The pro-Western economist Dorine Rician was chosen by the president of Moldova to succeed Natalia Gavrilita, who abruptly resigned Friday, 18 months into a term that had been severely strained by the conflict in neighboring Ukraine.
Members of Gavrilova’s ruling Party of Action and Solidarity, or PAS, welcomed President Maia Sandhu’s choice of Reclean as the new prime minister, she said at a news conference.
Reclean, 48, who held the position of interior minister from 2012 to 2015, has 15 days to create a new administration and present it to Parliament for a vote of confidence. In Parliament, PAS is in the majority.
“I am aware that to get through this challenging time, we will need to work together and put in a lot of effort. Some of our initiatives were postponed due to the challenges in 2022,
but they were unable to stop us,” said President Sandu, adding that in 2023 she intends to concentrate on reforming important areas like the justice system and Moldova’s economy.
Moldova, a former Soviet republic with a population of around 2.6 million, has worked to develop tighter connections with its Western allies ever since Russia invaded Ukraine almost a year ago. It received candidate status for the European Union on the same day as Ukraine in June of last year.
Reclean promised to “continue promptly” with the installation of a new government, with the major goals of his administration being to instill “order and discipline” in Moldova’s institutions, revitalize the economy, and maintain peace and stability.
Gavrilita, a 41-year-old economist who became prime minister in August 2021, said after her resignation that her administration “would have been able to go forward more and faster” if it had received domestic support and confidence on par with those of other European nations.
The premiership of Gabrielite was plagued by a number of issues. These include a severe energy crisis following Moscow’s sharp reduction in supply to Moldova and soaring inflation following the conflict in Ukraine. This has been made worse by the wartime missiles that have flown over its country and the missile debris that has been found there.
Nobody anticipated that her government “would have to manage so many issues generated by Russian aggression in Ukraine,” the speaker added.
At a time when corruption schemes had taken over all the institutions and the oligarchs felt untouchable, I assumed office as the government with an anti-corruption, pro-development, and pro-European agenda, Gavrilova remarked. Energy blackmail began right away, and those who perpetrated it believed that we would fall for it to yield.
The wager made by the nation’s opponents was that we would behave similarly to earlier administrations that had abandoned energy concerns and compromised the interests of the country in favour of immediate gains.
Vidant Patel, the deputy spokesman for the State Department, told reporters in Washington on Friday that “Russia has for years supported influence and destabilization campaigns in Moldova, which frequently involve weaponizing corruption to further its goals.” This came after Moldovan authorities confirmed that another missile from the war next door had briefly crossed the country’s skies.
For her “enormous sacrifice and efforts to lead the country in a time of so many difficulties,” Sandhu congratulated Gavrilita on Friday.