Balti Mayor Vasile Panciuc said he could propose to annul the Municipal Council’s decision to hold a referendum for extending the city's autonomy. The Mayor’s statement comes after the Moldovan Government approved a draft law that raises Balti to a second-level administrative territorial unit, Info-Prim Neo reports.
Vasile Panciuc stated that if the draft law is approved by the Parliament, then the referendum scheduled for September 9 may not take place. However, the final decision is up to the Balti Municipal Council. The mayor said that by adopting this draft law, the Cabinet offered the city a right it deserved and satisfied the requests of the councilors who demanded more autonomy.
“I want to thank the Prime Minister and the Ministers for solving this problem operatively. The draft law, proposed by the Liberal-Democratic Party and approved by the Government, is the very reaction we expected when the Balti Municipal Council decided to organize a referendum to increase local autonomy. It’s an example of how to react to the requests of local administration”, said Vasile Panciuc.
The Mayor of Balti claims that this decision will eliminate a legislation gap. “Our requests to change the city’s status had remained unanswered. The word referendum itself is alerting, but it’s important to be heard by the central power as regards the change of Balti’s status”, added Panciuc.
On the other side, Prime Minister Vlad Filat stressed that the Municipal Council’s decision to organize a local referendum would still be challenged in court if it was adopted.
Asked why the Liberal-Democrats’ decision followed the Communists’ decision so shortly, Vlad Filat answered that the two initiatives weren’t necessarily linked and that the Government had its own agenda of adopting draft laws. According to him, what the Cabinet did now was only to right the Communist government’s failure to give Balti the status it deserved.
On July 26, 22 Communist councilors of the 25 attending the meeting voted to hold a local referendum on September 9 to extend the municipality’s autonomy. The Council has 35 members. The Prime Minister met with them, but the Communists boycotted the meeting and sent only one representative. Vlad Filat said they had the chance to meet him face to face and say why they weren’t satisfied, but missed it.
After the PM’s visit in Balti, both Vlad Filat and Vasile Panciuc were pleased. They declared that such meetings were welcome and shook hands friendly before parting.