Igor Dodon

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Igor Dodon
Igor Dodon (01.2017; cropped).jpg
Dodon in 2017
5th President of Moldova
Assumed office
23 December 2016
Prime MinisterPavel Filip
Maia Sandu
Preceded byNicolae Timofti
First Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova
In office
31 March 2008 – 14 September 2009
PresidentVladimir Voronin
Mihai Ghimpu (acting)
Prime MinisterZinaida Greceanîi
Preceded byZinaida Greceanîi
Succeeded byIurie Leancă
Minister of Economy and Trade
In office
18 September 2006 – 14 September 2009
PresidentVladimir Voronin
Mihai Ghimpu (acting)
Prime MinisterZinaida Greceanîi
Preceded byValeriu Lazăr
Succeeded byValeriu Lazăr
Personal details
Igor Nikolayevich Dodon

(1975-02-18) 18 February 1975 (age 44)
Sadova, Moldavian SSR, Soviet Union (now Moldova)
Political partyParty of Communists (2010–2011)
Party of Socialists (2011–2016)
Independent (2016–present)
Spouse(s)Galina Dodon (1999–present)
EducationAgricultural State University of Moldova
WebsiteOfficial website

Igor Dodon[a] (pronounced [ˈiɡor doˈdon]; born 18 February 1975) is a Moldovan politician who has been the President of Moldova since 23 December 2016, though his powers and duties have been temporarily suspended by the Constitutional Court since 9 June 2019. Previously, he was the leader of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova. He served as Minister of Trade and Economics in the governments of Vasile Tarlev and Zinaida Greceanîi from September 2006 to September 2009 and was a member of the Parliament of Moldova from 2009 to 2016.

Early and personal life[edit]

Igor Dodon was born on 18 February 1975 in Sadova village in the Călărași District of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic to Nikolai (died 2012[3]) and Galina Dodon.

Studies and didactic activity[edit]

He graduated from the Faculty of Economics of the State Agrarian University of Moldova (1997) and then the Factulty of Management from the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova (1998). Then, he graduated from the Faculty of Law in economics at the International Management Institute. He obtained the scientific title of Doctor in Economic Sciences at the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova, the Department of Banks and Stock Exchanges.[4] In parallel with the basic activity, during 1997-2005, Igor Dodon carries the pedagogical activity.[5] This is where he would meet his wife Galina in May 1995.[6] Thus, he holds the positions of assistant lecturer at the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova (Banks and Stock Exchanges Department), senior lecturer at the Free International University of Moldova (Banks and Stock Exchanges Department), the International Institute of Management (Finance Department) and the State University of Moldova. Igor Dodon is also a member Examination Committees at the university graduation exames within ULIM and IIM.

Personal life[edit]

Besides his wife, Dodon has three children who are all boys.[7][8] His oldest son Vladislav (Vlad) is a passionate player of water polo.[9] His brother Aleksander is a co-owner alongside Igor Chaika (son of Yuri Chaika, Prosecutor General of Russia) of the Industrial Ecological Operator company which deals with waste.[10]

Aside from his native Romanian, he also speaks Russian, French, and English, however has only used the latter two in public interviews.[11] He is considered to be a good friend of Colonel General Victor Gaiciuc, who is currently one of his adviser and someone who he had proposed for the position of defense minister following his rejection of Eugen Sturza to the office.[12] He is a supporter of the Union of Officers of Moldova, where he holds the honorary rank of Major of the Reserve.[13]

On 9 September 2018, Dodon was involved in a car accident on the Chisinau-Călărași highway.[14] Although Dodon wasn't injured himself, his mother and his middle son Nicolae sustained serious injuries.[15][16] His accident came hours after Abkhazian Prime Minister Gennadi Gagulia was killed in a car accident in the Abkhazian city of Myussera.

