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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09CHISINAU34 2009-01-16 13:26:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Chisinau
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR MEETS UNCOMPROMISING LIBERAL

Tags:   PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM PINR MD 
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VZCZCXRO8988
RR RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHCH #0034/01 0161326
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 161326Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY CHISINAU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7523
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
					C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CHISINAU 000034 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/UMB, DRL/AE

E.O. 12958: Declassify 01/15/19
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM PINR MD
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR MEETS UNCOMPROMISING LIBERAL
PARTY LEADER

REFS: A. Chisinau 0005 B. 08 Chisinau 1168

C. 08 Chisinau 1155 D. 08 Chisinau 580

E. 07 Chisinau 1235 F. 07 Chisinau 1171

G. 07 Chisinau 0830 G. 06 Chisinau 1215

Classified by Ambassador Asif J. Chaudhry under
1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (C) Summary: Liberal Party (PL) leader Mihai
Ghimpu responded with guarded hope to the
Ambassador's encouragement of democracy in
Moldova. He calmly described the "imposed
dictatorship" of the Party of Communists (PCRM)
and his disappointment with betrayers of
democracy. Ghimpu touted his nephew, Chisinau
Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca, as an untainted symbol of
hope, and cautiously speculated about outcomes and
coalitions after spring elections. End summary.



2. (C) Forgoing the lengthy harangues of past
meetings (ref G), Ghimpu described the PCRM as
destroying the free press and an independent
judiciary, solely to maintain the power and wealth
of its members. In addition, he noted, all mayors
in the country--including Chirtoaca--must apply
for permission from the Ministry of Local Public
Administration to appoint officials. All judges,
he said, are nominated by the President, and
police are centralized under Government of Moldova
control. (Note: Ref A describes police in
Chisinau preventing Chirtoaca from putting up a
municipal Christmas tree in the city. Ref B
describes Chirtoaca's other complaints about PCRM
pressures to the Ambassador. End note.)



3. (C) Ghimpu accused the GOM of appointing
criminals as police station chiefs in order to
maintain blackmail control over them. The three-
storey houses owned by compliant judges, he said,
did not correspond to their monthly salary of
5,000 Lei (USD 500). The GOM, he pointed out,
extended its control even to charity, by requiring
that all private foreign donations be approved by
the Commission on Humanitarian Aid, and by holding
up the supplies for several months and then
distributing them as Christmas gifts before
elections.



4. (C) Noting his involvement in the fight for
democracy since perestroika in the late 1980s, and
his bribe-free two terms in Parliament in the
1990s, Ghimpu stated that he had observed first-
hand how Communists, and their faux-democrat
allies, had derailed the move to true democracy
and open markets. To this day, he declared, "the
so-called democratic parties are the
nomenklatura."



5. (C) Ghimpu was especially saddened by those who
had previously been young reformers, such as the
Liberal Democratic Party (PLDM) leader Vlad Filat
(ref D), former Social Liberal Party leader Oleg
Serebreanu (now deputy leader in Diacov's
Democratic Party), and Chisinau Municipal Council
Chairman Eduard Musuc. These had all started out
as bearers of democratic hopes, but had later
betrayed their ideals for money and power. To
combat the PCRM and its fellow-travelers, he said,
he had put forth his nephew Dorin Chirtoaca as
candidate for Chisinau Mayor in 2005 and 2007.
Chirtoaca's convincing 2007 victory, he said, had
shown that an untainted, new politician with the
Obama-like slogan of "Change" could win elections,
inspire hope, and offer a creditable alternative
to PCRM governance.



6. (C) The example of Chirtoaca, and the
enthusiasm of young party members, he noted, gave
him some hope that his party, with its anti-PCRM,
pro-Europe and pro-free market platform, would do
well. Even Russian-speakers, he noted, were
beginning to see that they had been manipulated by
the PCRM and were inclining to the PL. (Note: In
conversations with us, the National Democratic
Institute and the International Republican
Institute corroborated Ghimpu, noting that PL
youth were eager to learn and implement hands-on
door-to-door politics. End note.) While the
party is short of funds "because we do not steal,"
Ghimpu noted that three recent polls put the PL in

CHISINAU 00000034 002 OF 002


second place behind the PCRM, with Urechean's AMN
third and Filat's PLDM fourth.



7. (C) While giving no figures for PCRM and PL
support, he noted that AMN had dropped from 12 to
6.0 percent in poll averages, and that the PLDM,
despite Filat's alleged purchase of officials and
party members from other parties, had risen only
from 6.0 to 6.5 percent. Ghimpu hoped
nevertheless that they would reach the 6.0
percent, to avoid the redistribution of "wasted"
votes, which would give an advantage to the
plurality party, the PCRM. Ghimpu declared that
Voronin would anoint someone who was obedient and
pro-Russian as his successor, and mentioned Deputy
Prime Minister Mejinschii (ref C), Minister of
Interior Papuc (ref H), or Prosecutor General
Gurbulea (ref F).



8. (C) Ghimpu predicted that no party would gain a
majority in Parliament, and that gaining the 61
(out of 101) MPs' votes to elect a president would
be difficult. Ghimpu declared in advance his
refusal to cooperate with the PCRM or with those
MPs who had voted for Voronin in 2005, but said
nothing about possible alliances. In response to
the Ambassador's remarks about the need for
flexibility and pragmatism in politics, Ghimpu did
note that he had been willing to create alliances
to become Chairman of the Chisinau Municipal
Council in 2007 (ref E).

Comment


--------------------------





9. (C) Ghimpu balanced hope with melancholy during
the meeting. He could not live, he stated, with
the thought that those who betrayed the country,
its language, and the church were still in power.
The mysterious death of his dissident brother in
2000, he said, "obliges me to change life in
Moldova," and, he concluded, his life would make
no sense unless he labored for the welfare of his
country. It will be intriguing to see whether
this very private person will undertake the burden
of leadership and coalition building if the PL
does well, or whether he will turn matters over to
his more public and charismatic nephew.


Chaudhry