Gagauzia Vice President Ousted in Power Struggle

Alexandru Tarnavschi, Vice President of the People's Assembly of Comrat, was removed from office by a vote of 19 deputies from the autonomous region of Gagauzia.

One deputy opposed the removal, while 13 others abstained from voting.

Tarnavschi is a known critic of Bashkan Evghenia Guțul, and his dismissal comes after a period of frequent public disagreements, particularly regarding her ties to the fugitive oligarch Ilan Șor.

The extraordinary session that addressed Tarnavschi's removal was announced only the day before and convened at the initiative of 11 deputies. Ilia Andrușoi, one of the initiating deputies, outlined the reasons behind Tarnavschi's dismissal.

"For several years now, we have observed Mr. Tarnavschi acting in the interests of his superiors in the central government," Andrușoi stated. "Furthermore, he appears to be actively working to undermine Gagauzia's autonomy from within. In collaboration with these central government figures, he is attempting to dismantle Gagauzia."

Other criticisms levelled against Tarnavschi include his refusal to endorse the declaration granting Russian the status of an official language for inter-ethnic communication and his vocal critiques of GRT, the public television station of Gagauzia. He also opposed the agreement allowing pensioners and public sector employees in Gagauzia to receive benefits through Russian bank cards.

Tarnavschi maintains that his removal was orchestrated by Bashkan Guțul and Dmitri Constantinov, Speaker of the People's Assembly.

"The accusations against me contain no references to any alleged violations of national or regional laws," Tarnavschi countered. "Regarding the Russian language, I did not vote against it, but rather refused to endorse the declaration. If consolidating around Ilan Șor is considered unity, then I will never support such a notion. I believe that Gagauzia's current situation, being governed from outside, will lead to isolation, confrontation, and poverty," the former Vice President asserted.

Tarnavschi received support from only one deputy, Mihail Jelezoglo.

"He possesses all the necessary qualities for this position," Jelezoglo said of Tarnavschi. "He has been and continues to be one of the most active deputies. The legislative initiatives he has put forward are beneficial to Gagauzia's autonomy."

Jelezoglo also announced his resignation as chairman of the Committee on Regulations, Appointments and Immunities in protest of the vote to remove Tarnavschi. It remains unclear whether the dismissal will be challenged and who might replace Tarnavschi.

Translation by Iurie Tataru

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