Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 84

The Moldovan parliament is completing the formation of the new bodies of power following the recent parliamentary elections. Following last week’s election of Dumitru Diacov as chairman of parliament (see The Monitor, April 23, 24), the legislature this week elected Iurie Rosca and Valeriu Matei as vice-chairmen, designated the chairmen of all parliamentary commissions and approved the resignation of the cabinet of ministers yesterday.

These decisions are the result of agreements among the three blocs and parties making up the Alliance for Democracy and Reforms (ADR), chaired by former President Mircea Snegur. The ADR commands a total of sixty-one seats as against forty Communist seats in the 101-seat parliament. The ADR yesterday nominated Valentin Dolganiuc, 41, for the post of prime minister.

Iurie Rosca has been the leader of the Popular Front (PF) since 1991, a party campaigning for the unification of Moldova and Romania. But the PF shelved this demand during the electoral campaign. On being elected vice-chairman of parliament, Rosca appeared to promise to suspend that program indefinitely. He argued that a merger of Moldova with Romania would necessitate at least three preconditions: support by a majority of Moldovans, international approval and formal agreements with Romania. In the absence of these preconditions, Rosca said, the PF may “dream” about unification but cannot pursue it as a policy goal. He even promised to give up the goal of changing the designation of the people and language from “Moldovan” to “Romanian” in Moldova’s constitution.

The PF won less than 10 percent of the votes and less than 10 parliamentary seats in the 1994 and 1998 elections. The figure is consistent, according to opinion surveys, with the level of public support in Moldova for unification with Romania. However, the PF is influential in both the intellectual community and the mass media. It is also skilled at conducting street demonstrations. The other components of the ADR have insisted that the PF explicitly renounce unification with Romania as a political objective. The PF is now allied with Snegur’s Party of Rebirth and Conciliation and several smaller groups within the Democratic Convention. The DC represents a potential electoral coalition around Snegur if he decides, as expected, to challenge President Petru Lucinschi in the next presidential election.

Valeriu Matei and his Party of Democratic Forces split from the Popular Front in 1993. As vice-chairman of the legislature, Matei will hold the balance between the Snegur-Rosca bloc and the pro-presidential Movement for a Democratic and Prosperous Moldova, led by Parliament Chairman Diacov. Matei’s ally Vasile Nedelciuc, one of the most influential parliamentarians, returns to his old post as chairman of the Parliament’s Foreign Relations Commission. Nedelciuc announced yesterday that he intends to play an active role in stimulating international interest in settling the Transdniester conflict. (Flux, Basapress, April 27 through 30).