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Igor Dodon[a] (pronounced [ˈiɡor doˈdon]; born 18 February 1975) is a Moldovan politician who has been the President of Moldova since 23 December 2016, though his powers and duties have been temporarily suspended by the Constitutional Court since 9 June 2019. Previously he was the leader of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova. He served as Minister of Trade and Economics in the governments of Vasile Tarlev and Zinaida Greceanîi from September 2006 to September 2009 and was a member of the Parliament of Moldova from 2009 to 2016.

Igor Dodon
Igor Dodon (01.2017; cropped).jpg
5th President of Moldova
Assumed office
23 December 2016
Prime MinisterPavel Filip
Maia Sandu
Preceded byNicolae Timofti
First Deputy Prime Minister
In office
31 March 2008 – 14 September 2009
PresidentVladimir Voronin
Mihai Ghimpu (acting)
Prime MinisterZinaida Greceanîi
Preceded byZinaida Greceanîi
Succeeded byIurie Leancă
Minister of Economy and Trade
In office
18 September 2006 – 14 September 2009
PresidentVladimir Voronin
Mihai Ghimpu (acting)
Prime MinisterZinaida Greceanîi
Preceded byValeriu Lazăr
Succeeded byValeriu Lazăr
Personal details
Born (1975-02-18) 18 February 1975 (age 44)
Sadova, Moldavian SSR, Soviet Union (now Moldova)
Political partyParty of Communists (2010–2011)
Party of Socialists (2011–2016)
Independent (2016–present)
Spouse(s)Galina Dodon (1999–present)
Children3
EducationAgricultural State University of Moldova
WebsiteOfficial website

Contents

BiographyEdit

Igor Dodon was born on 18 February 1975 in Sadova village in the Călărași District of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic to Nikolai (died 2012[3]) and Galina Dodon. He studied economics at the Agricultural State University of Moldova and received a doctorate in 1998 from the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova.[4] From 1997 to 2005, he worked as an assistant professor and lecturer in the academic field.[5] This is where he would meet his wife Galina in May 1995.[6]

Besides his wife, Dodon has three children who are all boys.[7][8] His oldest son Vladislav (Vlad) is a passionate player of water polo.[9] Aside from his native Russian, he also speaks Romanian, French, and English.[10]

On 9 September 2018, Dodon was involved in a car accident on the Chisinau-Călărași highway. Although Dodon wasn't injured himself, his mother and his middle son Nicolae sustained serious injuries.[11][12] His accident came hours after Abkhazian Prime Minister Gennadi Gagulia was killed in a car accident in the Abkhazian city of Myussera.

Political careerEdit

 
Laying wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow.

Dodon was appointed to the post of Associate Minister of Trade and Economics in May 2005, during the second Tarlev Cabinet. He assumed the position of Minister of Trade and Economics in September 2006. He held the position until September 2009, when the government of Zinaida Greceanîi ended. Dodon also held the post of Associate Prime Minister under Greceanîi from 2008 until 2009.[13][14]

In 2005, the PCRM also had won the elections[15] having an open pro-European platform, with a pro-European slogan "I Vote", where the European stars surrendered the hammer and sickle on the red Communist wallpaper.[16]

In 2007, a trend for all political forces was to adopt a pro-European platform for the elections in 2009. In this regard, Igor Dodon, during his work trips to Bruxelles, had assured the high rank European officials on how he and an entire Communist party were pro-European.[17]

In September 2009, after 8 years of governing, the Communist Party came into opposition. Igor Dodon has lost the Minister position. He became an MP in the Parliament, which was reelected in November 2010. He had the 6th position in the PCRM list of the candidates.[18] The Communists has changed the European vector, and in 2010 they drifted to east, and self-declared as pro-Russians.[19]

Igor Dodon, in only a year, since 2009 by 2010, became a convinced pro Moldovan – no Europe, neither Russia. "Moldova can become a contact point for different countries; an area where first of all will interfere the economic interests of our neighbors and partners. We are in a very advantageous position in terms of the common interest of CIS and EU and this objective shall become an issue of the external policy."[20]

Local elections in Chișinău, 2011Edit

In June 2011, Dodon lost to Dorin Chirtoacă at the elections for mayor of Chișinău. He took 49.4% of the votes.[21] The local elections have been an occasion for the Communist Party to return to the governing, at the least at the local authority level.During the election campaign, Igor Dodon went to Bruxelles where he had the meetings with the European officials[22] in order to establish the potential partnerships: "I am at the working trip in the Bruxelles, where I have several meetings in my agenda, including with the Mayors of some big towns of Belgium, with the acting Prime Minister of Belgium and some high rank officials of the European Commission".[23]

