1 April 2019 - 16 February 2020
October 2017 - June 2020
|Political party||National Liberal Party|
|Religion||Church of Plushunia|
Ghiță Purcel (naturalised in 2014) is a Plushunian liberal politician and economist, Mayor of the Municipality of Plușeni since 6 July 2020. He held the office of Prime Minister of Plushunia for three consecutive terms (being the only Prime MInister to have 3 terms) between April 2019 and February 2020 and was the leader of the National Liberal Party from October 2017 to May 2020. He is also a well-known businessman, being the main shareholder of the Purcel Imobiliary Company and of the PiggyBank Group.
During his term as Prime Minister, Plushunia's economy transitioned from a socialist one to a free market economy, with the help of the reforms initiated by Purcel's cabinets. However, Purcel's term was plagued by political instability (having been Prime Minister in a record number of 5 cabinets) and, in its final months, by corruption, the alleged corruption cases and dubious affairs his party and possibly himself were involved in sparking controversy.
An economist, Purcel first entered politics in 2017, being the founder of the Liberal Party. After the Democratic Convention (which the Liberal Party was part of) won the 2017 legislative election, Purcel gained a seat in the Plushunian Parliament and took the office of Minister of Economy, Commerce and Public Finances in the newly formed Hop cabinet. During the following months, Purcel started his first businesses and had multiple disputes with the then-Prime Minister, Iepuroi Hop, and with other ministers over economic matters, the most of the Government opposing his liberal economic ideas and wanting the state to have the main role in economy for the first few months after the foundation of Plushunia. These disputes eventually led to Purcel and his party (now named the National Liberal Party) resigning from the Hop Cabinet, leaving the Democratic Convention and initiating a motion of no confidence against the government.
His attempts to negotiate the formation of a new coalition with the Social Alliance failed, and the latter decided to force snap elections, which resulted in the defeat of the Liberals, which would now spend almost a year in opposition before returning to government. Purcel also played a pivotal role in forming the strong right-wing alliance known as the Alliance of the Liberals and Democrats (ALDe), and participated in the 2018 Vice Presidential election as the ALDe nominee, being however defeated by the Socialist candidate Cățeluș Slobozeanu. Despite being a vocal critic of Ursu Polarescu's government and its policies, he refused to publicly support the rebels in the September 2018 revolution and the following civil war, often trying to convince the rebels and the government to cease hostilities and find a peaceful solution.
In March 2019, Purcel's alliance defeated the left-wing parties and emerged as the winner of the Plushunian March 2019 snap legislative election, and managed to form a coalition with the right-wing Save Plushunia Union, becoming Prime Minister of Plushunia and forming an all-right wing cabinet. The new coalition went on to start reforming the economy, but the political instability from the summer of 2019 slowed down the reform process, Purcel eventually becoming notorious for his eagerness to form and break political coalitions, his stated goal being "to keep the Alliance of the Liberals and Democrats, the only political force capable of reforming our country, in power".
The September 2019 legislative elections resulted in the Democracy and Truth Alliance (DA), the ALDe's main political partner, winning a plurality of the popular vote and of the seats in the Plushunian Parliament, meaning that, according to a pre-election agreement between the DA and the ALDe, both alliances' member parties would participate in a coalition government led by a DA-nominated Prime Minister. However, when the Democracy and Truth Alliance decided to nominate former PM and seasoned politician Iepuroi Hop, the ALDe withdrew from the coalition agreement and decided to re-nominate Purcel for Prime Minister, the Liberal leader winning a new term as Prime Minister with support from the Social Democrats.
His new cabinet (a Liberal minority government, the first in the history of Plushunia), known as the Purcel IV government, was highly contested by the opposition parties, and Purcel's plans to reform the economy were poorly received by the working classes of Plushunia and by the labor unions, which organised massive protests with the support of the Plushunian Socialist Party, while several right-wing groups and part of the military attempted a coup against the Purcel IV cabinet.
Purcel currently lives in a villa in New Plușeni, one of his many properties, however he often visits his other residence in Plușeni, which is currently inhabited by some of his relatives. During his time as Prime Minister, he lived mostly in the Prime Minister's official residence prior to moving to his current home, the New Plușeni villa.
A highly controversial public figure, Gh. Purcel was involved in several political scandals and has allegedly supported corruption during his term as Prime Minister. Often changing coalitions and coalition partners in order to remain in power (having had 3 terms as Prime Minister), he was accused by many of opportunism and lack of political integrity, his most controversial move being abandoning his party's former government partner the center-right Democracy and Truth Alliance in exchange for a more favorable agreement with the center-left Social Democratic Party. Meanwhile, he is also accused to have been part in several corruption cases, the most important being:
• The "Privatisation" affair: Purcel, from his position as Prime Minister, is thought to have supported several privatisations made by the Ministry of Economy, such as allegedly selling public shares to Social Democrat and Liberal politicians for lower than usual sums in exchange for political support for the Purcel IV and V cabinets and money from the said politicians.
• The New Plușeni High Speed Railway affair: Gh. Purcel and the then-Minister of Transports and Infrastructure, Cățel Plușeanu, were allegedly bribed by the shareholders of the Plușeni Industrial Company and the Plușeni Construction Company (formerly public companies now controlled by private shareholders) to have the said companies build the New Plușeni High Speed Railway for a higher price than offered by other companies.
• The labor union bribery case: Ghiță Purcel has allegedly encouraged the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Labor and Health and several Social Democrat leaders to bribe the leaders of several labor unions in order for the said unions to cease their anti-government protests. This case is highly disputed, since Purcel claims that he and his cabinet accepted most of the unions' demands and thus the protests ceased.
• Prime Minister of Plushunia (1 April 2019 - 16 February 2020)
• Mayor of the Municipality of Plușeni (6 July 2020 - present)
• President of the National Liberal Party (October 2017 - 30 May 2020)
• Honorary President of the National Liberal Party (17 June 2020 - present)
• Minister of Economy, Public Finances and Commerce (1 November 2017 - 24 June 2018)
• Member of the Plushunian Parliament (June 2018 - present)