Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 73

As it reconvenes tomorrow after the Easter break, the Moldovan parliament faces four major challenges by President Mircea Snegur to the constitution and existing legislation: 1) Having allowed defense minister Pavel Creanga’s reinstatement after the Constitutional Court ruled his removal by Snegur unconstitutional, the president deprived the minister of most statutory powers and assumed "direct command of the armed forces" himself, again in breach of the constitution and the law on defense. The president has arrogated to himself the power to conduct troop exercises, potentially opening the door to troop movements for political intimidation. 2) The president has demanded the appointment of another protege as defense minister although the prime minister is responsible for nominating ministers under the constitution. 3) The presidency runs its own security service, operating outside legal and financial accountability and reportedly maintaining dossiers against political opponents. During the parliamentary debates concerning the Defense Ministry, the president warned critical deputies from the parliament’s rostrum that he possesses dossiers on them. 4) Snegur has failed for months to promulgate national security legislation adopted by parliament, which twice overrode the president’s objections. The constitution requires the president to promulgate any law within two weeks of parliamentary adoption or an override. The president had unsuccessfully demanded sweeping powers to control the Security Ministry personally.

Parliamentary leaders and the government are reluctant to risk appealing again to the Constitutional Court because three politicized justices out of seven have supported the president on prima facie constitutional violations.

Azerbaijani Plot Leaders Arrested in Moscow.