Mircea Snegur

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Mircea Snegur
Snegur in 1996
1st President of Moldova
In office
3 September 1990 – 15 January 1997
Prime Minister
Succeeded byPetru Lucinschi
Member of the Moldovan Parliament
In office
21 April 1998 – 20 March 2001
Parliamentary groupDemocratic Convention
In office
17 April 1990 – 3 September 1990
Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of SSR Moldova
In office
27 April 1990 – 3 September 1990
Preceded byIon Cebanu
Succeeded byAlexandru Moșanu
Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Moldavian SSR
In office
29 July 1989 – 17 April 1990
Preceded byAlexandru Mocanu
People's Deputy of the Soviet Union
In office
26 March 1989 – 29 July 1989
Personal details
Born(1940-01-17)17 January 1940
Trifănești, Kingdom of Romania
Died13 September 2023(2023-09-13) (aged 83)
Chișinău, Moldova
Resting placeChișinău Central Cemetery
Political partyIndependent
Other political
PRCM (1995–2002)
PCM (1964–1990)
(m. 1960; died 2019)
Children2, including Natalia Gherman
Alma materState Agrarian University of Moldova

Mircea Ion Snegur (pronounced [ˈmirtʃe̯a ˈsneɡur]; 17 January 1940 – 13 September 2023) was a Moldovan agronomist and politician who served as the first president of Moldova from 1990 to 1997. Before that, he served as the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Moldovan SSR from 1989 to 1990 and chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 27 April to 3 September 1990.

Early life and education[edit]

Snegur was born on 17 January 1940 in Trifănești, then Kingdom of Romania.[1] In 1957, Snegur graduated from the high school in Frumușica, Florești District, and went on to study at the Agricultural State University of Moldova, from which he graduated in 1961, and where he completed a PhD in agricultural sciences at the university's Department of Animal Husbandry in 1972.[2][3]

Professional career[edit]

As a trained agronomist, Snegur worked as the director of kolkhoz in the village of Lunga, Florești District, from 1961 to 1968.[4] From 1968 to 1973, he was the director of the Experimental Station of Field Crops.[4] From 1973 to 1978, Snegur was the director of the Main Agricultural Science Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture.[4] From 1978 to 1981, he worked as the general director of the Selectia Research Institute of Field Crops in Bălți.[4][2][5]

Early political career[edit]

Snegur was a member of the Communist Party of Moldova from 1964 until 1990.[6]

In 1981, he became the Secretary of the Communist Party committee of Edineț District, an office he held until 1985.[4] That year, he became Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, serving until 1989.[4] On 26 March 1989 Snegur was elected member of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union in the 11th and 12th convocations.[4]

On 29 July 1989, Snegur was appointed Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Moldavia, serving in this role until 27 April 1990.[4] During his term, he supported the bill to make Moldovan the official language and the return of the tricolor flag of Moldova.[6][1] On 27 April, he became the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Moldavian SSR.[4] On 3 September, he became President of the Moldovan SSR.[2][4]

Presidency (1991–1997)[edit]

On 23 May 1991, Snegur became the president of the Republic of Moldova, still a constituent republic of the USSR.[1] on 27 August 1991, Moldova declared its independence from the Soviet Union and Snegur became the first president of Moldova as an independent state.[1] Snegur decided to run as an independent candidate in the December 1991 presidential election, running unopposed after the Popular Front's efforts to organize a voter boycott failed.[2]

Snegur (center) in the 1992 World Economic Forum

On 3 September 1991, Snegur created the National Army of Moldova. In December 1991, Snegur signed the act that made Moldova a full member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and on 2 March 1992, Moldova became a member of the United Nations. In July, Snegur signed with Russian president Boris Yeltsin a treaty to mark the end of the Transnistrian War.[1] On 29 June 1994, a new Constitution of Moldova was adopted, and on 26 June 1995, Moldova was admitted as a member of the Council of Europe.[3]

Unification with Romania[edit]

