Interview for Political Almanac 2016
18 February 2017
1) How do you assess the 2016 political year?
I will begin with the positive aspects, with the fact that the long period of political instability ended in 2016. We have managed to create a stable government, whose effectiveness was seen in the results obtained in terms of the reforms, agreed upon with development partners, in particular by fulfilling, within a short time, the commitments which led to the approval of the Agreement with the IMF. I will remind you that the last year began with political tensions and hysteria, with manipulations, and the effects thereof were felt in the end-of-year elections, when the right-wing’s false policy and populism made the left-wing’s candidate become the president of the country. From this perspective, I think that 2016 taught us some very important lessons. And if we know how to learn these lessons, we will have everything to gain.
I also believe that the effects of certain 2016 political developments will be felt in the coming year. The right-wing opposition’s defeat will bring about important and necessary changes on the right-wing’s political arena. We will need to manage competently the actions of the new president, so as not to let the initiatives that are detrimental to the Moldova’s strategic interest be implemented. In conclusion, the last year was a politically intense one, with long-term effects.
2) In your opinion, what events marked the 2016 year from the political point of view?
The formation of the majority coalition and the stabilization of the country, the election of the president by citizens and signing the agreement with the IMF. These are the key events that marked the previous year, I guess.
3) Many people say that you had been covertly involved in shaping the 2016 political year and that you had contributed somewhat to all important events which took place in the political arena. How would you comment on this?
Of course I did, being the leaders of the governing coalition. But that doesn’t mean that I ruled whatever happened during that year. If I could have done it, the 2016 political year would have definitely been different, with a greater emphasis on political effectiveness. The proof that there isn’t a single person who would be capable of conducting on his/her own the Moldovan policy behind the scenes is the very fact that the opposition was very active in the previous year, even succeeded in making a mess of the whole country and was about to plunge Moldova into a prolonged political crisis, including to block the signing of the IMF agreement, but they failed because both the citizens and the development partners, had opposed.
Perhaps here we should ask ourselves and see who the shadow rulers of the right-wing and of left-wing opposition are, whether there any certain persons and groups outside the country with interests which have nothing to do with our national interests.
4) How do you assess the presidential election results? Could Mr. Marianu Lupu have won, had he not withdrawn from the campaign?
Marian Lupu had a very good evolution in the campaign, just like the DPM had. All the polls, including those conducted by foreign foundations for the opposition, have shown that. Marian Lupu had all the chances to make it to the second round, but the social surveys have shown us that he would have lost the runoff in favour of the socialist leader.
As for the presidential election final result, it offers us an important lesson, as I mentioned earlier, from which right-wing parties can learn a lot. Hysteria and false policy of some right-wing parties made Igor Dodon become the president. It would have been great for the Republic of Moldova to have a right-wing president; this could have made the pro-European government more coherent and strengthened the commitment to follow the same strategic path.
Now, however, having a left-wing president with substantially different opinions from ours, we will have to dedicate some of our work to managing these differences of opinion regarding the country’s development model. However, we have sufficient resources to ensure good governance as well as political stability and peace in the country.
5) In August, you launched the reform of the local political class. What arguments this step was based on?
The reform of the political class can be extremely easily and directly defined as increase of people’s control over the politicians’ activity. This must be the result. Why do I think this is important? First, because if the politicians could be directly controlled by the citizens, they would finally make the policy effective and pro-social, the parties would start working for the benefit of people, but not for that of foreign interest groups or any other entities wishing to control Moldova through parties.
Under the current system, the connection between the politicians and the citizens has been often very poor, which is very serious. The political process has been largely limited to talk shows, fake controversies, egos, frustrations and other such things. It is vital to reform the current way the political process is implemented, otherwise, we will never be able to modernize our country.
6) 2016 was also important for you from another point of view – you have become the leader of a party. What made you accept that position?
The desire to transform the DPM into the first party that conducts the policy for people. It sounds idealistic now, but those who know me, are aware of the fact that I have the ability to overcome all the obstacles in my way and that when I have a destination in mind I don’t stop until I reach it. We have the best political team and very capable people in the Government and in the Parliament; we will manage to adapt to people’s agenda and to make important changes in the Republic of Moldova.
Even our political opponents have understood that. That’s why they wanted so much to destabilize the country, to hinder our work, to keep us focused on fighting with them, but not on actions in the people’s interests. What they failed to understand is that we are many and we are different, therefore we can handle successfully all the tasks.
7) With the Political Almanac being a historical edition, which will remain for future generations, we cannot but ask you what do you regret about for the 2016 political year?
The regret is that we didn’t manage to introduce the reform of the political class, it is likely to have remained at the initiative level. I would have preferred to proceed to actions at that time in 2016, but the elections made us postpone taking this step. Another regret is that the previous year was also marred by political tensions and populism. The good part is that, however, it was the first stable year after a long period of political crisis.
8) What do you expect from 2017?
To offer important results not only as government, but also as a party. I wish 2017 to be the year, when people begin to feel tangible benefits from the government. Together with the DPM team to make important changes in politics, to modernize the party and make it closer to citizens.