(INTERVIEW) Vlad Plahotniuc: Government and City Hall belong to the citizens, therefore they must work together, regardless their political ideologies
Within an interview offered for TRIBUNA.MD, Vlad Plahotniuc leader of PDM, claimed to appreciate the results of the local elections. Who PDM supported during recent elections and why PDM did not support Andrei Năstase in the second round, or at least urged people to vote against socialists.
Chisinau has a new Mayor, are you satisfied by the results?
There are many things that should be remarked after those elections. I will start from the fact that despite many speculations and manipulative campaigns, the elections were correct and democratic, which is proved by the opposition being now at helm. There were many manipulations claiming that the elections will not be fair, it being the main topic for both rounds. It proved to be a lie. Unfortunately, those who promoted those false messages did not appreciate the way those elections took place, but were pleased by the results.
The second thing that needs to be mentioned is that a period of instability in the City Hall has came to an end and it is time for work to be systematically done for the citizens and for the city's problems to be solved.
Regarding the results of those elections, taking in consideration the small amount of people who voted, we cannot claim it a victory, but we have defeated the socialists, who recently begun having big ambitions and I believe those elections will prove them that they cannot win by themselves in the parliamentary elections. An important sign was also given by people from Chisinau, who continue to wish for Moldova to follow and European track. What sort of country with pro-European aspirations would we have been with a socialist Mayor and President? PDM also empathized during the campaign that it is important for socialists to not win.
Who did PDM supported in those elections?
PDM did not forward a candidate and did not participate in the political campaign. I believe it was a right move to not forward a candidate, we forwarded a candidate and were accused by the opposition of wishing to take over Chisinau City Hall, that we wish to control everything. We proved that this was a lie and just how false are the rumors that the state is captured. How can we speak of captured state, when presidential elections were won by a far-left opposition, while the mayoral elections by the far-right opposition? Those results of the mayoral elections bring a balance in the state, the far-right opposition has the chance to speak less and act more, to prove what it is capable of. Today, Republic of Moldova is not controlled by a single power, because it is partially split between main political forces of the country- the far-left, central, the far-right.
Why PDM did not support Năstase in the second round, or at least urged people to vote against socialists?
We have done so in the first round and our supporters got the message, including the one for the second round. I remind what I have previously said - vote against socialists and liberals, who have led the City Hall for many years to its ruins. Our call from the first round did not change in the second one.
Were we to support a certain candidate, many would once again create speculations. I believes we have done everything right, by maintaining the message from the first round, when we clearly urged people to vote against socialists.
Some claim that you wished for the opposition to win from the start, just to put Năstase in a tight spot, to make people see that he cannot lead the City Hall, the Government to not help him. Is it true?
PDM never had any aims in this political campaign. We do not mind that the City Hall was taken by the far-right opposition, because it is an important step toward pluralism and democracy in Moldova, but it is also the moment of truth. Finally, citizens will be able to truly see what the opposition is capable of. It is simple to criticize, but when it comes to act and work for results, things radically change.
Regarding the Government, it must help Chisinau regardless of who is the Mayor, as long as its activity is in the people's favor. The Government will support Chisinau with everything it can. It will not care that the Mayor is from the opposition, the Government and City Hall belongs to the citizens and must work together, regardless their political ideas. The City Hall must also cease the internal fight and start working for the citizens.
Do you regret that Silvia Radu did not win? Is it true that she will following receive a position in the Government?
I did not actively follow her activity at the City Hall, some claim that she has done a great job. But to lead the City Hall you also require political support, because you cannot achieve anything by yourself, in a country where people vote based on geopolitics. She had a great score for an independent candidate, which is a sign that many people from Chisinau do not wish for politics in the City Hall. I do not believe that she had big chances to win as an independent candidate, especially because not many people chose to vote.
I believe it was a mistake from her side that she did not speak with far-right parties before the elections. She chose to separate herself from all parties and gained the most supporters possible under such conditions.
Regarding the speculations you mentioned, there were no discussions in the Government regarding a cooperation.