Profesional career[edit]

After graduating from educational institutions, since July 1997 Igor Dodon has been employed at the Moldovan Stock Exchange. Thus, between 1997-2001 he works as senior specialist of the Clearing Department, of the Listing Department, administrator of the Electronic Trading Systems and then, Director of the Marketing, Listing Department within the Moldovan Stock Exchange. Between November 2001 and May 2005, he served as chairman and member of the Board of Directors of the National Depository of Securities of Moldova SA. From September 2002 to May 2005 he was the chairman of the Universal Commodity Exchange of Moldova. Between February 2003 - May 2005, Igor Dodon is a member of the expert committee to the National Securities Commission of Moldova. Also, between March 2004 - May 2005, he is also a member of the Arbitration Commission of the Stock Exchange. He publishes scientific articles in scientific journals, being the editor of the Newsletter "Stock Exchange of Moldova" and of the Stock Market Bulletin of the Universal Commodities Exchange "Stock Exchange - Stock market quotations".[17]

Political career (2005-2016)[edit]

Laying wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow.

Dodon was appointed to the post of Associate Minister of Trade and Economics in May 2005, during the second Tarlev Cabinet. He assumed the position of Minister of Trade and Economics in September 2006. He held the position until September 2009, when the government of Zinaida Greceanîi ended. Dodon also held the post of Associate Prime Minister under Greceanîi from 2008 until 2009.[18][19]

In 2005, the PCRM also had won the elections[20] having an open pro-European platform, with a pro-European slogan "I Vote", where the European stars surrendered the hammer and sickle on the red Communist wallpaper.[21]

In 2007, a trend for all political forces was to adopt a pro-European platform for the elections in 2009. In this regard, Igor Dodon, during his work trips to Brussels, had assured the high rank European officials on how he and an entire Communist party were pro-European.[22]

In September 2009, after 8 years of governing, the Communist Party came into opposition. Igor Dodon has lost the Minister position. He became an MP in the Parliament, which was reelected in November 2010. He had the 6th position in the PCRM list of the candidates.[23] The Communists has changed the European vector, and in 2010 they drifted to east, and self-declared as pro-Russians.[24]

Igor Dodon, in only a year, since 2009 by 2010, became a convinced pro Moldovan – no Europe, neither Russia. "Moldova can become a contact point for different countries; an area where first of all will interfere the economic interests of our neighbors and partners. We are in a very advantageous position in terms of the common interest of CIS and EU and this objective shall become an issue of the external policy."[25]

Local elections in Chișinău, 2011[edit]

In June 2011, Dodon lost to Dorin Chirtoacă at the elections for mayor of Chișinău. He took 49.4% of the votes.[26] The local elections have been an occasion for the Communist Party to return to power, at the least at the local authority level. During the election campaign, Igor Dodon went to Brussels where he had meetings with the European officials[27] in order to establish the potential partnerships: "I am at the working trip in Brussels, where I have several meetings in my agenda, including with the Mayors of some big towns of Belgium, with the acting Prime Minister of Belgium and some high rank officials of the European Commission".[28]

Inside the PCRM, an internal fight had existed between Igor Dodon and Mark Tkaciuk. Dodon has had some separate opinion on some policy issues. This independence had raised some fears from Tkaciuk side, and Dodon was considered a social threat. Dodon has shown that he had an internal support, from some rayon committees of the party. An independent position of Igor Dodon, his rating within the party and in the society, his political ambitions in overtaking the power, first of the Mayor Office and then, in PCRM – all this were interpreted by Tkaciuk as a threat, the fact that made him to speed up and force the actions that led to marginalization of Dodon in PCRM, by misinforming methods in order to prevent him to be delegated at the position of the Mayor of the Capital.[29][30]

Activity within PSRM[edit]

In November 2011, Dodon left the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) citing hopes that a deal could be worked out with the ruling Alliance for European Integration to elect a president and end a constitutional crisis that had dragged on since the resignation of Vladimir Voronin in 2009.[31] Greceanîi and Veronica Abramciuc left at the same time.[32][33] "Our decision has a common and complex goal: to avoid early elections, the elections of the president of the country, reshaping of the government and political and social stability. This is the society wish, and this is what the Republic of Moldova is needed – a stability and the economic development once and for all… We left the PCRM in order to cut the "Gordian knot" of the hate and distrust which for the last two years made impossible any constitutional decision needed for the Republic of Moldova stability" Igor Dodon has declared.[34]

On 18 December 2011, Dodon joined the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) and, at the Xth Congress of PSRM, he was elected chairman of the party.[35][36]

Dodon with Vadim Krasnoselsky.

