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Public Discussion: “Please elect me as your Mayor because...”, second round
on the organization of the debate “Please elect me as your Mayor because...”, public debate with Chisinau mayoral candidates, second round. 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”
Debate 90, held on April 26, was the second part of a two-round debate with mayoral hopefuls. The second round brought together: Victor Strãtilã, Green Party; Alexandra Can, National Liberal Party; Silvia Radu, independent candidate; and Constantin Codreanu, National Unity Party; and Igor Boțan, ADEPT executive director Igor Boțan as the Project’s standing expert. The first one brought together Vasile Costiuc, Democracy at Home Party; Andrei Nãstase, Dignity and Truth Platform Party; Alexandr Roșco, Our Home Moldova Party; Valeriu Munteanu, Liberal Party; and expert Igor Boțan. Of the 12 formally registered candidates, 8 participated in the debates. Two failed to show up after accepting, and two others are minor party candidates and so holding a third round wasn’t reasonable.
To have a smooth and useful debate, but also to make the most of the time allotted for it, the moderator announced from the very beginning the basic rules that aimed at ensuring equal conditions for all speakers and a civilized discussion, with the governing principle that every candidate represents a certain group of voters who have a right to choose and thus a right for this choice to be respected. Then the Project’s standing expert had several additional remarks to how he characterized the ongoing campaign in the first part.
ADEPT executive director Igor Botan said the registration period is over and one third of the candidates (4) presented their platforms at the previous IPN debates. The new mayoral elections that will take place in Chisinau on May 20 are political-administrative elections and the political component cannot be excluded. The mandate of the future mayor will be of only a year and the dilemma is which of the two components will prevail in these elections. “Both the political factor and the administrative factor will prevail or only the administrative factor will prevail?” wondered the expert.
Igor Botan said things do not end here when these elections are a prelude to the parliamentary elections and the political component persist thus. Analyzing the messages of the candidates, he identified five types of candidates in this competition. These are the candidates promoted by the pro-European parties, by unionist parties, by parties that promote the Eurasian idea and anti-system candidates and candidates who are managers or administrators and lay emphasis in a special way. Each candidate should be listened to attentively and their electoral programs and messages should be carefully analyzed so as to make a correct choice. In these elections, the inhabitants of Chisinau will have who to choose.
Victor Stratila, the candidate of the Green Ecologist Party (PVE), said he must be elected mayor because he is the best candidate as he knows how and can and wants to change things in Chisinau for the benefit of its inhabitants, not of the clans of interest, as until now. He is a resident of Chisinau and known the problems existing here. The PVE has a team that consists of persons of all age categories, with experience in management and who are supported by the European greens.
The candidate noted he has the necessary theoretical training as he graduated from the military, law and psychology facilities and from corruption fighting courses. He has the necessary experience as he worked at the Chisinau Prosecutor’s Office and as a lawyer and as part of the National Integrity Commission. His platform includes seven priorities among which is the extension of green areas, stopping of construction works in yards of apartment buildings, in green areas and other public places. He aims to make sure that the streets and sidewalks are not dangerous to people and cars, to rehabilitate and extend cycling tracks and to promote the local and national tourist attractions. He also aims to exclude the selfish dictatorship of parties in the administration of Chisinau municipality and to assess the corruption risks of the legislation regulating the activity of the City Hall.
Constantin Codreanu, of the National Unity Party (PUN), said he is not a supporter of “political cannibalism”, scandals, attacks on persons and in this campaign comes with a positive message. He voiced hope that this situation will become a norm for the Moldovan politicians because the people are sick and tired of attacks from all directions. His electoral program is not for a year only, but is for five years, including for a full term in office. He set an objective in which he believes and for which he has struggled for 15 years, recently also as a member of Romania’s Parliament – the union. Romania is the only chance for Chisinau and its inhabitants to become part of the European Union.
The PUN candidate said the roads in Chisinau are of a poor quality and the city has an ugly appearance. Many people are dissatisfied with the current public transport system and their living conditions. Many go abroad to work because of the low salaries, being also dissatisfied with the corruption in the municipal system. The only difference between him and the other candidates is that he has no skeletons in the cupboard as he wasn’t involved in corruption schemes and acts. He is a young man who wasn’t involved in Moldovan politics and comes with new, European views to change the current state of affairs. He will make sure that the city obtains Romanian funds and will continue to do the things started as an MP through twining agreements.
Alexandra Can, of the National Liberal Party (PNL), said the party decided to field a candidate after it realized that in these elections there won’t be a common candidate of the right. She was chosen because of her experience. She held different posts and achieved results in these. She worked in the local public bodies and in the central public administrator. She knows how to manage a city hall by a modern system and how to work with people and in a team.
According to the candidate, the political component in these elections remains in the current elections, but the executive component is the most important. She knows the problems faced by the city and is ready to solve them. She wants to modernize the City Hall, to restore the dialogue and cooperation with the central public administration that will offer support for local projects. She gained experience as the president of the Association of Light Industry Employers and will attract investment and will initiate projects to ensure the development of the municipality.
Independent candidate Silvia Radun said she wants the projects she commenced at the City Hall to be completed and these projects do not have political color. They are projects needed by the people. The people want concrete things and deeds, not words only. She has managerial skills and knows how the problems in the city can be solved. She cannot promise grandiose things and projects that she will not be able to implement. The people heard too many promises until now and became disappointed. The activity at the City Hall should be depoliticized.
Silvia Radu said her electoral program is intended for a year and is centered on the pressing problems of Chisinau. She started work on them during the five months as acting mayor. Her program consists of 11 points that are realistic. These refer to the cleanup in Chisinau that will start inside the City Hall, by de-politicization and ensuring of professionalism. The unsuitable candidate sill leave and will be replaced by professionals and tolerance of corruption will be zero. The citizens should know how the public money is spent. The city should be clean, green, with roads and sidewalks of a high quality and with no illegal buildings.
The Party of Socialists’ candidate Ion Ceban was also invited to the debate. His staff could neither confirm nor reject his participation during a week. Before the event, Ion Ceban wrote on social networking sites that he will not take part in the IPN debates, in electoral chatters, inviting particular candidates who are “visible in sociological polls” to TV debates if they are not afraid of such direct confrontations.
The Agency published 5 news stories on the debate (see the English version of www.ipn.md): on 26.04.18, „“I ask you to elect me mayor because...”IPN debate, round II” - http://ipn.md/en/integrare-europeana/90785; on 27.03.18, „Silvia Radu: I do not make promises, I do things. IPN electoral debate” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/90787; „Alexandra Can: My experience will enable me to efficiently manage City Hall” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/90788; „Constantin Codreanu: Without union with Romania, Chisinau does not have a future, IPN debate” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/90789; „Victor Stratila: I know how, can and want things in Chisinau to be improved, IPN debate” - http://ipn.md/en/politica/90790. .
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
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