Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 226

The Moldovan parliament yesterday approved the resignation of Andrei Sangheli’s cabinet of ministers, instructing it to continue as caretaker until the January 15 inauguration of President-Elect Petru Lucinschi and the formation of a new cabinet. Addressing the parliament, Sangheli regretted the cabinet’s — and his own Agrarian Democratic party’s — inability to stop economic decline and social pauperization in Moldova.

In office since 1992 and probably the longest-serving prime minister of any post-Soviet country, Sangheli and his predominantly Agrarian cabinet worked closely with Western financial institutions and donor countries to implement macroeconomic reforms and a monetarist policy. Outgoing president Mircea Snegur and the parliamentary majority under speaker Lucinschi jointly promoted the reforms, but Snegur broke that consensus by mounting a populist reelection campaign that encouraged inflationary demands and exploited the social costs of reforms. He managed to pin those costs on Sangheli, which was a contributing factor in his receiving only ten percent of the vote as the Agrarian candidate in the first round of the presidential election.

Lucinschi, who plans to appoint an above-party "technocratic" cabinet, well understands the need to continue the reforms. He will also encourage the formation of a European-style Social-Democratic party and parliamentary bloc through a merger of several like-minded groups within and outside parliament. In statements broadcast on December 2 and 3, Lucinschi again vowed to work with the existing parliament within the limits of the president’s constitutional powers, to "break the atmosphere of fear and intimidation," and to "stop dividing society into patriots and nonpatriots, native and nonnative, rightists and leftists, democrats and Communists, intellectuals and agrarians" — all transparent allusions to Snegur’s and his pro-Romanian allies’ strategy in their year-long election campaign. (Flux, Basapress, December 3)

OSCE Summit Unable to Overcome Karabakh Stalemate.