Inside of PCRM an internal fight had existed among Igor Dodon and Mark Tkaciuk. Dodon has had some separate opinion on some policy issues. This independence had raised some fears from Tkaciuk side, and Dodon was considered a social threat. Dodon has shown that he had an internal support, from some rayon committees of the party. An independent position of Igor Dodon, his rating within the party and in the society, his political ambitions in overtaking the power, first of the Mayor Office and then, in PCRM – all this were interpreted by Tkaciuk as a threat, the fact that made him to speed up and force the actions that led to marginalization of Dodon in PCRM, by misinforming methods in order to prevent him to be delegated at the position of the Mayor of the Capital.[24][25]

Activity within PSRMEdit

In November 2011, Dodon left the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) citing hopes that a deal could be worked out with the ruling Alliance for European Integration to elect a president and end a constitutional crisis that had dragged on since the resignation of Vladimir Voronin in 2009.[26] Greceanîi and Veronica Abramciuc left at the same time.[27][28] "Our decision has a common and complex goal: to avoid early elections, the elections of the president of the country, reshaping of the government and political and social stability. This is the society wish, and this is what the Republic of Moldova is needed – a stability and the economic development once and for all… We left the PCRM in order to cut the “Gordian knot” of the hate and distrust which for the last two years made impossible any constitutional decision needed for the Republic of Moldova stability" Igor Dodon has declared.[29]

On 18 December 2011, Dodon joined the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) and, at the Xth Congress of PSRM, he was elected chairman of the party.[30][31]

On 16 March 2012, three former communists (Dodon, Greceanîi and Abramciuc) voted for the Alliance for European Integration (AIE) candidate Nicolae Timofti as President of Moldova. Later, Dodon stated that he regretted his vote for Timofti.[32][33]

After he was elected as the President of Moldova, due to specifics of Moldovan law, Dodon resigned as PSRM chairman and left the party, being replaced by Zinaida Greceanîi as interim leader.[34]

Opinion pollsEdit

According to the polls carried out in 2019 related to the most respected politicians of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon enjoys the highest trust, ranking first among politicians in which Moldovans have the highest trust.[35][36][37][38][39][40]

Political viewsEdit

Igor Dodon is considered a pro-Russian politician and in favor of the federalization of Moldova.[41][42]

ControversiesEdit

 
The proposed flag for Moldova by PCRM and PSRM

In 2010, the Party of Communists (PCRM) started promoting a new official flag for Moldova.[43] In March 2012, Igor Dodon and the Party of Socialists (PSRM) invited PCRM to initiate a referendum to change the national flag of Moldova from the original tricolour (similar to Romania's, except charged with Moldova's coat of arms) to a red-blue bicolor flag.[44][45] The proposed flag is considered by the Academy of Sciences of Moldova as a "pure political invention".[43]

 
Igor Dodon and Vladimir Putin, 2017

In November 2012, Dodon posted on his Facebook profile a photo that shows him wearing clothes printed with a patch of the Russian flag, which was criticized as a sign of Dodon's alleged Russophilia.[46]

In November 2014, the socialist politician of Russian ethnicity Valentin Crîlov [ro] accused Igor Dodon of being an "instrument of scenarios that would cause 'bloodshed' in Moldova", and labeled the Party of Socialists as "being in the service of another country" such as Russia. He also accused the party of becoming a threat to the "stability, peace and the very existence" of the Republic of Moldova and its extraordinarily large base of financial resources — the origin of which bear "reasonable doubt".[47][48]

In October 2016, during the presidential election campaign, Igor Dodon affirmed that Crimea, the subject of a territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine, "is a territory of the Russian Federation".[49][50] In January 2017 Dodon stated that Moldova would not officially recognize Crimea as Russian, stressing that "we need to build friendships with Ukraine, we need to solve the Transnistrian problem."[51]

On 17 October 2017, the Constitutional Court of Moldova decided that Dodon is temporarily unable to perform his duties for failing to swear in proposed Defence Minister Eugen Sturza.[52]

On 2 January 2018, the Constitutional Court of Moldova decided that Dodon is temporarily unable to perform his duties for failing to swear in a number of seven ministers.[53]

Several days later the Constitutional Court once again temporarily suspended Dodon, due to his veto on a bill on restricting Russian news broadcasts. This allowed the parliament to bypass his veto and enact a law restricting Russian television broadcasts.[54] The law bans television channels from broadcasting news and analytical programs from countries that have not signed the regional agreement for the European Broadcasting Area, such as Russia.[54]

On 7 June 2019, at the Democratic Party headquarter, according to Andrian Candu, the President Igor Dodon has negotiated with Vladimir Plahotniuc the conditions of establishing the coalition between PSRM and DP.[55] Andrian Candu has announced only some „criteria for creating the coalition”. According to him, the socialists have asked for federalization of the Republic of Moldova and providing the special statute to the Transnistrian region, launching the negotiation among Republic of Moldova, European Union and Russian Federation on trade policy, changing the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, and the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova by the Parliament.[56][57]

