By Domnica Lazar and Rose Foley
In an historic day for Moldova, members of the nation’s first democratically elected parliament signed a restored Declaration of Independence recently in the country’s capital Chisinau.
At a meeting on 26 April described as “solemn” and “emotional”, 282 deputies from the first parliament voted to restore the document with their signatures, reviving the text that first confirmed the sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova in 1990.
The event was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the first democratically elected parliament in Moldova which served from 17 April 1990 to 1994, as well as the adoption of the blue, yellow and red tricolour as the nation’s official flag.
Until 1990, Moldova had been part of the Soviet Union, which finally dissolved in December 1991.
The original document was approved and signed by 278 parliament deputies on 27 August 1990, but was burned during last year’s 7 April riots.
Signatures of the 48 parliamentarians who died since 1990 were added by scanning from Independence Parliament, a book chronicling the first four years of independence. An additional four members of that first parliament also signed the restored document.
Last month’s assembly was held with current and former members of Moldova’s parliament greeting each other in a warm atmosphere. Aleksandr Mokanu, who read the declaration after the original vote 20 years ago, relived that moment when he led an emotional reading of the restored document.
The restoration of Moldova’s Declaration of Independence has been met with great feelings of pride among the majority of Moldovans. Some notable exceptions were former Communist deputies, who refused to attend the formal sitting of Parliament, explaining in a statement that restoring the declaration is a farce.
“They are against the interests of the country,” said the Alliance for European Integration, which consists of the four parties that form Moldova’s current coalition government.
The alliance members stated that the declaration is “a birth certificate of the Republic of Moldova, and the restoration of this historic document is a national revival.” Liberal Democratic Party chairman Mihai Godea pointed out that the Declaration of Independence ended “the totalitarian regime of Soviet occupation”.
Some members of the first Parliament still have concerns for the safety of the restored document. But acting President Mihai Ghimpu has provided an assurance that the reprinted document, made of non-flammable material, will be safe and stored in a secure box.
New book marks historic first parliament
A book chronicling the historic first democratically elected parliament in Moldova was launched recently in Chisinau.
Independence Parliament tells the story of the activities and adopted documents of the first parliament through text and pictures.
The project was compiled by Vlad Darie, a writer and former parliamentarian, along with photographer Mihai Potârniche.
The 432-page book has a limited edition first run of 3,000 copies, priced at €25.
“We want to leave this work as a testament to the photo generation, which would be vital to be available in each school library,” said Darie.
The launch event was organised by the president of the ‘Parlamentul 90’ Association, Pantelei Sandulachi, and was attended by first president Mircea Snegur, succeeding president Petru Lucinschi and government officials.