What scenarios is the Prime Minister-designate preparing for when he goes to Parliament for the vote of confidence? What is she counting on when she hopes that her government will not get approved? What happens to the "Gavrilița team" and the governing program, if they are accepted by the Parliament and what happens if they are not? When will we find out the names of the ministers from the "Gavrilița Cabinet" and what does the governing program provide? Why will Natalia Gavrilița's son go to first grade and study in Moldova, after spending his childhood in London? Find the answers to these and other questions from Valeriu Vasilică's interview with Prime Minister-designate Natalia Gavrilița.
IPN: Mrs. Gavrilita, you were nominated to the position of Prime Minister in a very difficult period for Moldova. We are currently in a pandemic, coupled with an economic and political crisis. How do you feel knowing that your own party will not vote for you in parliament?
Natalia Gavrilița: I understand that this situation may seem strange - these occur quite often in Moldovan politics - but Action and Solidarity Party’s objective is triggering an early election. Only an early election can purge the parliament of traveling MPs who forgot the promises made to their citizens. The path to trigger early elections PAS is going with is putting forth a cabinet that is anti-corruption and pro-Europe, that has an ambitious reform agenda, and that would not get the votes of the current informal majority made up of PSRM and Shor Party.
At the same time, we are aware of the fact that many MPs hold on to their seats and are so desperate that they could actually endorse a good cabinet. That is why I am approaching this process very seriously, and I am going to parliament with a team of professionals and a well thought-through agenda. We are considering the scenario that the parliament will actually endorse this government, but the main stake is to prepare this cabinet to be voted in by the next parliament - an updated, cleaner and more legitimate one.
IPN: Many commentators say that the presentation of this team in Parliament is a farce, a form of political humiliation. How hard was it to persuade people to accept to be in this cabinet?
Natalia Gavrilița: To explain this aspect, I feel the need to put things in a wider context. I had a career in public institutions, including the Ministry of Economy and the State Chancellery. On April 8, 2009, after seeing what happened in the main square, I submitted my resignation. In 2009, I packed my bags and left the country. I worked in London, in an international investment fund, I did very well personally. But my heart was always with Moldova - the diaspora knows this - and I was always actively interested and involved in what was happening here.
I have received multiple offers to return to politics or the administration, but I promised myself to never work with corrupt individuals. That is why I only returned to Moldova at the invitation of Maia Sandu. After four years of political struggles, in which we went on protests, lost and won elections, in which I was a minister and then found myself in opposition, I can say for sure - it is a great honor to be nominated to this job by Maia Sandu; this is an enormous responsibility to the citizens, one that I accept with joy and confidence. So do my colleagues, members of the team I will bring before parliament - all of them understand that this is the profile of the next government of Moldova, one voted in a few days or in a few months or a year. This is the kind of government that works for the people, that can develop the country's economy and bring in quality investments.
IPN: If a majority formed by PSRM and Shor MPs votes for you in Parliament, will you be able to accomplish all that you set out to do in your program?
Natalia Gavrilița: I don’t think that the MPs you mentioned will raise their hands when they see our program. We come with an agenda that is in direct contradiction with the way corrupt politicians see the role of the state. We want to eliminate embezzlement schemes, protect the state's assets, stop corruption and smuggling schemes and give a needed breather to the economy, entrepreneurs, and people who create added value to help them get out of the crisis.
But, again, the current proposal of the Action and Solidarity Party, in terms of the governing team and the reform program, remains valid, regardless whether it is voted by this parliament or - in the best case scenario - by the next one. The problems of this country must be solved by competent and serious people, who have the sincere and constructive support in the parliament, and a 4-year mandate from the citizens to change everyone’s lives for the better.
IPN: Who is part of the proposed Government and when will we see the program?
Natalia Gavrilița: At this moment I can't name the team members, but I think their names will be public very shortly. It is a team of professional, honest people, known by the citizens. As for the program, we will submit it to Parliament and make it public next Monday, on February 8th. It is a program based on Maia Sandu's vision on Moldova's development, for which she was elected by citizens - justice and anti-corruption, stopping public wealth theft schemes, supporting producers and exports, attracting investments, increasing social payments and protecting vulnerable people, unblocking foreign relations, getting the country out of the crisis.
At the same time, I want to mention that in addition to the Government team, I have received and continue to receive a lot of messages of support from Moldovans in the diaspora. These are successful people, who have built careers and businesses abroad, but who care about Moldova and are always ready to help when they see decision-makers who are well intended people, people who love their country. In this sense, my team is much bigger than the one that I will present to the parliament.
IPN: However, some analysts do not rule out a scenario in which the Gavrilița Government is not voted, and another candidate is nominated by the Parliament immediately, calling it a technically, anti-crisis or temporary cabinet, under the pretext of preparing early elections. What will PAS and Maia Sandu do in this case?
Natalia Gavrilița: It is obvious that the Action and Solidarity Party will not support such a scenario. This will only postpone the early elections and Moldova has no time to lose - we need a responsible and uncorrupt government as soon as possible. This goal cannot be achieved other than through early elections.
My son will be in the first grade this year. He spent his childhood in London, but will grow up and study in Moldova. Like any parent, I want him to live here beside me all my life, and for this to take place, the country must be rid of those who drive us out of it - those who use justice, state institutions and budgets to steal and make us poorer. Many of these people are now members or have minions in the current Parliament. It is crucial to update the Parliament and to build the country with a stable, integrated and well-intentioned majority.