What they asked for and what they got after April 7: No government has lived up to the citizens’ expectations


The 7 years of alliances

What followed after April 7 is already history. The Alliance for European Integration formed by the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova, the Democratic Party of Moldova, the Liberal Party and the “Our Moldova” Alliance (2009-2010) came to power.

AIE 1 set several major objectives: restoring the rule of law, overcoming the crisis and ensuring economic growth, territorial reintegration of the Republic of Moldova, European integration and signing the EU Association Agreement. Also, the alliance promised to restore the image of the Republic of Moldova in the world and restore trust internally and externally.

AIE 2, created in 2010, retained the objectives of the first alliance. One of these was fulfilled in 2014, when the Association Agreement with the European Union was signed, through which the visa regime was eliminated.

Beyond some successes, there followed unstable periods for Moldovan politics, and within the governing alliance there were quarrels, sharing of functions, deputies migrating from one party to another and resounding detentions.

The Pădurea Domnească file, The theft of the billion, Laundromat are just a few of the resounding scandals of that period.

From 2009 to 2016, three Alliances for European Integration existed in one form or another until all power was concentrated in the hands of one man: Vlad Plahotniuc, who fled the country in 2019.

But the upheavals continued in Chisinau politics even after his departure. Coalitions followed by mutual accusations, MPs wanted, elected officials left without immunity – voters saw it all.

Read also: The case April 7, 2009: So far, only four people have been sentenced to prison

Hopes and disappointments

Many of the young people who protested on April 7, 2009 were students eager for change. Today, 30 years have passed, and analyzing what happened, I admit that they have some disappointments.

We were in class in the morning, at the college, and a young teacher asked us if we wanted to go to the protest in PMAN. The whole group went because we were extremely disappointed with the results of the April 5 parliamentary elections. We were all hoping to finally get rid of the communists, so we couldn’t keep quiet for another four years and accept a rigged victory.

Author: Veronica, participant in the April 7 protests

Veronica believes that none of the governments that have followed have lived up to the expectations of the citizens, but…

…at least we broke with the past, i.e. the communists, and created a precedent. I believe that future governments, as well as law enforcement agencies, will not want to repeat the scenario of the April 7 protest. Before the actual violence began, the protest was an “inspiring” one. There were many young people in the streets asking for a change and I was really proud to be there. When things degenerated, I was very disappointed by the police and carabinieri, who were hitting the crowd with batons. The lesson would be that together we are a force and can overthrow regimes and that in a healthy state the police must represent the people, not the politician.

Author: Veronica, participant in the April 7 protests

Ştefan finished high school in 2009. He was among those who went to the protest on April 6, and the next day, on the 7th, he returned. He says that he remembered the fact that when the protests took place on April 6 and 7, not all the votes of the elections of April 5, 2009 were processed, and, at that time, the communists had 61 mandates, enough to elect a new president.

Read also Photo project: What was in this place on April 7, 2009 (PHOTO)

The fact that I put a cap on 4 years (no – of communist government) and there is no way to prevent the communists from ruling the country for that long is what brought me to the streets. It was this detail that made me go, along with some friends, to the protest on April 6. The next day, on the 7th, I remember that we mobilized our whole class and we all went to the market on our own. The next day, on the 8th, we were called to the director’s office and we were held accountable. (…) I remember one more essential detail. At one point we were during the “battle” near the presidency and there was a middle-aged “nene” who kept exhorting the young people: “come, come, go there, get in, be braver.” For a long time after that I thought that maybe I’ll have a chance in this life when I go back to that “nene” and tell her to take her passport and ID and go somewhere else, because that it was debunked.

Author: Ștefan, participant in the April 7 protests

But have the successive governments managed to keep their promises or not?

Not. In the campaign on April 5, there was a politician named Vlad Filat who came with a book about which he said that “it’s a government file” and that “Voronin will end up in prison”. The government that followed took everything from Voronin, divided it several times and then left with a minimum of one billion dollars in its pocket. Probably if on April 7th, some people would hesitate to go to the market if they were told that “you know, by 2013 BEM will reach a boy of your age, Ilan Şor tells him”. He is very good friends with Filat, for example. Anyway, I would have gone out to take down Voronin, but maybe we would have been more careful who we put in his place, because there were three occasions when something could have been changed – in the summer of 2009, 2010 and 2014.

Author: Ștefan, participant in the April 7 protests

But even if it left a bitter taste, the Twitter Revolution taught us a lesson, believes Ștefan.

It was the last protest where, after its end, there were no dances and people did not need organized transport. The main lesson that April 7 can offer us is that it is possible to take to the streets for a cause, even in Moldova. After that I kept hearing who and what organized, about Plahotniuc, Grigoriev, Morari, Baghirov and others. I took to the streets because I didn’t want four more years of Voronin and communists. That’s what I got. Moving on with missed chances is another story. You can pray to win $1 million in the lottery. You can invest that million, or you can drink it. We drank hard.

Author: Ștefan, participant in the April 7 protests

Reforms under loading…

At a distance of 13 years after April 7, in a geopolitical context transformed by the war in Ukraine, one of the goals of the protesters since then has been achieved. The Republic of Moldova was recognized as a candidate state for joining the European Union, admittedly with some reservations.

In 2008, Freedom House qualified the Republic of Moldova as “partially free”. In 2015, it was assigned the status of “in transition or hybrid regime” with a democracy score of 35.7 out of 100. In 2023, the score reached 62/100, but the qualification is again “partially free”.

The biggest arrears are in the fight against corruption, government transparency and judicial independence.


p class=”mb-8 px-6 md:px-0 font-bitter text-s17-l170 md:text-s18-l170 text-c121212″>According to Freedom House, corruption remains widespread and anti-corruption reform efforts have failed. In a January 2022 report, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) noted that many aspects of the government’s 2017-20 anti-corruption strategy remained unfulfilled by the end of 2020. Also, according to Freedom House, Moldova’s judicial branch is very sensitive to political influences that affect its independence, and the processes for appointing judges lack transparency. In a February 2022 report, the Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption stated that Moldova had not implemented its previous recommendations on judicial reform.

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