On 16 March 2012, three former communists (Dodon, Greceanîi and Abramciuc) voted for the Alliance for European Integration (AIE) candidate Nicolae Timofti as President of Moldova. Later, Dodon stated that he regretted his vote for Timofti.[37][38]

After he was elected as the President of Moldova, due to specifics of Moldovan law, Dodon resigned as PSRM chairman and left the party, being replaced by Zinaida Greceanîi as interim leader.[39]

Presidency (2016-present)[edit]

Dodon in Baku, Azerbaijan in June 2017.

Dodon was sworn in on December 23, 2016 in the Palace of the Republic.[40] Among the honoured guests included Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Rogozin, Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy and Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén.[41] Three days later, the flag of the European Union that was hanging next to the Moldovan flag was removed from the building of the Moldovan presidential administration. On January 4, 2017, in the Dodon met with the President of the breakaway republic of Transnistria Vadim Krasnoselsky. This meeting was the first meeting of the leaders of Moldova and Transnistria in 8 years.[42] In 2018, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was the first foreign head of state to meet Dodon in Moldova.[43] Dodon has also acted to make the Russian language mandatory in Moldovan schools.[44]

On May 5, 2018, Dodon announced a campaign, which would bring legislation into parliament, which would transition Moldova from a parliamentary republic to a presidential republic.[45] According to the polls carried out in 2019 related to the most respected politicians of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon enjoys the highest trust, ranking first among politicians in which Moldovans have the highest trust.[46][47][48][49][50][51] In the early years of his presidency, steps were taken to renovate the Presidential Palace in Condrița with the help of the Turkish government. Some of the renovations included a play ground for Dodon's young children and a wine cellar.[52] The renovated palace was opened on 17 October 2018 by Dodon and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.[53]

Dodon attending the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final in July 2018.

On 16 October 2018 Dodon declared that his country would be prepared to host a Pan-Orthodox Council, where the situation with the Ukraine autocephaly and the Moscow–Constantinople schism should be discussed. He also said that "Moldova will remain a canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate."[54][55][56] In early 2019, President Dodon ordered a National Coordination Committee to plan national events and celebrations dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Moldova in the Jassy–Kishinev Offensive. The events would include the restoration or reconstruction of monuments and military graves and the filming of a documentary on the offensive.[57] At the same time, Dodon presided over the celebrations of the 660th anniversary of Moldovan statehood in early February.

Dodon with Sergey Shoygu in August 2019.

During the 2019 Moldovan constitutional crisis, Dodon was temporarily relieved of the powers and duties of the presidency by a Moldovan court because of the reluctance to dissolve the parliament as mandated by the Constitutional Court of Moldova in a previous ruling and replaced by the former prime minister Pavel Filip as the acting president of the country.[58]

In late October, he met with Transnistrian President Krasnoselsky at his residence in Holercani ahead of the Bavaria Conference, scheduled for November 4-5.[59]


On 17 October 2017, the Constitutional Court of Moldova decided that Dodon is temporarily unable to perform his duties for failing to swear in proposed Defence Minister Eugen Sturza.[60]

On 2 January 2018, the Constitutional Court of Moldova decided that Dodon is temporarily unable to perform his duties for failing to swear in a number of seven ministers.[61]

Several days later the Constitutional Court once again temporarily suspended Dodon, due to his veto on a bill on restricting Russian news broadcasts. This allowed the parliament to bypass his veto and enact a law restricting Russian television broadcasts.[62] The law bans television channels from broadcasting news and analytical programs from countries that have not signed the regional agreement for the European Broadcasting Area, such as Russia.[62]

On September 24, 2019, he was again suspended from his duties for not approving the candidate for Minister of Health.[63][64]

Foreign policy[edit]

Surrounding countries[edit]

In January 2017 Dodon stated that Moldova would not officially recognize Crimea as Russian, stressing that "we need to build friendships with Ukraine, we need to solve the Transnistrian problem."[65] In September of that year, Ambassador of Ukraine to Moldova Ivan Hnatyshyn stated that he does not exepct a visit to Kiev by Dodon becaues he "doesn’t respect the territorial integrity of my country".[66][67] During a meeting with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, Dodon reiterated that the Gagauz city of Taraclia, which is inhabited by ethnic Bulgarians, will not be affected his government's planned territorial administrative reform.[68]

