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Elections of the Governor (Bashkan) of Gagauzia (Gagauz Yeri)

The Governor (Bashkan) is the supreme official of the autonomous territorial unit with a special status Gagauzia (A.T.U. Gagauzia) that is an integral and inalienable part of the Republic of Moldova, and represents a form of self-determination of the Gagauz people. All public administration authorities of A.T.U. Gagauzia are subordinated to the Governor. According to the Law on Special Legal Status of Gagauzia, the Governor is elected by universal, direct, secret and freely expressed vote for a four-year term on alternative basis. Candidates for the position of Governor should be at least 35 years-old and speak Gagauz language.
General information
Date of electionsMarch 22, 2015December 12 and 26, 2010December 3 and 17, 2006October 6, 20, 2002August 22 and September 5, 1999May 28 and June 11, 1995
 Ist roundIst roundIInd roundIst roundIInd roundIst roundAlegeri repetateIst roundIInd roundIst roundIInd round
Type of electionsBashkan electionsBashkan electionsBashkan electionsEarly and repeated Bashkan electionsBashkan electionsBashkan elections
Number of electoral contestants10 (12-2)3242(6-1)(5-2)6242
Elected BashkanIrina Vlah

Irina Vlah
Mihail Formuzal

Mihail Formuzal
Mihail Formuzal

Mihail Formuzal
Gheorghii Tabunscic

Gheorghii Tabunscic
Dmitrii Croitor

Dmitrii Croitor
Gheorghii Tabunscic

Gheorghii Tabunscic

General information about the elections of the Governor (Bashkan) of Gagauzia

The Gagauz Governor (Bashkan) office was established by the Law no.344-XIII of 23.12.1994 on Special Legal Status of Gagauzia (Gagauz Yeri), adopted by Moldovan Parliament. Bashkan’s first elections were held in 1995 under a temporary Code adopted by Moldovan Government. Thereafter, all elections were organized and conducted in accordance with the Code of Gagauzia and the local Law on election of the Governor (Bashkan) of Gagauzia, adopted by the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia.

The only early elections of Bashkan were held in 2002. They were preceded by a conflict between the Governor of Gagauzia, Dmitrii Croitor, legally elected at ordinary elections in September 1999, and the central government, represented at that time by the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM). After 2001, both the central authorities, as well as PCRM members within the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia exercised pressure on the Governor (vote of confidence provided by some members of the Gagauz People’s Assembly, organizing a referendum to dismiss the Governor, opening criminal case-files, threats and intimidation, charges of links with separatist forces etc.). Under the influence of pressures, Dmitrii Croitor resigned from the office of Gagauz Governor, before the term of office was over and thus the early elections for the Governor office were organized in the autumn of 2002.

Status of Gagauz Governor (Bashkan)

Governor of Gagauzia is an ex officio member of Moldovan Government and is confirmed in the office by a decree of Moldovan President. In exercising the competences set out by law, the Governor may issue decisions and orders that are enforceable throughout the territory of A.T.U Gagauzia. Within the territory of Gagauzia the Governor enjoys immunity, can not be held legally liable for opinions expressed when exercising the mandate. Early suspension from office of Gagauz Governor shall take place if he does not observe the Constitution and legislation of the Republic of Moldova, local laws and decisions of the People’s Assembly, or if he has committed a crime.

The status, competences and obligations of the Governor of Gagauzia are established by the Law on Special Legal Status of Gagauzia (Gagauz Yeri) and the Code of Gagauzia (adopted on 14.05.1998 by the Gagauz People’s Assembly). Under these regulations, as the supreme official in A.T.U. Gagauzia, the Governor:

  • leads the activity of public administration and is responsible for exercising the competences he is vested by law;
  • is the guarantor of exercising the Code of Gagauzia, of ensuring the human and citizens’ rights and freedoms;
  • ensures maintenance of the status of Gagauzia, coordinated operation and interaction of its public authorities;
  • represents the autonomy in the Republic of Moldova and in international relations;
  • leads the Executive Committee of Gagauzia
  • signs local laws;
  • appoints and dismisses local public administration officials;
  • has the right of legislative initiative in the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia.
Decision dismissing the Governor of Gagauzia shall be taken by vote of two thirds of elected members of the People’s Assembly, and after it is adopted a local referendum shall be held on the issue of dismissal of the Governor of Gagauzia.
Constitution of the Republic of Moldova (excerpts) with amendments moved in accordance with Law No. 344-XV of 25.07.2003

Law on Special Legal Status of Gagauzia (Gagauz Yeri) with amendments moved in accordance with Law No. 191-XV of 08.05.2003

The Regulations of GagauziaRORU adopted by People’s Assembly of Gagauzia on 14 may 1998

Law of A.T.U. Gagauzia on election of Governor (Bashkan) of Gagauzia (Gagauz Yeri)RU with amendments moved in accordance with Law No. 53-C3/V of 19.01.2015

See also