In separate, virtually identical interviews with a Moldovan weekly and a Russian news agency, Moldovan president Mircea Snegur warned that he would seek to dismiss the government ("the biggest evil") and to dissolve the parliament ("from which nothing can be expected any longer") if he is reelected president next month. Acknowledging that the constitution does not give him those powers, Snegur said he would "turn to the people and insist on calling a referendum on the issue of confidence in the parliament." The president blamed the social costs of reforms on those two institutions and vowed to seek expanded powers in order to "establish order, pay ordinary people’s pensions on time… and index to the inflation rate the population’s deposits in the state bank." (Flux weekly, October 22-28; Interfax, October 24)
The leader of the governing Agrarian Democratic party, Dumitru Motpan, for his part, told the media that the parliament and government would continue reforms if either Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli or Parliament Chairman Petru Lucinschi wins the presidential election. Should Snegur win, the parliament and government will continue exercising their powers under the constitution, Motpan said. (Basapress and Flux news agencies, October 24)
Snegur has become the second president of a newly independent country in Europe who seeks to change the constitution and establish a presidential regime through a controlled plebiscite. Belarus president Aleksandr Lukashenko was the first. Unlike Lukashenko, however, who has pursued a policy of "integration" with Russia, Snegur has made an alliance with a nationalist pro-Romanian movement. Snegur’s statements also reflect his populist strategy of seeking reelection at the cost of undermining reforms.
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