[imas] press release16 december 2017
[imas] press release: blackmails and threats from some representatives of the Moldovan civil society
[imas] has always accepted the publication of a survey, containing exact data, resulting from a research and only if the beneficiary of the study has publicly assumed the role of ordering customer. During last years, you've probably noticed a very low frequency of the [imas] surveys publishing, even though among our clients there were politicians and political parties or famous local/international NGOs. The decision regarding publishing the surveys does not belong to the research center, but to the beneficiaries of these surveys. [imas] has never hidden the fact that we worked and will work for any company, organization, party or politician who will require its expertise including in socio-political field, audience, social or market studies. We are doing our work with the same passion and professionalism, regardless of the fact who is the ordering customer. However, we are responsible only for the sociologic product and not for the decisions which are taken after the studies are finished. This year there have been published three surveys signed by [imas], in May, July and December; the beneficiary was the Moldovan Democratic Party and this information has been made public, as nobody expected. This is an ample research contract, which respected the Moldovan legislation, a contract which assumed the payment of all necessary fees and taxes.
Let me remind you that [imas] is the most experienced research company, with over 17 years of activity in Republic of Moldova and 25 years in Romania. We have a strong and ultra-modern infrastructure: dozens of computers in the central office in Chisinau, over 300 tablets, 11 own cars and several rented cars. We have dozens of full-time employees and over 500 people who have been employed and payed during this year. We are the only research company in the Republic of Moldova, which is checking 100% of the applied questionnaires via several sophisticated methods. Over 70% of our turnover consists of foreign companies and organizations.
Anyone can visit us and learn more about our activity, about the work procedures and the quality of the data we can provide, about our portfolio or any other elements of interest. We are always opened to any questions which arise regarding our researches.
All these years, [imas] has periodically faced threats and pressures regarding our activity. When these things crossed some limits, we have adopted a public position towards these situations. In August 2010, me and the company I lead, were threatened by a high official. Then, as well as now, I have publicly spoken about this. Regardless of the fact that the sociologic surveys regarding the identity, state/spoken language, the expertise and perception of people in this questions were hurtful at that time, [imas] has continued this type of measurement. As a matter of fact, we noticed that this subject has recently reached the Moldovan Constitutional Court and a rule of court has been issued regarding it. Sometimes, we are working under the pressure made by the beneficiaries or their representatives. In this regard, I will give you one of this negative examples: not so long ago, we were constrained to inclusively report to an external donor about the pressures we faced from an NGO from the Republic of Moldova (which had also the beneficiary role), pressures by means of which the modification of the study conclusions regarding those NGO’s activity were demanded.
The subject of the civil society perceptions isn’t new. The same indicators as those included into the surveys held in July and December 2017 were included into a national study held in 2010, and the ordering customer of that survey was a NGO from Moldova. Surprisingly, at that time, no complaints were registered regarding the measurement of the civil society activity perceptions. And even the next years there weren’t registered such complaints, even though this type of studies continued. The confidence in this field of activity has been measured inclusively by the Barometer of Public Opinion during many years. And even more indicators have been included into a study held in 2017, ordered by Promo-LEX.
Dear representatives of the civil society, you do not have to hide after some guerrilla actions, based on blackmailing and threatening with mails, denigrating [imas] activity. The NGOs which will close the collaboration with [imas] based on such kind of approach are the partners who are kindly asked to interrupt any kind of collaboration with us starting from this moment. Please, don’t try to censor our activity because you have seen that we aren’t leaving anywhere, in spite of those 17 years of activity cluttered with pressures. Please, don’t propose us any fairs or collateral benefits, as they will be always refused. Please, don’t invite us anymore to mediation meetings and artificial auctions, because you have noticed that [imas] isn’t responding to them. You have to know that we understand and know what you have prepared for us; at the risk of losing certain clients which could be impressed by such dark endeavors, [imas] continues its activity as it has been doing during 17 years on this market. We have overcome even much more difficult situations, when high powered politicians have threatened us with criminal responsibilities for our activity, that they will close our company or make us leave the country when they will come to governing. [imas] disapprove all these approaches which have nothing in common with the democratic practices. We firmly declare that we will not accept any kind of interference into our way of activity and the way we will continue to respect the agreements.
Of course, we don’t generalize and imply these things to the whole civil society from Moldova. They are for the representatives of this field, representatives who will recognize in this press release their actions held this week or some time ago.
We understand the beneficiaries of our studies who have complaints regarding the perceptions revealed in our studies. Afterwards, these are normal human reactions. As well as the politicians, we can understand also the representatives of the civil society who are annoyed by the people opinions. But, the problems regarding the perceptions people have towards the political class or towards the civil society cannot be solved by means of blackmailing and threatening a sociologic company.
[imas] is directly interested in the existence of an active and independent civil society in the Republic of Moldova, taking into account the strong partnerships we have for a long time with organizations from this field. A good solution in this situation would be a deep national study, which will reveal the citizens’ perception towards the civil society from Moldova. We guarantee all the needed implication, transparency and quality; moreover, you will benefit also from our financial support for holding this ample study. As we have mentioned at the beginning of this release, we will ask you just to undertake the authorship of this sociological product, and its results to be made public to the whole society in the way they will be revealed by the respondents.
Thus, you are kindly asked to appoint one or more representatives of the civil society who will have to collaborate with us in creation of a qualitative and quantitative study regarding the citizens’ perceptions towards the civil society.
Thank you in advance for your frankness and cooperation!
general manager [imas]