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Important24 December 2020 19:15

Maia Sandu: I want us to become a country where people want to live. And this is my great challenge as president

Inauguration speech of the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu:

Dear citizens,
Dear Moldovans,
Dear friends of the Republic of Moldova,

Today, I come before you, with a sense of respect, responsibility and trust, to embark on a new path together. The victory in this election is not mine, but yours, dear citizens; because never in a country with the issues like Moldova’s, would a person like me have become president without your enthusiasm, engagement, and perseverance. I am one of you, a simple person, a daughter of this country, who has entered politics being upset by the injustice and the corruption which is suffocating the entire country.

Like me, you believe that engagement is the solution. In November [of 2020], you taught lessons after lessons on patriotism and civic spirit and offered me the greatest trust that a president has ever been entrusted with when taking office. With this vote of confidence and your invaluable hope, I walk into the presidency today. To those in country and the diaspora, to those of you who have understood that Moldova needs each one of you, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and ask to continue together. Victory must belong to the country, not to politicians, and victory will belong to the country when the people will live well at home, and politicians will be citizens’ servants. Together, we can do a lot. But, to succeed, we need to keep the energy of election day for four years. Every person who went to the polls, did so with the hope to be better, out of confidence for Moldova, and for the future. We must continue in the same manner. Your energy is crucial to truly change Moldova. Moldova’s development is a choice we will have to make every day.

I have big plans for our country, but I cannot get it done on my own. I need your help, dear Moldovans! We need each other to make order and build a good country for all. I know the expectations are high, and there are many challenges. We live in very difficult times. The pandemic caught us having a weak state, destroyed by the endless attacks of corrupt groups, a state incapable to fulfill its basic duties to citizens. A state that can no longer provide the sick with access to medical services, a state that abandoned doctors to face the crisis alone, a state which has done nothing to save the economy and jobs. And, as if this was not serious enough, in the midst of a health and economic crisis, we are once again subject to a violent attack by the corrupt.

In these elections, people expressed an overwhelming vote against corruption and lies. It was a vote for justice and order, for the chance of honest people to prosper here, at home. Frightened by this unity of the people fighting theft, those who had the duty to lead the country to light, have tried and are still trying to immerse it in darkness even more – in corruption, poverty, and chaos. Defying the will of the voters and ignoring the drama that hundreds of thousands of Moldovans are going through, politicians who cannot part with their seats shamelessly promote their petty interests and try to compromise any chance of the country to emerge from the crisis. They try to block the functioning of institutions and cause total havoc. What kind of deputies are those who, instead of allocating more resources to the sick, to the needy, to farmers, to small and medium-sized enterprises, they instead cut off any chance of the country to obtain foreign aid in time of major crisis, through their reckless actions? What kind of deputies are those who divide corruption schemes among themselves in the middle of the night and amnesty large scale thieves? What kind of deputies are those who violate legal norms without restraint?

They are not statesmen. They do not want and cannot build a state that works for the people. Dear citizens, we and you can build such a state. We need a good state – a good president, a good parliament, a good government for the people and the country.

I know what the constitutional role of the country’s president is. I will respect the Constitution and the laws. But people can no longer wait and ask to see changes quickly. A good start for Moldova cannot be made on parliamentary corruption or ignoring the voice of the people. Politics can no longer serve as protection for oligarchs and those who have learned that they can buy and sell anything in this country, including justice and hope. The program I have proposed will be most easily carried out with a government and a parliamentary majority that has understood the meaning of the November vote. Early elections are the only way to clean the parliament and break the deadlock. There is no other solution. There are no 51 votes in the current parliament to support a people’s government.

Dear People, Dear citizens,

our fight against the corrupt will not be easy, but I can tell you with all my confidence and responsibility that we will win this fight. We will succeed in cleaning the state and the political class of those corrupt and profiteers. We will build a state where thieves are in prison, not in charge of the country.

I am aware that it will not be easy. I am aware that things will not be perfect. But I walk confidently on this path of change for the better. I count on the good people in public institutions, including now. Know that you can count on me too – I will support those who do their job well. I will ask of institutions for nothing more than what citizens ask of me. To do their work honestly. Daily. I will force change where change is needed. I will speak out when things are not okay. I will demand action and I will not be satisfied with empty answers, without solutions for people.