Do you belie that Andrei Năstase will manage his new position?
I do not know what he is capable of and therefore cannot say. I belie we only should judge a person after seeing them in action. A political person cannot be judged by how loud he can yell and how much he can speak, but by his ability to lead an institution and solve people's problems.
He is one of your main critics, are you not displeased by his victory?
He and Dodon stood not long ago on the same platform and criticized me, organized protests together, actions that suggested close collaboration between them. Their relations could be clearly seen in the second round. Today, they both lead institutions, the two people who claimed that Plahotniuc captured the state. A captured state would never allow them to gain those positions and for free elections to be held.
Therefore, were I to have negative emotions, it is not because they won the elections, but for that show they have promoted. It is important that people gave them a chance to prove themselves. It is left to be seen if people have punished them this way, or gave them a true chance to prove their abilities.
You can now see how Dodon acts as a President and take notes, you will also see Năstase soon, then make conclusions, what are they good for, talks or actions for the people. I believe that in democracy, such a moment when the opposition gains positions, it is a positive sign. Now, I prefer the current situation, the far-right and far-left opposition, given the chance to do things for the people, to not simply stand in the streets or on Facebook and tell stories.
We have never before had such a balance in Moldova and the irony is that those are the moments when the opposition gained two important positions in the state, when people claim that the country is captured. Time will explain us better then we ever could in words.
Do you believe that the result from Chisinau will influence the parliamentary elections?
I hope they will influence them. The elections have proven that Moldova remains a pro-European country and I hope the same will be in autumn.
T: How will a pro-European governance be created when PAS and PPDA claim that they will never make an alliance with PDM?
Were I member of the opposition, I would claim the same things up until the elections. It would be political suicide for the opposition to say that they will make an alliance with the ruling party. How would people see PAS and PPDA if they admitted that an alliance with PDM will be create before the elections? They would automatically lose part of their supporters. Therefore it is a right move to claim that they will never make an alliance with PDM What will follow the elections, let us not make any speculations, to see the result and speak of it only then. At the moment the parties from opposition and the ruling parties, they must not mix and risk to confuse the people, because it will be a loss for the far-right parties.
After the elections from Chisinau, some people form the opposition claim that PSRM has an advantage. Will socialists benefit from the mixed voting system?
General elections do not take place only in Chisinau, but in the whole country. There were 10-12 settlements where snap elections took place in the past few months, socialists having lost in them all! It shows that this system is actually a disadvantage to the socialists. The same will also repeat in Chisinau, socialists will not have even close to the score from the recent elections. Again, just like in the case of other speculations, some make claims on situations that are more made up, due to lack of understanding. Reality will later bring them back to earth.
I believe that some do not like the mixed voting system, because they do not have branches in other regions of the country, only have a team in Chisinau. But the general elections are made for the country, it must bring to the Parliament people chosen by all citizens, not only those from Chisinau. What sort of party can represent a country if it only has a team in Chisinau? The Parliament must represent all districts and regions, all people. The mixed voting system does exactly that, helps people to come to the Parliament from each region, not only Chisinau. Citizens have the possibility to send their representatives to the Parliament. Chisinau must not have monopoly over the whole Moldova.
You have recently returned from USA and were previously in London. What stood the reason behind those visits? I ask because in the past you did not make such visits often. Do you seek there support or something else?
It was a mistaken on my part to not have a more consistent foreign policy and let others to speak of PDM or even myself. Since I became leader of PDM have changed this idea and we now have a well-structured program, I begun to speak more actively with our foreign partners and concluded that it is important. They wish to know the opinion of all crucial parties, to have correct information regarding the situation from the country. Often, opinions were changed after talks and debates, opinions previously based on speculations or false information, provided by some politicians from Moldova. Therefore I decided to visit our foreign partners as often as possible, it is also a weekly event in Chisinau, when we meet representatives of diplomatic bodies. It is a change that PDM has made, proving itself to be open for talks, both with foreign partners, as well as in the country, with the citizens.