The year 2016 brings two important objectives related to the rule of law: the appointment of people at the top of the justice system and the organizing of local and parliamentary elections. In the first case, stability and continuity must be provided, which means fewer institutional changes and competent and transparent selection of people able to deliver measurable performance. In terms of the elections, the challenge stems from the fact that a big part of the mayors in office – many of whom have integrity issues or are in clientelism relationships with the central office – have the opportunity of being re-elected in a single round of elections. During the past four years, the local mayors have migrated to get discretionary resources from the Government (see a Map of Clientelism by EFOR) and political support, disregarding the interests of citizens or the responsibility for the community. Although citizens who took to the streets to protest and the civil society demanded a refreshing of the political class, the legal conditions and the intentions of the political parties prove that this ideal is far from attainment. However, returning to two-round elections would reopen the political competition.

The situation in Moldova has stagnated during the past year and the dissatisfaction is revealed by street protests, attended by citizens, new political forces or populists. Although Vlad Plahotniuc has a 95% of mistrust in the public opinion, he is the one influencing the country’s evolution. Moldova’s situation is rendered more difficult by the fact that external donors halted financing sources. Romania remains one of Moldova’s few chances, but in order to make sure the money won’t vanish like the 1 billion dollars that went missing, we need to impose clear terms related to reforms. It is not obvious yet who will do the monitoring, but it is clear that the civil society in Romania and in the Republic of Moldova will play a key role in implementing a real Good Governance Agenda.

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