Moldovan ‘Democrats’ flee the country

Oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc, the éminence grise of Moldovan politics and the primary patron of the Democratic Party that has been in power in recent years, left the country on 14 June in a black aircraft heading for Istanbul (the unusually colored private jetliner had been seen on standby at the Chisinau Airport for several days). According to other reports, he left Moldova by car through Transnistria and boarded an airplane in Odessa.

Plahotniuc is currently believed to be in the USA. The Democratic Party claims that he only left for a few days to visit his family.

Apparently, Plahotniuc was one of the first to leave Moldova. He did so immediately after a session of the party’s National Political Council, where it was decided that the democrats would step down from power. Moldovan President Igor Dodon accused them of usurping power in recent weeks, after the Moldovan Party of Socialists and the ACUM bloc led by Maia Sandu formed a majority parliamentary coalition.

Even earlier to leave was Andrian Candu, deputy chairperson of the Democratic Party and former chairperson of parliament. A relative of Plahotniuc, Candu was the one to sign all the decrees during the period when President Dodon was temporarily suspended by a Constitutional Court ruling. Three days ago, Candu left on a mysterious visit to Washington. This was discovered only later, and nothing has been seen or heard from Candu himself since.

Ilan Sor, head of the eponymous Sor party, an MP and the governor of Orhei, who has been under investigation for stealing millions from the Moldovan banking system, has also reportedly left the country.

Iurie Leanca, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of European Integration known for his pro-Romanian orientation, has also gone on holiday abroad.

“Yesterday five charter planes took off from Chisinau Airport,” Moldovan MP and political scientist Bogdan Tirdea told the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta. “Ilan Sor, the man suspected of stealing a billion, flew to Israel, his family to Moscow. Oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc and other gentlemen have fled. They took with them large sums of money and documents related to the theft of a billion and to illegal privatization and schemes. But the new government has promised to get them. That is, the top echelon of the Diplomatic Party and the Sor party have managed to flee the country. Prime Minister Maia Sandu has promised that they will be held accountable to the law for their numerous crimes. The same has been said by Andrei Nastase, the new Minister of Internal Affairs.”

These are unlikely to be the last prominent politicians and businessmen linked to the Democratic Party and to Plahotniuc who will leave Moldova over the next few days.

At the same time, the new Prime Minister, Maia Sandu, has demanded that all judges of the Constitutional Court resign “if they have an even ounce of dignity and respect for the Constitution and the citizens”. Previously, President Dodon also stressed the need to reformat the Constitutional Court, which has blatantly supported Plahotniuc and the Democratic Party in its breaches of the constitution in recent years.

  Moldova, Odessa, Ukraine, Europe, Chisinau

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