Andrei Nastase is currently the Republic of Moldova’s deputy prime minister and Interior Minister.
Much beloved by the European Union, the United States, and western journalists, the man is a dumb thug in a cheap suit.
The Summer of Discontent
Last summer, Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, held a “special election” for mayor after the long-time mayor Dorin Chirtoaca (who is close personal friends with Romania’s ex-president Traian Basescu) had to resign following corruption charges.
In the first round, Nastase came in second to the Socialist Party’s candidate, Ion Ceban. But since nobody got more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election was held between Nastase and Ceban.
Nastase squeaked out a narrow victory, but then the election was annulled after it was revealed that Nastase violated the law by going on Facebook during election day and urging people to “go out and vote.” Moldovan law strictly prohibits any campaigning on election day.
Three separate courts, including the Supreme Court, annulled the election, allowing the interim mayor to continue serving until the regularly scheduled local elections in autumn 2019.
After Nastase was denied his mayorship, the West went insane. The European Union froze all assistance to Moldova. Wild accusations were made, including that Plahotniuc secretly controlled every court in the entire country and had scotched Nastase’s win so that the interim mayor, Silvia Radu, could stay in office another year.
In response, I wrote two extremely long articles showing just how much of the accusations were fact-free and based on nothing but innuendo and rumor.
Even journalists whom I admire seemed to fall for the “conspiracy theory” that Plahotniuc somehow was manipulating 15+ judges, the entire electoral committee, and the interim mayor, Silvia Radu.
Nonetheless, despite all the weeping and gnashing of the teeth, Ms. Radu stayed in office and things went on pretty much as normal in Chisinau.
In February 2019, the Republic of Moldova held its parliamentary elections, but no faction got a clear majority.
Andrei Nastase’s PPDA party formed an alliance with Maia Sandu’s PAS party to form what’s known as the “ACUM” (“Now”) bloc which is openly in favor of Moldova joining the European Union.
In April 2019, with almost no fanfare, Silvia Radu resigned as interim mayor and was replaced by Ruslan Codreanu.
In June 2019, at or beyond the absolute last day to form a government, the ACUM bloc announced a coalition with the Socialists to rule the Republic of Moldova.
As a result, Maia Sandu became Prime Minister and Andrei Nastase got the twin title of Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
Within a few months, Sandu had replaced nearly all of the judges in the country, something that got absolutely no reaction from the European Union.
On October 9, 2019, , the all-new Court of Appeals retroactively ruled that Nastase had won the 2018 mayoral race and was thus the mayor of Chisinau.
And who was the head judge who issued the ruling? Vladislav Clima, a magistrate who had faced a number of criminal charges relating to money laundering and fraud. When Clima was being considered for the judicial position, Nastase had personally intervened in his capacity as Interior Minister to get the prosecutor’s office to drop all charges against Clima.
Again, not a word from the European Union.
One Week on the Throne
Clima’s ruling came a little too late because it only gave Nastase about a week to enjoy being mayor before the regularly scheduled 2019 local elections were taking place.
On October 20, 2019, several candidates vied for the mayorship of Chisinau, including Andrei Nastase, Ion Ceban, Dorin Chirotoaca, and Ruslan Codreanu.
Just as in 2018, Ceban got the most votes with Nastase in second, but neither man had more than 50%, so it came down to another head-to-head second round.
I don’t know if it was the mercury madness or what, but Nastase’s heart was clearly not in it this year.
Ceban had posters and billboards splashed all over town and ran a very high-energy campaign while Nastase mostly sat there and did nothing except to say, “I’m with Sandu.”
Ceban, meanwhile, ran on a platform that included a promise to fix Chisinau’s broken sewage treatment system.
Despite his lackluster effort, Nastase still came very close to winning, losing by a margin of just 4%.
And that’s when the black comedy really started.
Still mayor for a few more days, Nastase knew that he would be required to formally hand over power to Ceban, meaning he would have to be a decent human being for five seconds and shake Ceban’s hand.
Therefore, Nastase resigned as mayor on November 5, 2019, having been “in office” a grand total of 30 days. The mayoralty was then passed to Adrian Talmaci.
Ceban’s electoral victory is expected to be certified today or tomorrow, and then he’ll officially take over from Adrian Talmaci.
Again, not a word from the European Union.
Obviously, the mayoral race in Chisinau was a big story in Moldova, but Nastase had no time for any of that.
In response to all of the questions, Nastase went on TV and said this (my translation):
My biggest regret is that, in June 2019, when I entered the government, I didn’t do what all the citizens of the Republic of Moldova were waiting for. And that was to “purify,” if I can say that, or to “clean up” the media in the Republic of Moldova.
His attack on the media was bad enough that Daniel Ionita, the Romanian Ambassador to Moldova, issued a statement (my translation):
We support freedom of the press as one of the fundamental values of a democratic state, and anyone attempting to restrict this freedom should be sanctioned.
Pretty much every media outlet in Moldova also condemned Nastase’s remarks as did the government’s media regulatory council.
Again, however, the European Union said nothing.
Cop Shop Chop
Left without a city to govern, Nastase had to “fall back” to his current position as head of the Interior Ministry (which oversees all police departments in the country).
However, even that is now in doubt as President Dodon stated that Nastase has done a terrible job as Interior Minister and needs replacing.
Despite zero training or experience as a police officer, Nastase has occasionally shown up to work in a fake police uniform. I don’t personally know any police officers in Moldova, but I can’t imagine that they were too happy with that little stunt.
Nastase fired back at Dodon, saying (my translation):
If, God forbid, Dodon gets his hands on Chisinau, this will be really bad. It’d be better if I pack my bags and leave right now.
That “pack my bags and leave” line made me laugh out loud when I read it.
Right before the October 2019 election, Nastase was asked by a journalist if his [Nastase’s] wife and children would move to Chisinau if he won the election, and his answer was, “No, I don’t want to disrupt their lives.” Nastase’s family lives in Vienna, Austria, and his kids attend a swanky private school.
I strongly suspect this issue was the crucial factor in his defeat this year. It really sends a strong message when your own wife and kids don’t want to be around anywhere where you’re in charge.
HEY, EU! NOW YOU KNOW YOUR BEST BOY, ANDREI NASTASE!