Moldovan Pro-Europeans Got Married

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Pro-Europeans of Moldova unite Opposition pro-European parties of Moldova began to consolidate into a single power and are ready to challenge a common enemy in the elections in the person of the Democratic Party and Plahotniuc. The Union of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) with the pro-European opposition PAS and DA seems to have finally taken shape. Despite a considerable part of the party council opposed, the Liberal Democrats agreed to participate in the parliamentary elections on the lists of the ACUM bloc. This choice is quite logical – speaking under its banner, the politicians of the PLDM get a chance to save their place on the Moldovan political Olympus and claim one or two deputy chairs. The threat of losing their positions without this was considerable – since after the triumph of 2014, which ended several years after with desertion of members from the Liberal Democratic Party to the Democrats of Vlad Plahotniuc, the party was actually on the verge of political bankruptcy. Having lost the former electoral support, the PLDM alone risked no longer overcoming the required percentage threshold. As can be seen, the Liberal Democrats put the lid on their own desires and decided to act pragmatically. Through internal party cleansing and adoption of the unification policy with Romania the leaders of the PLDM tried to postpone dumping in the trash bin of history. This has allowed to keep small but stable political weight. Currently, according to opinion polls, the party is supported by about 6% of the population, and its supporters are also among local councils and administrations. Such an asset can be very useful for PAS and DA leaders who are interested in the concentration of all pro-European forces in the ACUM bloc. Negotiations with various formations of the right flank have been going on for a long time. The alliance with the Liberal Democrats is only the first fruit of this large-scale and complex work, and it cannot be ruled out that the Liberal Party will also go under the banner of ACUM before the new year. Ghimpu removed ‘under the table’ for the common cause Resignation of a veteran of the Moldovan policy, Mihai Ghimpu, from the post of chairman of the Liberal Party, which has become a startling news for all its members, may indicate realization of such a scenario. Earlier, Andrei Nastase, one of the opposition leaders, harshly criticized the main liberal, openly calling him a traitor and remembering cooperation with those who contributed to the establishment of Vlad Plahotniuc’s unlimited power. As a conciliatory gesture, Ghimpu recently personally initiated a joint electoral campaign with PAS and DA. Those, in turn, set certain conditions: to pass an incorruptibility procedure and participate in the elections on the lists of the ACUM bloc. The resignation of Ghimpu could have been the result of the behind-the-scenes negotiations of the Liberal Party with Sandu and Nastase, who saw significant reputational costs in cooperation with the leader of the Liberals. In addition, the latter’s figure annoys other potential allies of PAS and DA, primarily the leader of the National Unity Party (PUN), Anatol Salaru. Now, after Ghimpu’s resignation, there is one less obstacle on the way to the ACUM bloc for the party of Salaru that is unlikely to overcome the electoral threshold alone, but it may well pull the precious voices of the pro-European forces. There is also the problem that the new president of the Liberals also does not meet the high ‘technocratic’ requirements of ACUM. The former mayor of Chisinau, Dorin Chirtoaca, left not the most pleasant memories of his activities among the residents of the capital and enjoys the reputation of far from the most efficient manager. We mustn’t forget about the numerous corruption scandals associated with his name. On the other hand, the ex-mayor of Chisinau was a victim of the Plahotniuc’s regime, so he receives a plus in karma by default – which means, according to the logic of the opposition, they can deal with him. Even despite the risk that the Chirtoaca background – in case the PAS and DA alliance with the Liberals really takes shape – will surely be used by Plahotniuc as a vulnerable link to discredit the ACUM bloc. Ruling Democrats put pressure on the opposition The union of Moldovan pro-Europeans, which is becoming more and more distinct, seems to be becoming a serious threat to the ruling regime. At the moment, the Democrats are making more and more attempts to restrain their unifying impulses. For example, the Moldovan authorities have linked the opposition with the Open Dialog Foundation, at the same time making a number of high-profile accusations of “treason”, “espionage” and “sabotage activities against Moldova”. At the same time, they refer to certain “data of the Polish intelligence services”, according to which Open Dialog is a Russian agent of influence. According to Moldovan media reports, the investigation into this case will only gain momentum, as will the topic of “Russian interference in the Moldovan elections.” Whether they will prove the connection between the pro-European opposition, the Open Dialog and the Russian intelligence services is not so important. The Democratic Party has already achieved its main goals: it has created the necessary information noise and sowed doubts in the minds of voters. Balance of power after the election Already now, three months before the elections, a number of experts predict a possible balance of power in the post-electoral parliament. Most of the seats, in their opinion, will be shared by the socialists, the pro-European opposition and the democrats. But none of these forces is likely to be able to get a constitutional majority to form a government. In this case, the usual question of a coalition will arise, which seems impossible due to the declared antagonism between these political forces. Then the country will have new elections, which means that the Democrats will get additional time to strengthen their positions and discredit competitors. The stalemate situation, which Vlad Plahotniuc wants to create, will allow the Democrats to once again expand the space for their maneuvers and use the contradictions – both within the country and in the geopolitical dimension. The PDM Chairman will be able to offer Maia Sandu and Andrei Nastase to create an alliance against the socialists, hoping that Washington will also have an influence, the support of which the Democrats are seeking to enlist. What will be the position of Brussels is still unclear, as well as whether the 2016 situation will repeat, when the US and the EU supported the current government of Filip in order to avoid the dissolution of parliament. The integrity of Europeans can provoke another hypothetical scenario: creation of a temporary coalition of democrats and socialists, especially since their policies are gradually converging. Although such a scenario is unlikely at this point, the quirks and plot twists of the modern Moldovan policy have taught the public to believe in even the impossible.