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Moldovan ambassador visits Liberty

February 17, 2009 : Sarah Funderburke

Government students often read about the world’s many governing systems, but on Tuesday Liberty students, faculty and staff met a man who helped create an entire country’s government from the ground up.

Moldovan Ambassador Nicolae Chirtoaca traveled to Liberty University to speak to two Helms School of Government classes and a group of Liberty and Lynchburg area executives.

Before becoming an ambassador in September 2006, Chirtoaca had a 13-year military career with the Soviet Union’s armed forces. He joined the Moldavian movement for democracy, which eventually led to the Republic of Moldova becoming an independent state in 1991. He is one of the founders of the Liberal Party of Moldova and has held many esteemed posts in the Moldova government and the private business sector.

Moldova is a landlocked nation located in Eastern Europe, between Ukraine and Romania.

The ambassador told the government classes he visited that Moldova is still working toward a completely democratic government.

“We are survivors,” Chirtoaca said of the Moldovan people. “We are still in the middle of a transition.”

Chirtoaca said there are four main problems that a new democratic nation faces while trying to evolve into a stable, self-sustaining country.

“It’s the rule of law, a respect of human rights, free mass media, and the judiciary system,” Chirtoaca said. “It’s takes a huge amount of money to start from ground zero.”

Some political analysts still consider Moldova’s political leaders to be communist in policy, but Chirtoaca said that Moldova’s government leaders modeled their governing system off democratic nations, like the U.S.

“The ruling (majority) party is social democrat, but it’s a big handicap that they continue calling it communist,” Chirtoaca said.

His visit to Liberty was sparked by a group of Liberty government students who visited the Moldovan embassy in Washington, D.C., last fall. After meeting the ambassador and touring the embassy, the students and faculty on that trip invited the ambassador to visit LU.

Chirtoaca also toured the campus during his visit and received gifts from Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. and the Helms School of Government.