As of September 2019, Dodon has never undertaken an official visit to the Romanian capital of Bucharest. In March, he announced his belief that Romanians who support the Unification of Romania and Moldova as the country's "number one enemy", going further in an interview with Radio Free Europe by saying that the Bucharest government supports any attempt at unionism.[69][70] During a meeting with President Klaus Iohannis in New York City, Dodon told his Romanian counterpart that the development of Romanian relations was a "key priority" for his government.[71][72]


Igor Dodon is considered a pro-Russian politician and in favor of the federalization of Moldova, which is in line with the views of Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Kozak and his 2003 Kozak memorandum.[73][74] In late September 2019, months after the Constitutional Crisis, Dodon states that the country had abandoned its anti-Russian stance through its partnership with the Party of Action and Solidarity led by Prime Minister Maia Sandu.[75]

Other countries[edit]

Speaking in Comrat in August 2018 when referencing the country's allies, Dodon said "we have friends who are close to Gagauzia, and I believe to Moldova, as well, they are Russia and Turkey."[76] In December 2018, following his state visit to Israel, he reportedly said that he is considering moving the Moldovan embassay from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.[77]

Position on Transnistria[edit]

Dodon has regularly changed his stance on the future of Transnistria. At the beginning of his presidency, he suggested that Moldova be federalized. Currently, Dodon believes that the region should receive autonomous status like Gagauzia. In regards to the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers, Dodon supports the Moldovan parliament on this issue.[78]

Foreign visits[edit]

His first two international visits were to Moscow, and Brussels.[79][80] Since he took office in December 2016 he has made 47 foreign visits to 19 different countries, with 20 of those visits being to Russia.[81] In late October 2019, he visited Istanbul to attend the opening ceremony of Istanbul Airport as well as the ceremony for the Turkish Republic's 95th anniversary.[82] In February and September 2019 respectively, he attended the Munich Security Conference in Germany[83] and the Seventy-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City both for the first time.[84] During the UN visit, he referred to his attendance as "a successful one" during which he and his delegation "were able to promote the interests and aspirations of the Republic of Moldova on the international arena".[85] He attended the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony in Moscow in June 2018[86] and the 2019 European Games in Minsk just over a year later.[87] In October 2018, He attended a summit of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie in Yerevan where he delivered a speech in the French language.[88]

State Visits hosted by Dodon in Chisinau[edit]

Country Leader Date(s) Notes
 Belarus Alexander Lukashenko April 2018
 Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov July 16-18 2018 [89]
 Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan October 17-18 2018 [90]
 Russia Vladimir Putin Potentially in late 2019 [91]
 Bulgaria Rumen Radev 2020 [92]


The proposed flag for Moldova by PCRM and PSRM

The Flag proposed for Moldova by PCRM and PSRM[edit]

In 2010, the Party of Communists (PCRM) started promoting a new official flag for Moldova.[93] In March 2012, Igor Dodon and the Party of Socialists (PSRM) invited PCRM to initiate a referendum to change the national flag of Moldova from the original tricolour (similar to Romania's, except charged with Moldova's coat of arms) to a red-blue bicolor flag.[94][95] The proposed flag is considered by the Academy of Sciences of Moldova as a "pure political invention".[93]

Igor Dodon and Vladimir Putin, 2017

In November 2012, Dodon posted on his Facebook profile a photo that shows him wearing clothes printed with a patch of the Russian flag, which was criticized as a sign of Dodon's alleged Russophilia.[96]

Position related to the annexation of Crimea by Russian Federation[edit]

In October 2016, during the presidential election campaign, Igor Dodon affirmed that Crimea, the subject of a territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine, "is a territory of the Russian Federation".[97][98]

Expulsion of the Turkish professors[edit]

In September 2018, seven Turkish teachers, from the "Horizont" High School administration have been declared undesirable by the competent bodies and expelled from country. Due to this, on June 11, 2019, the European Court of Human Rights condemned the Republic of Moldova, and imposed the Republic of Moldova government to pay 25 thousand Euro to five of the seven Turkish citizens.[99][100]

