Browse the listing below to find government information for Moldova, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Moldova at its
Moldova Country Page.
Constitution: Adopted July 28, 1994.
Independence: August 27, 1991 (from Soviet Union).
Branches: Executive--President (head of state), Prime Minister (head of Government), Council of Ministers (cabinet). Legislative--unicameral Parliament. Judicial--Supreme Court.
Administrative subdivisions: 32 counties (raions), 4 municipalities, and one autonomous territorial unit.
Political parties: Communist Party, Popular Christian Democratic Party, Our Moldova Alliance, Democratic Party, and Social Liberal Party.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
Government of Moldova
In 2000, Parliament passed a decree declaring Moldova a parliamentary republic, with the presidency henceforth to be decided not by popular vote, but by parliamentary vote. However, since no single candidate was able to garner a majority of votes, Lucinschi temporarily remained president. Later that year, when Parliament failed three times to successfully elect a new president, Lucinschi exercised his right to dissolve Parliament, calling for new parliamentary elections in the hope that a new Parliament would be more open to his initiatives--and, possibly, even rescind the decree on election of the president.
Widespread popular dissatisfaction with the government and the economy, however, led to a surprise at the polls in February 2001. In elections certified by international observers as free and fair, slightly over half of Moldova's voters cast their ballots for the communists. Under the rules of Moldova's proportional representation system, the communist faction, which in the previous parliament consisted of 40 of Parliament's 101 seats, jumped to 71--a clear majority. Communist deputies were then able to elect as president Vladimir Voronin, the leader of their faction.
Voronin's tenure has been marked by up and down relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The assistance of these international financial institutions is critical because large government debts must be rescheduled. Politically, the government is committed to the reduction of poverty by allocating more resources to social safety net items such as health, education, and increasing pensions and salaries. Since election, President Voronin has proceeded with President Lucinschi's plans to privatize several important state-owned industries, and has even on occasion broken with his own party over important issues. Under President Voronin, relations with the United States remain strong.
From January to April 2002, large demonstrations took place in opposition to several controversial government proposals, including expanded use of the Russian language in schools and its designation as an official language. While the demonstrations were sometimes tense, the government did not use force, and ultimately, agreed to Council of Europe (CoE) mediation.
Local elections in May and June 2003--the first nationwide contests since the Communists came to power--did not meet the relatively high electoral standards set in previous Moldovan elections, according to international observers. While the voting itself generally met international standards, the government's behavior in the campaign period--including bias in state media, misuse of administrative resources, and the arrests of two opposition mayors--represented a step backward. The Communists won the largest share of votes, but lost in the country's highest-profile race, for mayor of Chisinau. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for early 2005.
In addition to state-sponsored media, there are several independent newspapers, radio and television stations, and news services. The independent media organizations, along with some that are affiliated with political parties, often criticize government policies. Peaceful assembly is allowed, though permits for demonstrations must be obtained; private organizations, including political parties, are required to register with the government. Legislation passed in 1992 codified freedom of religion but required that religious groups be recognized by the government.
A 1990 Soviet law and a 1991 Parliamentary decision authorizing formation of social organizations provide for independent trade unions. The General Federation of Trade Unions succeeded the Soviet trade union system upon Moldovan independence. In late 2000, the union split. The Trade Union Confederation of Moldova (TUCM), successor to the previous federation, retained 80% of the union members in Moldova, and primarily represents agriculture and agricultural processing sector, public services, radio electronics, medicine, education, and culture. "Solidaritate" (solidarity), a new organization, includes the remaining 20% of unionized workers from industry, transport, telecommunication, construction, and social protection. The unions have tried to influence government policy in labor issues and been critical of many economic policies. Moldovan labor law, which is based on former Soviet legislation, provides for collective bargaining rights.
The population of the Moldovan region of Transnistria is 40% Romanian/Moldovan, 28% Ukrainian, and 23% Russian. Separatist forces maintain control of the Transnistrian region, along the Ukrainian border. Moldova has tried to meet the Russian minority's demands by offering the region rather broad cultural and political autonomy. The dispute has strained Moldova's relations with Russia. The July 1992 cease-fire agreement established a tripartite peacekeeping force comprised of Moldovan, Russian, and Transnistrian units.
Negotiations to resolve the conflict continue, and the cease-fire is still in effect. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also is trying to facilitate a negotiated settlement and has had an observer mission in place for several years. In July 2002, the OSCE, Russian, and Ukrainian mediators approved a document setting forth a blueprint for reuniting Moldova under a federal system. Over the next year and a half, the settlement talks alternated between periods of forward momentum and periods of no progress. In February 2003, the U.S. and EU imposed visa restrictions against the Transnistrian leadership. In April 2003, the Moldovan Government and the Transnistrian authorities agreed to establish a joint commission to draft a constitution for a reintegrated state, but fundamental disagreements over the division of powers remained, and a settlement proved elusive. In May 2003, Ukraine and Moldova reached an agreement under which Ukraine would no longer recognize Moldova's obsolete customs stamps, which were still being used by the Transnistrians.
In a surprise move, President Voronin decided not to sign a Russian-brokered settlement with Transnistria in November 2003. The appearance of the Russian proposal--seen by many as pro-Transnistrian--was enough to set off a brief wave of opposition protests, reminiscent of 2002 protests against the government's proposals to change language and history education in schools. The potential for continued protest over these contentious issues remains. Russia has not removed the weapons and munitions of the Organized Group of Russian Forces stationed in Transnistria, thus failing to comply with the timetable set forth in the 1999 Istanbul Accords. In 2003 Russia failed to meet its second one-year extension from the original withdrawal date of December 31, 2001.