We will need more democracy and more rule of law to get our country in order. I aim to be a president of fairness, a supporter of all those who fight for the law and for just institutions. I aim to build a truly free country – both for those who work for the government, for those in the private sector, and for those in the civil society – so that people’s political choices, whatever they may be, are no longer a reason for persecution. I will support the independence of the just officials. I will protect businesspeople from the abuses of bad officials, in order to build a strong and competitive economy. I will be the guarantor of mayors’ independence and, at the same time, I will tax the use of state institutions as a political bat.

I will encourage another way of functioning of the state – honest and in service of the citizen. I want a people- and future-oriented state, which is present from the center of Chisinau all the way to the smallest village in Moldova, with infrastructure of European quality. I want quality education for every child and opportunities for every young person. I want the elderly to have a secure old age, without being afraid of tomorrow. I want to restore citizens’ trust in their own country. Today one in three Moldovans look at us from thousands of kilometers away. I want that, one day, we are able to say the word “home” not only with longing, but with the serenity and joy of being where we want to be. I want any child, either born in a village in Falesti, or Ocnita, or Taraclia, to know that they can become anything by putting in the work, with common sense and support from the society. That they can become a surgeon, a teacher, an engineer, a farmer. That they can become president. This means a just country – when its children can dream and become what they set out to be.

I want us to become a country where people want to live. And this is my great challenge as president.

At the same time, reality is knocking on our door. The pandemic and the economic crisis are priorities of the moment. We need to save lives and we need to save people’s jobs. I will invite the best professionals to join me. I will ask them to come up with solutions for the recovery of the medical system so that we can support doctors and patients, to bring the vaccine as soon as possible and to put an end to the tragedies we experience every day. At the same time, we need to give confidence to entrepreneurs and hope to farmers. Every social category has my respect and deserves the respect of each of us. There will be opposing voices, there will be impediments, there will be attempts to divide, but we will not stop demanding justice for the hard working people of Moldova.

As President, I will serve you with confidence, and I will look into your eyes as I have always looked into my parents’ eyes: with gratitude, honesty, and ambition. I want us all to be proud of what Moldova will look like in four years.

I will be a transparent and open president, who will always explain what she wants to do, who seeks advise before making decisions, who recognizes when she is wrong, who is in continuous communication with the people.

I will be an integral and honest president who has never been and will never be involved in corruption schemes.

I will be a fair president, who will call things by their name, who will not spare those who violate the rights of citizens and the interest of the country.

I will be a unifying president. Respecting all citizens of the Republic of Moldova.

I will be a modest president, who understands that this position is a great responsibility, not a source of privilege.

I will be a president who values competence and will promote and support people based on merit.

I will reject compromises that undermine.

I will be a president who will always tell the truth, with empathy and firmness.

I will be the president of the country’s European integration, which will take the country out of international isolation and turn it back to external partners. I will ensure that Moldova has a clear, firm and predictable position for all our partners – and I will make sure that our interests are understood and respected.

I will promote a foreign policy that will help domestic policy, to build bridges, not walls, to allow for new investments and jobs. To open doors for our citizens, for our products, to place our country at the dialogue table with developed countries.

Dear citizens, I have no other project more important than the success of Moldova over the next four years. I have no other concern than the good of Moldova.

My dears,

In the coming days and weeks, together we will start the fight for the transformation and development of Moldova.

I have no doubt that we will be successful, if we continue being the way we know to be. United, first of all, putting aside all attempts of those who want to create false conflict or prevent us from advancing. The most important thing we managed to achieve was unity. We must continue building on it. Yes, we will work together, and I will work for all citizens.

[Russian] I will fight against those who rob us and bring us to poverty. I will act in the best interests of all citizens to improve living standards and instill confidence in the future.

[Ukrainian] I will be the voice of the people and I will demand the responsible state institutions to solve citizens’ problems.

[Gagauz] I will work so that every citizens feel the government’s responsibility.

[Bulgarian] I will respect the culture and traditions of each community.

Dear citizens, I love you all equally. And, starting today, I want us to fight against those who steal from us, not against each other. After all, this is not about the success of the president, but about the success of the country. We are hardworking people. I want us to continue working and celebrate Moldova’s success even more, to become a country of happy families and accomplished people.

Moldova is the land of good people. People who do honest work, who do not steal from neighbor’s pocket, who do not make fortunes based on someone else’s misfortune. I see you, I know you, and I know there are many of you. And whatever political preferences you may have, whatever your mother tongue, whatever your ethnicity, I promise I will respect you all. I’m your president and you can count on me.

Moldova is the land of good people, and everyone succeeds in the land of good people! This is the belief that I will follow in my work over the next four years! This is my commitment to you, which I make with an open heart and standing straight.

Thank you.”

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