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Public Discussion: “Please elect me as your Mayor because...”, first round
on the organization of the debate “Please elect me as your Mayor because...”, public debate with Chisinau mayoral candidates, first round, the 89th installment of the “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” Series. Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”. Public debates series held by the news agency IPN in its conference room with the support of the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”
Held on April 24, Debate 89 brought together Vasile Costiuc, Democracy at Home Party; Andrei Năstase, Dignity and Truth Platform Party; Alexandr Roșco, Our Home Moldova Party; Valeriu Munteanu, Liberal Party; and ADEPT executive director Igor Boțan as the Project’s standing expert.
Ahead of snap mayoral elections in Chisinau, IPN is holding two rounds of debates with the candidates to help voters learn more about their plans and programs. The underlying idea is that the participation in such debates itself indicates the participants’ openness towards communicating with the general public as well as with political rivals, which is an essential quality for a good mayor, a mayor for everyone, and not just for her or his voters. In order to have a smooth and useful debate, the participants agreed to a set of clear and simple rules designed for ensuring equal conditions. In particular, the candidates were asked to adhere to a civilized discourse for at least to main reasons: a. every candidate represents a certain group of voters who have a right to choose, and consequently a right for this choice to be respected; and b. the debate is held under the general theme of Political Culture.
Valeriu Munteanu, the Liberal Party’s candidate who is under No. 5 on the ballot, said the leader of the Democratic Party Vlad Plahotniuc reached an agreement with the President of the Republic of Moldova Igor Dodon so as to take over the capital city from the Liberals. For the purpose, ex-mayor Dorin Chirtoaca was suspended from post and is being tried based on a criminal case that was started with violations of the law. To stir things up, a referendum on the dismissal of the mayor was held last autumn, but his failed. These elements made Dorin Chirtoaca vacate his seat so as to enable the citizens of Chisinau to show again by vote that their opinion matters.
Valeriu Munteanu said he prepared a lot for this post. He runs in order to be able to continue the struggle for democracy, to make sure that the inhabitants of the municipality have a better life. He considers himself the only free candidate. He served as a mayor and has experience of managing local affairs. In the upcoming elections, the citizens should mobilize and leave fear aside. He has residents behind who will know to choose between the candidates who come to represent them and those who come for the sake of politics. When he is elected mayor, he will devote himself to the problems of Chisinau and will not become involved in this autumn’s parliamentary elections.
Andrei Nastase, the candidate of the Political Party “Platform Dignity and Truth” who is under No 2 on the ballot, said that if he is elected mayor, he will continue the good things commenced by ex-mayor Dorin Chirtoaca and will correct the made mistakes. He is supported by two parties and this makes him confident that he will enjoy the support of the pro-European voters. In the past, he showed that he cares for this country, this city and struggled to defend the public funds and thus deserves to be elected mayor.
The candidate noted that he runs in elections alongside a team of professionals who will work to transform Chisinau into a different city, a really European city with modern infrastructure. He has the best program that is designed to improve the living conditions of the citizens. Even if he thinks that these elections take place with violations of the law, he runs in them because the people expect the change. “I’m the person who has the capacity, courage and power to improve people’s lives,” stated Andrei Nastase.
Candidate No. 3 on the ballot Alexandr Roshko, of the Party “Our Home – Moldova”, said the people are tired of dishonest politicians who do everything to get as much money from the people as possible. Chisinau faces a lot of problems. The Democratic leader Vlad Plahotniuc involved a number of own candidates in the race, including Socialist candidate Ion Ceban and independent candidate Silvia Radu, and also Liberal candidate Valeriu Munteanu. He should be voted because he wasn’t involved in corruption schemes and no one can say that he is the candidate of an oligarch. All his life he lived in Chisinau and knows the problems of the people. He daily travels by public transport and is an ordinary resident of Chisinau. His electoral program is simple and easy to be implemented. He will not allow the public institutions to be privatized. He aims to stop the felling of trees to free place for constructions and will adopt a new urban development plan and these things can be done over a year.
Candidate No. 1 on the ballot Vasile Costiuc, of the Party “Democracy at Home”, said the citizens in the upcoming elections should be transmitted messages that would make them realize how important the capital city is for the European future of Moldova. In the current election campaign, there are no independent candidates. A mayor is the politician of the community. The May 20 elections are important for the citizens who expect proper administration, transport, infrastructure, roads, transport and a signal that the current government can be changed.
As to his electoral program, Vasile Costiuc noted this is based on five priorities. It envisions, among others, a transparent city hall so as to make visible things, a new organogram of the institution, the development of a general urban development plan, building of a new City Hall, etc. His plans can be put into practice during a year. “I’m one of those who can work freely. The City Hall needs resolute people. I will make sure that the citizens become involved in the decision-making process in the city,” said Vasile Costiuc.
According to ADEPT executive director Igor Botan, the project’s standing expert, the new local mayoral elections are political-administrative elections. In such elections, the administrative component and the political one combine and the biggest interest is expressed by the political parties. The electoral legislation was substantially modified and the provisions of the new law will be tested in the current election campaign. It is very important for society to realize that the political component prevails over the administrative one in elections in the capital city. The inhabitants of Chisinau should appropriately judge the candidates for mayoralty.
The candidate for mayor of the Shor Party Reghina Apostolova confirmed her participation in the debate, but on the debate date informed that she cannot come owing to an important family event.
The Agency published 5 news stories on the debate (see the English version of www.ipn.md): on 24.04.18, „“I ask you to elect me mayor because...” IPN debate” - http://ipn.md/en/integrare-europeana/90726; on 25.03.18, „Valeriu Munteanu: I prepared a lot for post of mayor” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/90728; „Vasile Costiuc: I can bring things and solutions, not only free people to City Hall” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/90729; „Andrei Nastase: I have a team ready to put electoral program into practice immediately” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/90730; „Alexandr Roshko: Administration should be changed so that problems of Chisinau could be solved” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/90733.
IPN promoted the debate before and after the event, in particular the ensuing news stories, using all the available channels, including social networks. Confirmatory materials of deliverables, as well as a media coverage dossier are attached.
Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN
ENEMO (the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations) has deployed an International Election Observation Mission (IEOM) to observe the elections on 24 February 2019
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