MOLDOVA (DE EST)
Officially: Republica Moldova.
Seat of government: Chişinău.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: Parliament is elected by party-list proportional representation, and chooses both the prime minister, who heads the government. , and the president, who has a fixed term and must be elected with a three-fifths supermajority.
Governing party: Alianţa Politică pentru Moldova Europeană (comprising Partidul Liberal Democrat din Moldova, led by Vlad Filat, Partidul Democrat din Moldova, led by Marian Lupu, and Partidul Liberal, led by Mihai Ghimpu).
Heads of government: Pavel Filip, PDM, prime minister (since 2016); Igor Dodon, PSRM, president (since 2016).
Opposition parties: Partidul Socialiştilor din Republica Moldova, led by Igor Dodon; Partidul Comuniştilor din Republica Moldova, led by Vladimir Voronin.
Assessment: Relationship with România (of which Moldova de Est is a cultural and historical part) is still unresolved, with some favoring reunification, a stance that encouraged the secession of Приднестровье. PCRM, which continued to govern for years after independence, recently became, despite its origin, more pro-Western. A 2009 parliamentary election gave PCRM a renewed majority, to elect a successor to Voronin (2001-9) as president, during the period (2000-16) when the president was chosen by parliament; but pro-Western demonstrators disputed the election’s fairness, and the constitutional court ordered a recount and reevaluation. Voronin was elected speaker of parliament, but twice the new parliament failed, by one vote, to elect Zinaida Greceanîi (PM, 2008-9) as president with the necessary three-fifths supermajority, and new elections were called. The opposition, as the Alianţa pentru Integrare Europeană, won those elections; while not securing the necessary supermajority, its ability to form a government was secured by Voronin’s agreement. A similar outcome emerged from elections in 2010, with Vlad Filat (2009-13) as prime minister and the parliamentary speaker acting as president. There was no permanent president until Nicolae Timofti (2012-6) was elected in 2012. The Coaliţia (pentru Guvernare) Pro-Europeană, under prime minister Iurie Leancă (2013-5) of PLDM, largely continued the AIE, after a 2013 split in PL, with the pro-government MPs becoming Partidul Liberal Reformator. Only five parties made it into parliament in the 2014 election, including the revived PSRM, which scored a plurality, but a new pro-European coalition formed a minority government with the outside support of PCRM. Chiril Gaburici of PLDM became prime minister in 2015, but resigned months later over challenges to his academic record, replaced by Valeriu Streleţ (2015) of PLDM and finally Filip. Direct presidential elections were mandated in 2016 by the Constitutional Court; Dodon defeated the pro-EU Maia Sandu of Partidul Acţiune şi Solidaritate in a runoff.
FH: 4-4, partly free (democratic). Econ: 6.50 (62), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2017 March 25.
 

O.T. FORD