MOLDOVAN ANTI-REFORMERS ON THE OFFENSIVE.

Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 140

The Moldovan parliament yesterday voted by a large margin to dismiss Dumitru Diacov, a leading proponent of economic reforms, from his post as the parliament’s vice-chairman. The self-styled "right-wing" opposition, recently joined by the supporters of former president Mircea Snegur, cooperated with the move in order to stymie President Petru Lucinschi, who has been working with Diacov to promote reform legislation. Also yesterday, the Socialists and most Agrarians initiated a motion to remove Vladimir Solonar from his post as vice-chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe by revoking his credentials as Moldovan delegate to the Assembly. The Western-oriented Solonar, head of the Moldovan parliament’s human rights and ethnic affairs commission, is a key ally of Lucinschi and Diacov.

Socialist and leftist Agrarian deputies are responsible for these moves. The same coalition, holding about half of the seats in parliament, is blocking economic reform legislation recommended by the International Monetary Fund and submitted by the presidency. "Rightist" deputies favor reforms rhetorically, but in practice are loath to bite the bullet as the 1998 parliamentary elections draw closer. Diacov and Solonar support Lucinschi’s recently stated intention to dissolve the parliament and call elections now. However, the president appears less resolute than some of his embattled supporters. Lucinschi is now looking to put together a pro-reform electoral coalition comprised of moderate Agrarians, Social-Democrats, and several prominent ex-Socialists who left that party in protest. (Basapress, Flux, Monitor interviews, July 17)

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