Opposition leaders accused President Igor Dodon and the Democratic Party of Moldova, the ruling party, of intentional violations of law and human rights in order to gain benefits from Ankara authorities, including the renovation of the Presidency building from Turkey's money.[101] The "Our Party" municipal councilor Ilan Cașu considered that this SIS’s operation was the President Dodon payment for the renovation of the Presidency building that was renovated with Turkish money. Previously, before coming to power, the ACUM’s block position was based on the fact that behind the Turkish teachers "expel" would be Igor Dodon. The PAS’s statement, published on the party's Facebook page, was mentioned, "For money designed to the renovation of the Presidency building and for the other goods procurement, the human rights are violated in Moldova and this is inadmissible". The leader of the Dignity and Truth Platform Party, Andrei Năstase, the current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs compared the SIS with the NKVD. In his opinion, the workers of this institution have acted on the command of the leader of the Democratic Party Vladimir Plahotniuc and of the president Dodon. However, their position changed after the establishment of the Parliamentary majority with PSRM. The chairman of the National Security Commission and the MP of the Dignity and Truth Platform, Chiril Moțpan, who is investigating the expel of Turkish teachers, claimed that the president had no attribution to this case.[102][103]

Negotiation of June 8-9, 2019[edit]

On 7 June 2019, at the Democratic Party headquarter, according to Andrian Candu, the President Igor Dodon has negotiated with Vladimir Plahotniuc the conditions of establishing the coalition between PSRM and DP.[104] Andrian Candu has announced only some "criteria for creating the coalition". According to him, the socialists have asked for federalization of the Republic of Moldova and providing the special statute to the Transnistrian region, launching the negotiation among Republic of Moldova, European Union and Russian Federation on trade policy, changing the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, and the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova by the Parliament.[105][106]

In 8 June 2019, before the Meeting of Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, the temporary coalition ACUM-PSRM was established,[107] Dodon has declared that there were some pressure on him to tender the resignation, anticipating the appearance of some compromising videos.[108][109]

Later, after the statements made by the Andrian Candu, deputy head of the DPM, some videos have apperead at the Publika TV, one of the TV posts owned by the democratic party leader, where Igor Dodon has confirmed to Vlad Plahotniuc, that he has received the money from Russian Federation on monthly basis for PSRM maintenance,[110][111] and also about presentation of federalisation plan of the Republic of Moldova coordinated with Russian Federation.[112][113][114][115][116] The President Igor Dodon has recognized that the negotiations took place to establishing the majority, the discussion at which has participated the businessman Serghei Iaralov.[117] Regarding the videos that have appeared in public space he has declared that "All these, and some of them are ripped out of context or were montages."[118][119] Vladimir Plahotniuc has confirmed the fact that negotiated with Igor Dodon within 3 months period: "The coalition DP+PSRM was almost made, but failed, because I refused to sign for the country federalization".[120][121]

Accusations and denunciations against Igor Dodon[edit]

In November 2014, the socialist politician of Russian ethnicity Valentin Crîlov [ro] accused Igor Dodon of being an "instrument of scenarios that would cause 'bloodshed' in Moldova", and labeled the Party of Socialists as "being in the service of another country" such as Russia. He also accused the party of becoming a threat to the "stability, peace and the very existence" of the Republic of Moldova and its extraordinarily large base of financial resources — the origin of which bear "reasonable doubt".[122][123]

On August 29, 2017, the criminal complaint against Igor Dodon was submitted by Maia Sandu at the General Prosecutor's Office, by which was requested the criminal liability for Igor Dodon for committing the offense of Treason against the State and for the crime related to Instigation to hate, differentiating and division by national, ethnical, racial and religious criteria.[124][125][126]

The Party of National Unity has filed a criminal complaint at the General Prosecutor's Office against President Igor Dodon. On August 8, 2019, at the press conference with the topic "Presentation of the criminal complaint against Igor Dodon. Arguments and facts" the criminal complaint was presented by Anatol Șalaru, the executive president of the party, an MP in the first Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and the deputy-president of the Liberal Party. The reason serves the video tape that reflected the discussions held among Igor Dodon and former PD leader Vladimir Plahotniuc, which appeared in the press in June 2019.[127][128][129]

In October 2019, Octavian Țîcu requested to be established the investigation Committee “to investigate the actions treason committed by Igor Dodon”. [130] The Bloc “ACUM”s MPs, Iurie Reniță and Lilian Carp, have joined these initiative. [131]


  1. ^ Unofficially also with patronymic as Igor Nicolaevici Dodon (pronounced [ˌnikolaˈe.vitʃʲ]), as a Romanianization of the full former Soviet (Russian) name.[1][2]


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External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Nicolae Timofti
President of Moldova