In an address to the Parliament of Romania in February 1991, Snegur spoke of a common identity of Moldovans and Romanians, referring to the "Romanians of both sides of the Prut River".[7] Despite this Snegur proved to be opposed to immediate reunification with Romania, which led to a split with the Popular Front of Moldova in October 1991. He instead sported the idea of a political union that would keep the political sovereignty of each state whilst engaging in economic and military cooperation (known as the "one people, two States" plan).[8]

Later years of presidency (1995–1997)[edit]

In 1995, Snegur founded the Party of Rebirth and Conciliation of Moldova with former members of the Agrarian Party of Moldova. Snegur ran as the Party of Rebirth and Conciliation's candidate in the 1996 presidential election, where he won a plurality, but not a majority, of votes in the first round. However, Parliamentary speaker Petru Lucinschi surprised the nation with an upset victory over Snegur in the second round. Snegur continued as President until 15 January 1997.[2]

He published his memoirs in the book "Labyrinth of Destiny: memoirs" in 2007.[9]

Personal life[edit]

In 1960,[10] he married Georgeta Snegur (23 April 1937 – 23 December 2019),[11] and had a daughter, Natalia Gherman, who was acting Prime Minister of Moldova in 2015, and a son.[2]

Snegur died on 13 September 2023, at age 83.[12][13][14] President Maia Sandu declared mourning day for 16 September with a nationwide minute of silence at 12:00h.[15][16] The state funeral took place on 16 September, with an early memorial service in the Nativity Cathedral of Chișinău, and the coffin was laid to rest at the Palace of the Republic, from where the funeral procession left, passing through Great National Assembly Square until arriving at the Central Cemetery, where he was buried.[17]

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Mircea Snegur, Who Led Moldova's Independence Drive And Became President, Dies At 83". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 14 September 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Biography of President of the Republic of Moldova Mircea Snegur, 1990–1996". Presidency of the Republic of Moldova. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Snegur Mircea". Moldovenii (in Romanian). Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "A decedat Mircea Snegur, primul președinte al Republicii Moldova". Moldpres. 14 September 2023.
  5. ^ "Short History". Research Institute of Field Crops. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Mircea Snegur împlinește astăzi 80 de ani". noi.md. 17 January 2020.
  7. ^ Problems, Progress and Prospects in a Post-Soviet Borderland: The Republic of Moldova. Trevor Waters. "In an address to the Romanian parliament in February 1991 (on the first official visit to Romania by any leader from Soviet Moldova since its annexation), the then President Snegur strongly affirmed the common Moldovan-Romanian identity, noting, 'We have the same history and speak the same language,' and referred to 'Romanians on both sides of the River Prut'. In June 1991 the Romanian parliament vehemently denounced the Soviet annexation of Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina, describing the territories as 'sacred Romanian lands'."
  8. ^ "Băsescu, despre R. Moldova: Suntem două state, un singur popor şi avem viitor comun". Archived from the original on 9 September 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  9. ^ Labirintul destinului : memorii. WorldCat. OCLC 122514291. Retrieved 17 September 2023.
  10. ^ Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia. London: Europa. 2000. ISBN 1-85743-091-3 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "Wife of Moldova's first President Mircea Snegur died". IPN Press Agency. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Mircea Snegur, first president of Moldova, dies at 83". Reuters. 14 September 2023. Retrieved 19 September 2023.
  13. ^ "A murit primul președinte al Republicii Moldova, Mircea Snegur". TVRMoldova. 14 September 2023. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  14. ^ "Умер первый президент Молдавии". РБК (in Russian). 14 September 2023. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  15. ^ "Day of 16 September declares national mourning day, on funerals of first President of Moldova Mircea Snegur". Moldpres. 15 September 2023.
  16. ^ "A moment of silence will be held on September 16, at 12:00 in memory of the First President, Mircea Snegur". Moldova 1. 15 September 2023.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Primul președinte al Republicii Moldova, Mircea Snegur, a fost petrecut pe ultimul drum". Moldpres (in Romanian). 16 September 2023.
  18. ^ Декрет президента Литвы от 18 января 2007 года № 1K-868 Информация на официальном сайте президента Литвы (in Lithuanian)[failed verification]
Political offices
Preceded by
formation of republic
President of the Republic of Moldova
Succeeded by