State and politics
The first constitution of sovereign Moldova was adopted
in 1994, two and a half years after the dissolution of the
Soviet Union. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of MD and its meanings of Moldova. Parliament has a chamber of 101 members
elected in four years. The president is also elected by
universal suffrage for a term of four years and can be
re-elected at most once.
In 2000, the scheme was changed so that the president was
elected by a qualified majority in Parliament. However,
since the Communists lost their majority position in the
Legislative Assembly in 2009, the MPs failed to agree on any
candidate for the presidential post. Following a series of
provisional solutions, the Constitutional Court in 2016
overturned the parliamentary decision of 2000, on the
grounds that a law that cannot be enforced violates the
Constitution. Therefore, since the end of 2016, the
presidents are re-elected by universal suffrage.
Since the early 1990s, the government has no control over
the Transnistrian region. However, it is possible with some
restrictions to travel across the border, and Moldova grants
accommodation in Transnistria foreign passport, voting
rights and benefits such as health care. Since 2005, the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
has, until now, been unsuccessful, leading negotiations
aimed at creating a union between Transnistria and the rest
In the first parliamentary elections in 1994, more than
half of the electorate cast their vote on the new farmer's
party because many owned or worked in agriculture and food
businesses. About a quarter voted Socialist and the rest
voted Liberals or Christian Democrats.
A catastrophic economic development led to a radical
overhaul of the political map in the following elections.
The largest opposition party became the new Communist Party.
This was largely due to the fact that party leader Vladimir
Voronin (born 1941) made himself popular as the Republic's
interior minister during the last turbulent years of Soviet
rule when he unwittingly resorted to violence. By the time
the country ran for election for the third time in 2001,
corruption in most other parties had become so evident that
Voronin's Communist Party won a landslide victory.
However, support for communists declined in the following
years. One of many reasons was that Vladimir Voronin's son
Oleg Voronin (born 1962) was one of the businessmen who
greatly increased his wealth during his father's time in
power. Another was Vladimir Plahotniuc (born in 1966) who,
after becoming a billionaire, came to emerge as the
country's most influential politician.
The April 2009 parliamentary elections, when the
communists were still receiving half of the vote, triggered
violent street protests in which four protesters lost their
lives. After the newly elected parliament failed to agree on
a candidate for the presidential post, another parliamentary
election was held in July which led to a change of
The new coalition government, which established itself as
the "European Alliance Alliance", was dominated by two
parties. One was the Liberal Democratic Party under
the leadership of billionaire Vlad Filat (born 1969), who in
the late 1990s was the Director-General of the former state
property authority. The second was the Democratic Party,
whose chairman Marian Lupu (born 1966) was previously one of
the Communist Party's strongest profiles. Filat became prime
minister and shortly thereafter, Vladimir Plahotniuc was
appointed deputy chairman of the Democratic Party and first
Filat and Plahotniuc used their items in a battle for
each other's economic revival, which in 2012 led to a
government crisis that paralyzed the country for almost a
year. Both resigned from their posts in the state but
continued to control their parties. As the high-level
corruption thus once again came into the spotlight, the
"European integration alliance" also lost its popularity.
Admittedly, it managed to retain government power after the
2014 parliamentary elections, but only after a couple of
administrative interventions in the government's favor;
among other things, a fictional communist party that copied
the logo of the real communist party managed to put up, even
though a court banned plagiarism. The fake party won five
percent of the votes that would probably have gone to the
In the spring of 2015, information on a bank fraud was
published which, according to voter surveys, definitively
swept away support for the "European integration alliance".
For three years up to 2014, the equivalent of one billion US
dollars or twelve percent of Moldova's GDP had been
transferred to three banks, where the financier Ilan Shor
(1987) with close relations with Vladimir Plahotniuc held a
key position. The money was diverted to foreign accounts. In
June 2016, Vlad Filat was sentenced to nine years in prison
for corruption in connection with the embezzlement. Shor was
released on his own footing and was elected mayor, but has
occasionally been given the job during house arrest while
the investigation is ongoing.
Against this backdrop, the three leading parties of the
2010 century, the Communists, the Liberal Democratic Party
and the Democratic Party, abstained from nominating
candidates for the presidential election, which was
conducted in two rounds in October and November 2016.
In the decisive round, Igor Dodon, leader of a party that
broke out of the Communist Party, won 52 percent of the
vote. His counterpart, Maia Sandu (born 1972), formerly
belonged to the Liberal Democratic Party but received
support from civil society after demanding the resignation
of both the Governor and the Prosecutor General. In the
parliamentary vacuum that has emerged, Vladimir Plahotniuc
has remained an important player and was received at
official level in the United States in 2016 at the same time
as he, via agent, held talks with official representatives
of the Russian Federation.
Moldova was one of the founders of the Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS) in December 1991, but is not part
of the CIS-based Collective Security Agreement.
In June 2014, the country signed an association agreement
with the EU, which also abolished the visa requirement for
Moldovan citizens in the same year. Moldova has been
cooperating with NATO since 2006 in the framework of an
Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP). Moldova is also
one of the initiators of GUAM (1997).
Despite independence gained, Moldova continues to make
use of laws from the Soviet era in the absence of other
alternatives. However, radical legal reforms in the market
economy direction are being implemented. The death penalty
was abolished in 1995.
Heads of State