On Wednesday, anti-corruption prosecutors searched the homes of 14 former communist deputies, who left the party in 2015 and joined the Democratic Party in 2017. Their names can be found in an investigation conducted by the Center for Investigative Journalism in January 2016.
The 14 former deputies are: Alexandr Banicov, Anatolie Zagorodnîi, Boris Golovin, Anatolie Gorilă, Igor Vremea, Corneliu Mihalache, Galina Balmoş, Sergiu Stați, Elena Gudumac, Petru Porcescu, Victor Mîndru, Violeta Ivanov, Artur Reşetnicov, Vladimir Vitiuc.
"The raids come as police investigate allegations of the illicit enrichment of the ex-Communist deputies who joined the PDM. “In this case, prosecutors targeted 47 [pieces of] real estate and 13 cars. Cases of illicit enrichment are being investigated in connection with criminal investigations conducted by anti-corruption prosecutors into corrupting members of the Legislature for leaving the parliamentary faction of which they were a part ", reads a press release of the General Prosecutor's Office.
Following the preliminary investigations, it was established that the expenses of the ex-investigated deputies exceed their legal income in some cases by 350,000 lei, and in other cases this difference reaches a value of about 4.6 million lei.
The press service of the General Prosecutor's Office said that in the case of 13 former deputies, raids were carried out on Wednesday morning, but the number of persons investigated in this case is higher.
Violeta Ivanov explained the decision of the group she represents by the fact that, one year after the inauguration, the Government led by Pavel Filip prooved that "it was able to ensure stability, including in the banking system, to bring order to Customs and Tax Office", "stable and predictable" governance is still needed.
"We expected it. The act of political prostitution is over ", commented Vladimir Voronin, the leader of the PCRM, at the sitting of the Parliament.
Initially, the defectors met in the Social-Democratic Platform "For Moldova", and had their first official meeting with Vlad Plahotniuc, who returned to politics to become the PD candidate for prime minister. All 14 deputies contributed to the creation of the parliamentary majority, being ready to vote for the controversial businessman for the seat of prime minister.
At the end of 2015, the former communists asked the Constitutional Court to cancel the decree of President Nicolae Timofti to nominate Ion Sturza's candidacy for prime minister, they were absent from the meeting at which the government program proposed by him was to be debated. In early 2016, they voted for the Cabinet of Ministers led by Democrat Pavel Filip.
PCRM MP Elena Botnarenco declared in 2016 that a PDM deputy proposed a generous sum in dollars, "with six zeros", to leave the party and to vote for the Filip Government.
More details in the CIJM's investigation about the defecting deputies "The business with deputies: who are the defectors ready to vote for the PD candidate for the position of prime minister".