Following the 1994 Constitution with subsequent
amendments, Moldova is an independent, parliamentary-
democratic and essentially unified state republic.
The legislative authority has been added to a parliament
with 101 members, elected in the general election for four
In 2017, a mixed electoral system was introduced in which
51 representatives were to be elected in one-party circles
and the other 50 on party lists. In 2019, the parliament
decided to revert to the scheme that all representatives
should be elected on party lists in proportional elections.
The barrier is 5 percent for parties, 7 percent for
alliances of two or more parties.
Executive power is shared between the president and the
government. Following the 1994 constitution, the president
was elected by the people by direct election. It was changed
in 2000 for the president to be elected by parliament by a
three-fifths majority. In 2016, the 1994 election process,
with the direct election of the president, was reintroduced.
The government is based on and is accountable to
Parliament. According to the Constitution, Gagausia, where
the population has Turkish roots, and Transnistria, where
the majority are slave, are autonomous regions. In part,
there has been armed conflict over Transnistria, where the
Slavic majority wants independence and Russian affiliation,
and the status of this region is still unclear.
Moldova is divided into 32 districts, three urban areas
and the two autonomous regions, Gagausia and Transnistria
(where the latter's status is unclear), and these remain in
local units. There are local elected bodies. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how MD can stand for Moldova.
The country has a separate constitutional court and, by
the way, a Supreme Court and a number of lower level courts.
Moldova Flags and Weapons
Moldova's flag was put into use in 1990 and is divided
into three equally wide vertical fields in blue, yellow and
red (counted from the pole) - the same colors as the
Romanian flag. The yellow field is coated with the national
The coat of arms
The national coat of arms shows a golden eagle holding a
yellow cross in the beak and in the claws an olive branch
and a yellow scepter. On the chest, the eagle wears a
two-piece shield (red over blue) coated with a yellow
stylized bull's head surrounded by an eight-bared star, a
stylized flower and a crescent, all in yellow.
Moldova is one of Europe's poorest countries, and the
economic situation has been very difficult in the years
since independence. Gross domestic product (GDP) dropped
drastically, reaching a minimum in 1999 with 33 percent of
1989 value. The country was the SUS country where the
decline lasted the longest. From 2000, there was economic
growth until 2008. However, growth was not strong enough to
eliminate poverty, and with the international financial
crisis in 2009, Moldova again experienced economic decline.
From 2010, uneven growth began again. In 2015, however, GDP
was still lower than in each of the years 1989–1991, but
twice as large as in the bottom year 1999. It is estimated
that over a quarter of the working-age population work
In addition to the general conversion problems common to
the former Communist states, Moldova has had special
problems, as the economy has been closely interwoven with
the former Soviet Union. The country has virtually no energy
production and is completely dependent on Russia and
Ukraine. This has made the country vulnerable to political
pressure from Moscow. The fact that much of Moldova's
industry is in the Transnistria mining region has also
significantly weakened Moldova's economy. The 1992 war also
restored the economy. In addition, severe drought and other
natural disasters have hit the agricultural land in Moldova
for many years particularly hard.
Parliamentary elections in 2001 and 2005
In the February 2001 parliamentary elections, widespread
poverty and a miserable economic situation led to the
victory of the Communist Party (50.1 percent of the vote)
and enough representatives to decide the presidential
election. The Communist Party had already become the largest
party in 1998, even though it had then had to form a central
coalition government. In April 2001, Parliament elected
Communist leader Vladimir Voronin as the country's
The communists also won the election in 2005. But then
they needed help from parts of the opposition to secure
re-election of Voronin as president. Following the 2001
elections, the new rulers proposed closer cooperation with
Russia and tried to make Russian the official language next
to Moldovsk (Romanian) with compulsory Russian education in
primary school. There were major demonstrations against this
in 2002, and the authorities had to give up the hard line.
Also, the difficulty of finding a solution to the
Transnistria conflict has led to the communists opening up
to more European integration.
In 2008, Moldova got its first female prime minister,
Zinaida GreceanÓi from the Communist Party.
Two parliamentary elections in 2009
At the parliamentary elections on April 5, 2009, the
Communist Party again became the largest with 49.5 percent
of the vote and 60 of the 101 seats. To decide the
presidential election alone, a party needed 61 seats. The
turnout was 57.5 per cent. After the announcement of the
preliminary election results came large demonstrations,
mainly of youth. The demonstrations were anti-communist in
nature and disputed that the elections had been conducted
properly. International observers rated the election largely
passed, but had many critical comments regarding the
election campaign and access to the country's most important
The demonstrations eventually turned to violent riots,
and the parliament building was set on fire. President
Voronin blamed foreign forces and the Romanian ambassador
was expelled. Several Romanian and other foreign journalists
were denied entry or encountered other obstacles in their
After a few days, however, Voronin agreed to count the
votes again, which the Constitutional Court later ruled. The
opposition boycotted the new census and justified it
primarily because it was the electorate, not the census,
that had to be reviewed to reveal if election fraud was
significant. The new count only resulted in minimal
adjustments to the result and no changes in the distribution
of seats. After the Communist Party in parliamentary polls
in May and June received only 60 votes for its presidential
candidate, and not 61 as needed, a new election was printed
in accordance with the Constitution.
The new parliamentary elections took place on July 29,
2009. The turnout was 58.8 per cent, slightly higher than in
the April elections. International election observers were
mainly satisfied with the conduct of the election itself.
But even during this election, the election campaign was
characterized by the various communists being favored in the
mass media; both in state television and in the largest
private television channel.
The Communist Party was still by far the largest party
with 44.7 percent of the vote. There was a clear decline
from April, when the party gained 49.5 percent. The mandate
went down from 60 to 48. The four opposition parties, which
exceeded the 5 per cent threshold, received a total of 53
seats. In August, they pledged to cooperate on government by
forming the "Alliance for European Integration", and in
September 2009 Vlad Filat of the Liberal Democratic Party
became prime minister in a coalition government with a
majority in parliament.
The most prominent party in the election was the center /
left-leaning Democratic Party (Partidul Democrat), which
received 12.5 percent of the vote and became the third
largest of the non-communist parties. At the April election,
the party had only received three percent of the vote and
did not reach the bar. One explanation for the great
progress was that Marian Lupu had become a new party leader.
He had previously been Minister of Economy in a Communist
government, and from 2005 to 2009 he was President of the
National Assembly. In the summer of 2009 he left the
Communist Party and joined the Democratic Party, where he
was immediately elected leader.
Lupu, who is considered a technocratically oriented
politician, has criticized communists for a lack of reform.
When, after the April 2009 election, a new president failed
to succeed, Vladimir Voronin continued as acting president.
Nor was the parliament elected in July 2009 able to get
elected president, since no grouping had an adequate
Voronin resigned his position as acting president on
September 11, 2009. Until a new president could be elected,
the president of the newly elected National Assembly, Mihai
Ghimpu of the Liberal Party (Partidul Liberal), served as
the country's interim president. The last possible attempt
to elect the President of this Parliament took place on
December 7, 2009, with no results. This would again
necessitate new elections to parliament. Since the
Constitution requires at least one year to pass between each
time the parliament dissolves, a new parliamentary election
could not take place before autumn 2010.