6 Jun 2019 12:35

ACUM, Party of Socialists close to forming Moldovan parliament majority

CHISINAU. June 6 (Interfax) - Moldova's right-wing bloc ACUM and the Party of Socialists have taken the first step towards forming a coalition in the country's parliament.

A compromise was reached on electing the parliament speaker late on Wednesday night.

The Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), which is part of the bloc ACUM, expressed its readiness to back Party of Socialists leader Zinaida Greceanii's nomination for speakership. The decision was made by the PAS National Political Council on Wednesday night by 46 votes to one.

"A difficult decision has been made in order to unblock the political situation and to form a lawful and democratic government in Moldova. The PAS Council has decided to assume responsibility for forming a government by the bloc ACUM and for the vote on the package of de-oligarchization bills," the party said in a statement.

PAS underlined, however, that it "has made the decision not because it has trust in the socialists but because this is the only way to prevent a dictator [Democratic Party leader and oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc] from ruling the country for at least ten more years."

"Hopefully this decision will be backed by our ACUM partners [Platform DA]. Once again, every decision of ours aims to free the population from terror and suffering," PAS said in its statement.

Party leader Maia Sandu told the press on Thursday morning, "PAS is fully aware of the risks it assumes by agreeing to cooperate with ideological opponents, pro-Russian socialists."

"This is an informed, well-conceived decision. This is the only chance to free the country from the oligarch's terror. We understand that this is a situational alliance, which pursues concrete objectives. We will not form a coalition and govern the country together with the Party of Socialists. They insisted on having the speaker's position, and we agreed. Now they are due to support the minority government, which we want to form for assuming responsibility. We have an action plan: we will free the country and key government agencies and will create conditions for a free and transparent election. An early election will be organized later, not now when every government agency is controlled by the oligarch," Sandu said.

As Interfax reported earlier, ACUM has 26 seats in the 101-seat parliament, including 14 seats won by PAS and 12 by Platforma DA. The formation of a parliamentary majority together with the Socialists will require consent of the bloc's other member.

Platforma DA will discuss the issue at a meeting of its National Council on Thursday. The Party of Socialists has 35 parliament seats. It takes 51 seats to form a parliamentary majority.

The Party of Socialists and ACUM held the first talks in three months after the parliamentary elections on Tuesday, but failed to agree on forming a parliamentary majority.

The Party of Socialists insists on formally establishing a coalition, forming a joint government, and electing its leader Zinaida Greceanii as parliament speaker. ACUM refuses to establish a coalition. It wants to adopt a package of de-oligarchization bills, to remove the ruling Democratic Party of businessman Vlad Plahotniuc from office, to replace the mixed electoral system with the proportionate one, and to hold an early election.

The sides suspended negotiations due to essential differences. The Party of Socialists said it would decide what to do next at the meeting of its Republican Council on Thursday night or on Friday.

It is possible that the meeting will be postponed to wait for the decision of Platforma DA.