Against the background of a collapsing economy and a humanitarian disaster, Moldova is going through a government crisis and political paralysis. The cabinet of Prime Minister Ion Ciubuc, having run out of solutions, resigned three weeks ago (see the Monitor, February 1). President Petru Lucinschi then tasked Serafim Urecheanu to form a new government. Urecheanu had to give up his mandate after two weeks of negotiations with the noncommunist parties, who failed to agree among themselves on the division of power and post appointments in the new cabinet. Urecheanu is the incumbent mayor of Chisinau and has compiled a good managerial record in that post. But he proposed certain former ministers with a record of involvement in corruption for cabinet positions. The International Monetary Fund’s mission in Chisinau expressed its concern publicly on that score.
Lucinschi yesterday mandated Ion Sturza, a deputy prime minister in the Ciubuc government, to form a new cabinet of ministers. Sturza is affiliated with the pro-presidential Movement for a Democratic and Prosperous Moldova. His background is in private business, and he enjoys a good international reputation as a reformer. He faces, however, the same divisions that Ciubuc and Urecheanu face within the noncommunist parliamentary majority. Those divisions could prove fatal because the Party of Communists holds forty seats in the 101-seat parliament and is in a position to block major legislative initiatives (Basapress, Flux, February 17-18).
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