How will the Kerch incident and martial law in Ukraine in the border areas with Moldova affect the domestic political processes in Moldova? According to Dorin Mocanu, the Russian-Ukrainian confrontation in the Sea of Azov is risky for PDM on the eve of the elections. Filip’s government cannot but support Kyiv, but voters are scared of the excessive solidarity with Poroshenko.
Dorin Mocanu is confident that in the coming months it is important for the Democrats to fully control everything that in one way or another can affect the voting results. “The PDM has a very pedantic approach to the election campaign. Scripts are written, everyone has its role, there should be a beautiful and believable picture in the end. Plahotniuc conducts: the structures controlled by the Democratic Party set the election date, make it on the same day with a referendum, at the right moment the Democratic leader announces a new party policy, promising generous gifts to the population like higher salaries and good roads. Everything has gone as planned, but then a conflict in Kerch has happened and martial law in Odessa and Vinnytsia”, the expert said.
“The Democrats have enough of negatives. Therefore, starting from this autumn, the government bends over backwards to create positive expectations among the population from the victory of the Plahotniuc’s party. At the same time, PDM actively discredits competitors so that a bright future could be associated exclusively with the victory of the Democrats, and the Democrats could be associated with a bright future”, Mocanu explains.
The RTA author notes that due to the aggravation in Ukraine, the Moldovan government somehow has to be involved in a completely different, unfavorable discourse connected to the martial law, aggression and strengthened control on the border. Dorin Mocanu notes that Moldovan truck drivers have already encountered problems on the territory of Ukraine, and such incidents will definitely affect the Democrats’ rating.
“Imagine: you arrive at the border of Ukraine. You stand in line, then a border guard decides to conduct an additional inspection. You are freezing, there is a line, you do not understand why you need martial law, who is at war with whom and how you are involved in that. You do not like the actions of the Ukrainian authorities and Petro Poroshenko, because he is in charge of everything. Then you remember that the government of your country ardently supports Ukraine and asks for understanding. You are unhappy”, states Dorin Mocanu. He also notes that since 2014, Ukraine has been strongly associated with instability, and the military situation at the Moldova’s borders near Pridnestrovie “with Russian troops and 20,000 tons of ammunition” simply scares people.
“Democrats want to win the elections referring to positives, and Kyiv provokes anxiety. And the government officially supports it. Negative associations can’t be avoided. As ill luck would have it, even the elections in Ukraine will be held a month after the Moldovan ones”, the expert emphasizes.
Another problem, according to Mocanu, is that the Ukrainian crisis leads to the aggravation of geopolitical disputes within Moldova itself. “Moldovans do not live in a vacuum. The country is still arguing over whose fault is ‘Maidan’, the war in the Donbas and the events in the Crimea. No political power of Moldova before the elections will answer all these questions, because they may lose the ‘opposite’ voters. It is no coincidence that Dodon’s administration commented on the situation only a few days later: everyone keeps away from negative and intractable disputes”, the analyst believes.
“In this situation, the right, led by Sandu and Nastase, seem to be more respectable – they are not tainted by power and they are standing for ‘all good’. This is another challenge for the Democrats, because Plahotniuc, apparently, considers them as the main risk to their power. Europe supports the new right, while has stooped macro-financial assistance to the government of Filip-Plahotniuc, and at the same time journalists write about close contacts and business relations of the main Moldova’s oligarch with Petro Poroshenko. This entire grim cocktail of facts and conjectures frustrate the Democrats’ plans and will not allow them to win without getting their hands dirty”, Dorin Mocanu is convinced.
“Europe itself may closely monitor the actions of Chisinau. The attitude to the Ukrainian events can highlight the real positions of the Democrats, their resources and support from the population, and the Democratic Party clearly does not want this”, he concludes.
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