In 8 June 2019, before the Meeting of Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, the temporary coalition ACUM-PSRM was established[58], Dodon has declared that there were some pressure on him to tender the resignation, anticipating the appearance of some compromising videos.[59][60]

Later, after the statements made by the Andrian Candu, deputy head of the DPM, some videos have apperead at the Publika TV, one of the TV posts owned by the democratic party leader, where Igor Dodon has confirmed to Vlad Plahotniuc, that he has received the money from Russian Federation on monthly basis for PSRM maintenance[61][62], and also about presentation of federalisation plan of the Republic of Moldova coordinated with Russian Federation.[63][64][65][66][67] The President Igor Dodon has recognized that the negotiations took place to establishing the majority, the discussion at which has participated the businessman Serghei Iaralov.[68] Regarding the videos that have appeared in public space he has declared that „All these, and some of them are ripped out of context or were montages.[69][70] Vladimir Plahotniuc has confirmed the fact that negotiated with Igor Dodon within 3 months period: „The coalition DP+PSRM was almost made, but failed, because I refused to sign for the country federalization”.[71][72]

PresidencyEdit

 
Dodon in Baku, Azerbaijan in June 2017.

Dodon was sworn in on December 23, 2016 in the Palace of the Republic.[73] Three days later, the flag of the European Union that was hanging next to the Moldovan flag was removed from the building of the Moldovan presidential administration. On January 4, 2017, in the Dodon met with the President of the breakaway republic of Transnistria Vadim Krasnoselsky. This meeting was the first meeting of the leaders of Moldova and Transnistria in 8 years.[74] His first two international visits were to Moscow, and Brussels.[75][76] In 2018, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was the first foreign head of state to meet Dodon in Moldova.[77] Dodon has also acted to make the Russian language mandatory in Moldovan schools.[78]

On May 5, 2018, Dodon announced a campaign, which would bring legislation into parliament, which would transition Moldova from a parliamentary republic to a presidential republic.[79]

In early September 2018, Dodon was in a motorcade travelling near Strășeni when a non-articulated medium truck, travelling in the opposite direction on a two-lane road, in rain, crossed to the wrong side of the road and collided with Dodon’s car and a following official vehicle. Dodon received scratches in the incident, but was not hospitalised.[80] Later that month, he was again suspended from his duties for not approving the candidate for Minister of Health.[81]

 
Dodon attending the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final in July 2018.

On 16 October 2018 Dodon declared that his country would be prepared to host a Pan-Orthodox Council, where the situation with the Ukraine autocephaly and the Moscow–Constantinople schism should be discussed. He also said that "Moldova will remain a canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate."[82][83][84]

In December 2018, following his state visit to Israel, he reportedly said that he is considering moving the Moldovan embassay from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.[85]

In early 2019, President Dodon ordered a National Coordination Committee to plan national events and celebrations dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Moldova in the Jassy–Kishinev Offensive. The events would include the restoration or reconstruction of monuments and military graves and the filming of a documentary on the offensive.[86] At the same time, Dodon presided over the celebrations of the 660th anniversary of Moldovan statehood in early February.

During the 2019 Moldovan constitutional crisis, Dodon was temporarily relieved of the powers and duties of the presidency by a Moldovan court because of the reluctance to dissolve the parliament as mandated by the Constitutional Court of Moldova in a previous ruling and replaced by the former prime minister Pavel Filip as the acting president of the country.[87]

Position on TransnistriaEdit

Dodon has regularly changed his stance on the future of Transnistria. At the beginning of his presidency, he suggested that Moldova be federalized. Currently, Dodon believes that the region should receive autonomous status like Gagauzia. In regards to the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers, Dodon supports the Moldovan parliament on this issue.[88]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Unofficially also with patronymic as Igor Nicolaevici Dodon (pronounced [ˌnikolaˈe.vitʃʲ]), as a Romanianization of the full former Soviet (Russian) name.[1][2]

ReferencesEdit

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  82. ^ "Moldova's president says his country is ready to host Pan-Orthodox Council". TASS. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  83. ^ "President Dodon proposes holding pan-Orthodox Council in Moldova". OrthoChristian.Com. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  84. ^ Додон предложил провести Всеправославный собор на территории Молдавии. РИА Новости (in Russian). 16 October 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  85. ^ https://www.timesofisrael.com/moldova-president-said-to-very-seriously-consider-moving-embassy-to-jerusalem/amp/
  86. ^ http://a-tv.md/md/index.php?newsid=52934
  87. ^ Williams, Matthias (9 June 2019). "Pro-Russian Candidate Leads Moldova Presidential Vote but Faces Runoff". Reuters. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  88. ^ "Is it worthy ceding Transnistria to "neutral" Moldova?: EADaily". Retrieved 9 September 2018.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Nicolae Timofti
President of Moldova
2016–present
Incumbent