Interview with Andrei Năstase, President of the Platform “Dignity and Truth”, for Political Almanac 2020
Mr Năstase, how would you characterize the political year 2020?
The political year 2020 was extremely crowded, difficult and, obviously, when we refer to politics, we cannot ignore the fact that it depended entirely on the multidimensional crisis which the Republic of Moldova had to cope with. Let us remember that the crisis has affected the health system, the economy, agriculture, entrepreneurship, education, society in general with all the most vulnerable groups of the population. In the context of the inefficiency, inability and even bad faith of the Government, against which we also submitted a no confidence motion, the problems worsened significantly. From all this, I can say with regret that the political year 2020 was the year of the worst governing, including the most irresponsible parliamentary majority and the most liar president (I mean Igor Dodon, of course) from all the history since the independence of the Republic of Moldavia.
What are your political priorities have you had this year?
My priorities have been dictated by the enormous responsibility that I felt, together with all my colleagues in the DA Platform, in the face of the unprecedented challenges we faced as a society. We have always been connected to the processes in the country and we have come up with solutions for each problem. We have developed effective and real sets of measures to prevent massive contamination with the new coronavirus, to maintain health and protect those who fight in the front line with the pandemic, to support entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses forced to stop their activities because of restrictions, the protection of the population in general, we have developed sets of measures capable of preventing the collapse of the agricultural field, which is severely affected by drought, etc.
We know that in 2020 you were in permanent dialogue with people. What is the perception of citizens about what is going on in politics?
My concern was for people to be informed especially about the activity of the DA Platform in the context of what is happening in Moldovan politics. It was important for them to know that (even if Parliament was blocked even for a period of two months) the deputies of our faction registered almost 90 bills in 2020. During the autumn-winter session, although the parliamentary majority often ignored the most basic procedural rules, 6 legislative initiatives of the DA Platform were adopted of great importance and impact. I am referring here to the Offshore Law (a desideratum of the DA Platform program according to which companies directly or indirectly controlled from tax havens cannot participate in public acquisitions, privatization, concessions and public-private partnerships), the creation of the investigation Commission on the investigation of Laundromic in the lead with our deputy, Inga Grigoriu, the legislative changes that substantially reduced fines for violating pandemic restrictions (the fines had to be related to the real income of the population), the law under which a survivor’s pension was offered to relatives of doctors who died because of infection with COVID-19. I would also like to recall the legislative changes which extend the powers of the members of the Court of Auditors and increase the accountability of state officials and civil servants in the context of the Court of Auditors’ checks and others. At the same time, at the insistence of the DA Platform deputies, it was voted (after almost 3 years of delay!), the bill to amend the law on internal trade stipulates that at least 50% of agri-food products on the shelves of the shops must be of local origin. Last-minute victories: thanks to the efforts of the DA Platform Members, we managed to prevent most of the VAT for agricultural producers, to keep tax facilities for the community associations of disabled people and to bring capital investments worth about 20 million lei for over 40 city halls.
Obviously, it is regrettable that dozens of other legislative initiatives of the DA Platform, with clear benefits for people, were rejected.
In 2020, the DA Platform marked five years of political activity. How were these years?
These years have been exactly like in the title of the recently launched “Political Almanach”: “Five years of work and days.” Five years of struggle, consistency, involvement, determination, demanding daily activity. Five years of consolidating the DA Platform party. We started by protesting on the streets without the intention of getting involved in the active political process, but, driven by a common aspiration to create a rule of law and a country you do not want to leave, we came to be represented in the legislative body of the country through the most prolific and beating team of deputies, to have mayors and councilors in all districts of the Republic of Moldova and not to widen the ranks through well-placed territorial organizations.
What objectives does the DA Platform set for the next period?
Territorial conferences are now taking place and in February 2021 we are planning to conduct the Congress of the Platform Dignity and Truth. There are important things to solve: there will be changes to the statute, we will also adopt an adjusted Program, of course, we will also choose the party leadership. I am going to run for a new term of office as party leader, but obviously I am not going to be the one who will decide the outcome. My colleagues from the party, from Briceni to Cahul and below, will decide, because this is the case in the DA Platform. Despite the speculations, appearances, propaganda and lies which have been thrown in the DA Platform, there is democracy in our party and there is also meritocracy. What some just proclaim, we do every day. Also, obviously, we are ready to engage fully , as we usually do, in political processes. The DA platform will beat the bone whenever it is needed for the country and for the people. We are talking about the Dignity and Truth Platform, as a political party. We all will get involved in the process of setting up a new Government, no matter what position: from the position of Prime Minister, Minister, because we have enough high quality people who could manage during this time. I can tell you that on the DA Platform, I can be still at stake. We continue to be employed in the service of the citizens, in the service of the people and the country. That is clear and visible to the naked eye.
How do you think the political situation will evolve in 2021?
As I have already said, now Moldova is again on the edge of the gap, just a few steps away from a generalized democratic and economic collapse (especially according to the laws voted by the majority Dodon-Plahotniuc-Șor on the last hundred meters, after the failure with the IMF, etc…). Behind this majority in the Legislation, which is destroying, through its approaches and actions, the reputation of our state and simply destroys people’s trust in its institutions, are the same characters that we, all the fair, just and courageous people in the Republic of Moldova must put each of them where they belong. In this sense, I believe that, as soon as possible, in months most likely, this health crisis, this pandemic, will most likely end up with the victory of modern science and medicine over this deadly virus. This will be the time, already in 2021, when all of us, safe from medical risks, will be able to resume the National Resistance Movement, which, please note, will this time permanently sweep all those who are simply playing the Republic of Moldova today. Thus, I hope and believe that the political situation will evolve in the coming year.
What are your plans for the future?
Obviously, plans always exist, but let’s not forget that sometimes God is more amused when he sees them. Because they can be diverted at any time from circumstances that do not depend on us. However, although we have already largely revealed to you what we are going to do as a political group, we still intend to do absolutely everything that depends on us in order to secure early democratic elections. At the same time, we will prepare for them, in this way we can take as many mandates as possible, then create a truly dedicated majority in the legislation for the people, the country,for a pertinent future here, at home.
Nina Emandei – trainee translator