Opinion: Democratic Party Preparing Early Parliamentary Elections in Summer 2019

Home / Analytics / Opinion: Democratic Party Preparing Early Parliamentary Elections in Summer 2019

Apparently, chaos reigns in the election headquarters of the Moldovan Democratic Party. Political strategists have to invent new initiatives over and over again that will allow the current government to avoid failure in parliamentary elections. One of them is the proposal of Vladimir Plahotniuc to hold a referendum on reducing the number of deputies on election day, the regular RTA reader Alexey Zaychuk is convinced:

The Democratic Party decided to hold a consultative plebiscite on the day of parliamentary elections to reduce the number of MPs from 101 to 61. Another question to be asked at the referendum is the right of citizens to revoke the mandate from deputies who do not keep their election promises. Democrats did not invent anything new. Extensive global experience of various election campaigns knows many examples of so-called “satellite plebiscites”, which allow to solve a number of issues. However, the main goal is to increase turnout. It’s no news to anyone that Moldovan society is pretty tired from politics. The intra-elite struggle, the constant division of people because of geopolitical views, biased court decisions, persecution of dissidents – all this lows the turnout. People simply do not want to go to the polls and believe that they will not make any difference. Concurrent referendum in this sense can be a good incentive and may encourage the Moldovan voter to come to the polling stations on February 24. People are tired of sorting out parties and unreliable political projects, but they will be ready to vote on a pressing issue. The ability to influence the number of deputies and by themselves revoke their mandate is a worthy occasion to attend the referendum, and at the same time vote in elections. Obviously, a referendum on such a popular topic will be a priori supported by the population. The trick is that due to the referendum voters willy-nilly will play into the hands of the Democratic Party and add political legitimacy to it in the future parliament. Therefore, the PR leaders of PDM will try to firmly link the planned plebiscite with the Democratic Party so that the population has a clear associative flow: PDM – reforms – optimization – reduction of officials – reduction of budget expenditures – improvement of people’s lives. Undoubtedly, such a referendum seems populist, but it allows Plahotniuc to withdraw from the tactically losing idea of a referendum on the issue of European integration. It seems to me that the PDM leadership listened to its political advisers, because it is clear that the issue of the “European future of Moldova” would mobilize large groups of protesting pro-European electorate who stakes on the ACUM political bloc of Maia Sandu and Andrei Nastase. Instead, the PDM chose a topic that will unite everyone and probably did not make a bad decision. Interestingly, Plahotniuc with such a maneuver again unceremoniously invaded the political space of the Party of Socialists and President Dodon, who had long and repeatedly proposed reducing the number of deputies. The Democratic Party thus continues to engage in “PR raiding”, picking up popular ideas of the PSRM. The main goal is to create conditions when some voters see little difference between political projects and goals of both parties. It is not yet known how the democrats use the results of the referendum, and what tactics will be chosen after February 2019. Apparently, this will depend on the results of the parliamentary elections themselves. According to some estimates, the voting results will lead to a new internal political crisis. Here you can already say with confidence that the ‘puppeteer’ is a certified master of various shadow combinations and has succeeded in creating the so-called managed political crises. There is no doubt that the main ‘coordinator’ of all democrats intends to benefit from the next period of internal political turbulence. This is a convenient environment for conducting the individual work traditional for Democrats with politicians representing different parties. On the other hand, such a crisis will put the pro-European opposition in a difficult position for the socialists. There is no doubt that the Democratic Party, which is actively losing its ratings today, and personally Mr. Plahotniuc will do everything possible to preserve power and therefore force either the socialists or the ACUM political bloc to join the coalition with PDM. The predictions show that political ‘plankton’ such as half-ruined parties PL, PLDM, PCRM (if they get into parliament at all) or the so-called independent deputies will not be enough to control the highest legislative body this time. Whether the socialists and the handshakes in Brussels agree to be political donors to save the agonizing oligarchic system is a big question. Most likely, we will see the ‘union’ from the opposite side of the barricades in the form of general mass rallies and other protest demonstrations against the master of the “captured” Moldovan state. I think if a real wave of indignation rises, even Shor’s counter-protests with his hot meals will not be able to prevent the protesters. Let us return to the Plahotniuc’s initiative. If citizens support the idea of reducing the deputies’ corps, the authorities receive grounds for initiating early parliamentary elections in 3 months. If a referendum is held, the Democratic Party will initiate elections in the summer of 2019, and the new elections may not take place under a mixed electoral system. After all, the initiative of the Democrats implies the possibility of revoking a particular deputy, that is, elected in a single-mandate constituency. There is no doubt that the most independent Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova, of course, relying on the “will of the people”, will be able to equalize all legislators in their possibility to be revoked, that is, to legally oblige everyone to be elected by district. What advantages it gives to the Democratic Party that is losing its rating is obvious.