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Moldova’s political crisis

Alert - No1 - 26 March 2013

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After a period of relative stability and significant progress in its reform efforts, Moldovan politics has (re)entered a phase of instability, creating uncertainty about its future direction and its relationship with the EU.

Following a disputed election and civil unrest in April 2009, a three-party, pro-European coalition government - known as the Alliance for European Integration (AEI) - has been in office since September 2009. The AEI is led by the acting Prime Minister Vlad Filat, leader of the Liberal Democrat Party (LDP). The other coalition parties are the Democratic Party(PD) and the Liberal Party (PL). The main opposition force, the Communist Party, is less unequivocally supportive of Moldova's European ambitions, advocating instead a greater degree of equidistance between the EU and Russia.

The election of Nicolae Timofti as President of the Republic of Moldova in March 2012 ended a long period of political and constitutional deadlock, paving the way for political stabilisation and an acceleration of large-scale reforms. A recent European Commission Progress Report on the European Neighbourhood Policy (March 2013) highlighted the significant advances made by Moldova and reconfirmed its potential to become the success story of the Eastern Partnership (EaP).

Nonetheless, as highlighted in the Commission's report, areas remain where progress has been more limited. In particular, the fight against corruption and the reform of the judicial system are crucial to Moldova's reform efforts and a lack of progress in these areas is a significant factor in a wider political crisis which currently risks undermining all that has been achieved.