Moldova is a parliamentary republic, where
the president and parliament share the executive power.
The country has two autonomous regions: Transnistria (Dnestre
Republic) and Gagauzi. Transnistrian status has
been disputed since Moldova's independence in 1991,
while Gagauzi became an autonomous region through a
constitutional amendment in 2003. Party politics is
characterized by fierce contradictions between
Russia-oriented and EU-friendly parties.
The 1994 Constitution states that Moldova must be an
indivisible and neutral state in which human rights are
respected. The president is head of state and
commander-in-chief and from 2016 is elected directly by
the people for a term of four years. During the period
2000–2016, the President was appointed by Parliament,
but the constitutional supplement on which this was
based was revoked by the Constitutional Court in 2016.
Total population and chart of Moldova for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The President appoints the Prime Minister (Head of
Government) and then other Ministers on his proposal.
However, the government must be approved by Parliament.
Parliament has a chamber of 101 members, who are
elected in general elections for a term of four years.
Parliament's most important task is to pass laws,
approve government policies, reject or adopt
international agreements, and declare state of
emergency, war or peace. In order to get representation
in Parliament, a party must conquer at least six percent
of the vote. An election association between two parties
must receive at least nine percent and an election
association between three or more parties at least
twelve percent of the votes. In an advisory referendum
in February 2019, the Moldavans voted to reduce the
number of seats in Parliament from 101 to 61.
Prior to the February 2019 elections, the election
system was changed. 50 of the members are now elected in
proportional elections, while 51 are elected by majority
vote in one-man constituencies. Previously, only
proportional choices were applied. The new system favors
larger parties as they have the greatest chance of
winning in all constituencies. Smaller parties must be
strongly locally anchored if they are to have the chance
to get the most votes in a constituency.
Administratively, the country is divided into 33
districts and two autonomous regions, Transnistria (Dnestre
Republic; see further chapter) and Gagauzi, as well as a
number of cities and villages. The election of mayor and
municipal council is held every four years.
The Gagauzi, with 150,000 residents, has its own
elected parliament and an elected governor (Bashkan). If
Moldova's status as an independent nation were to change
(for example, if Moldova unites with Romania), Gagauzi
has the right to proclaim its independence.
The judicial system consists of the Supreme Court,
the Constitutional Court, the Court of Appeal and
District Courts. There are also special military and
economic courts. The judges are appointed by the
president after consultation with a judicial council.
There are over 40 registered parties in the country.
Five of them are represented in Parliament. Political
parties are generally built around strong leaders and
grassroots organizations are usually poorly developed.
The party programs are fairly unclear, but a dividing
line goes between the parties who want to strengthen
ties with the West and those who look east, towards
Distrust of politicians is widespread, which is not
least fueled by the widespread corruption. Studies show
that the majority of Moldavians believe that politicians
are bought and that elections do not generate
The biggest party nowadays is the pro-Russian
Moldovan Socialist Party (Partidul
Socialistilor din Republica Moldova), which in the
February 2019 elections won just over a third of the
vote. The Socialist Party was formed as early as 1996
but did not enter Parliament until the 2014 elections,
when the party is believed to have won over many
supporters of the Communist Party, which in turn fell
The Communist Party of Moldova
(Partidul Comuniștilor din Republica Moldova) was the
dominant party during the period 1998 to 2009. The party
was banned a few years after the dissolution of the
Soviet Union in 1991, but resumed in reformed form and
became the largest party of the 1998 elections but
failed to form government (see Modern history). Three
years later, the party won its own majority and thus
became the first Communist party in the former Soviet
Union to take back government power through democratic
elections. Until 2003, the Communist Party advocated
closer cooperation with Russia, but then became more
EU-friendly. The Communists lost power after a new
election in the summer of 2009 and walked out of
Parliament in the 2019 elections.
In the 2009 and 2014 elections, liberal EU-friendly
parties won the majority of the mandate: the
Conservative Moldova Liberal Democratic Party
(Partidul Liberal Democrat your Moldova),
Moldova's Democratic Party (Partidul
Democrat your Moldova) and the Liberal Party
(Partidul Liberal). The parties ruled in various
coalitions until the 2019 elections. The Liberal
Democrats led governments from 2009 to 2014 and the
Democratic Party from 2016, but in the 2019 elections,
neither the Liberal Democratic Party nor the Liberal
Party managed to block the parliament. The Democratic
Party, on the other hand, came in third place after the
newly formed, provest alliance Nu
The Alliance was formed in December 2018 by the
Liberal Action and Solidarity Party
(Partidul Acțiune și Solidaritate) and Platform
for Dignity and Truth (Partidul Platforma
Demnitate şi Adevăr). The Action and
Solidarity Party, founded in 2016, emphasizes in its
program human rights and market economy. A platform for
dignity and truth was formed in 2015 as the extension of
the popular movement against corruption and for
increased transparency in state administration. Party
leader Adrian Năstase won the mayoral election in the
capital Chisinău in June 2018, but the election was
subsequently annulled, which led to criticism both in
Moldova and the outside world (see Current policy and
Parliament's smallest party, the Şor party
(Partidul Şor), has been in existence since 1998 but
entered parliament first in the 2019 elections. It is
led by corruption-accused businessman Ilan Şor and
represents a Russia-friendly policy.
The President meets with Transnistria's leaders
President Voronin meets Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov for the first time
in seven years. The two leaders agree that peace talks must resume after lying
down since 2001.
Female Head of Government
Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev and his government resign. Tarlev says the
country needs a more popular government. President Voronin appoints Deputy Prime
Minister and Communist Party Zinaida Greceanii as new Prime Minister. She thus
becomes the country's first female head of government.