagreed with regard to the position to adopt in this election and repeatedly made contradictory declarations. Twenty-three representatives from the Our Moldova Alliance, a member of the Democratic Moldova Bloc, followed instructions given by one of their leaders, the mayor of Chisinau, Serafim Urecheanu, and refused to participate in the election. Eleven other representatives belonging to the other two parties in this Bloc –the Dumitru Diacov's Democratic Party and Oleg Serebrian's Social Liberal Party – and the other opposition party in Parliament, Jurie Rosca's Popular Christian Democrat Party did participate in this election. Finally two voting slips were declared invalid.
Sixty-four year old Vladimir Voronine read political science, economy and law. He was the First Secretary of the Committee of the Communist Party of the town of Bendery from 1985 to1989, and became Home Minister of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova in 1989. In 1990, he went to Moscow to take up his studies again at the Academy of the Home Ministry and then became a police general. In 1993, two years after independence, he was elected co-president of the Organisational Committee of the Communist Party (PCRM) before being appointed first secretary in 1994. In March 1998, Vladimir Voronine was elected MP and became president of the Communist Group in Parliament. He was re-elected MP in the elections of 25th February 2001 and elected President of the Republic on 4th April the same year.
Vladimir Voronine is a pure by-product of the Soviet system and came to power in 2001 on the merit of a pro-Russian programme – however over the last few months he has made a complete political turn-about rejecting Russia, denouncing Moscow' interference in his country's domestic affairs, turning his attention to the European Union. In November 2003 the President suddenly broke off with Moscow refusing to sign the Kozak plan suggested by the Russians to settle the conflict between Moldova and Transnistria; his excuse was that the plan had been "written without consulting the European Union that Moldova intended to join." In February 2005, Vladimir Voronine signed an action plan with the European Commission within the framework of the Union's neighbourhood policy and asked for its assistance in settling the conflict between his country and the Transnistrian separatists. The President also signed agreements with neighbouring Romania with whom it had had a difficult relationship until now.
After he had been re-elected Vladimir Voronine mentioned Transnistria saying that his country could not join the EU as the situation stood at present and that it had first to regain its territorial unity and bring together the entire population: "the inhabitants of Transnistria, who are hostages of artificial and absurd geopolitical games must be freed from medieval tyranny by the simple democratisation of the region." He also repeated his demands for the "Russian Federation to withdraw its military contingent and munitions." "We qualify all types of military occupation in the region as an anachronism and an absurdity that have nothing to do with peaceful settlement. Since thousands of young Transnistrians study in high schools in Chisinau and the inhabitants of Tiraspol and Bendery all travel to work in the capital daily any type of military obstacle seem outdated, inappropriate backdrops. We believe firmly that the evident support lent by the USA and the EU along with our neighbours, the Ukraine and Romania will enable us to solve this problem," he emphasised. "We hope that the system of international law offered by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe will help to increase the work undertaken by the international community to settle the Transnistrian problem," he concluded.
Vladimir Voronine, who declared that this second mandate would be his last, will be officially sworn in as head of State on 7th April. "Integrating » Europe is the most important thing. We must not enter Europe as a poor relative and Moldova must turn itself into a country of post-industrial economy," declared the new President on his re-election. Vladimir Voronine now has four years to strengthen democracy, succeed in settling the Transnistrian conflict and finally to boost his country's economy, half of whose population lives below the poverty line and a third of whose working population has emigrated since independence in 1991.