Expert: Plahotniuc Creating the Largest Oligarchic Clan in Europe

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The RTA author has recently figured out how the ruling power of Moldova creates a group of “vassal” businessmen like Ilan Shor. In exchange for personal loyalty the Democrats offer financial privileges and consent to the redistribution of property. The redistribution of influence will affect not only business. RTA regular expert Sergey Isaenko is convinced that Moldova will see lots of new faces in government posts instead of those who will go to parliament on the lists of the Democratic Party.

Reward for loyalty

State construction in Moldova is at standstill. It is difficult to argue with this fact - the European Union carefully initiated the vast majority of internal reforms in the country when it built a “success story” in the Republic of Moldova. Brussels also sponsored these reforms. The efforts of the Moldovan authorities were focused only on implementation of recommendations and budget disbursement. Chisinau has definitely succeeded in the latter, for which it lost its macro-financial assistance last year. What surely can be considered a success of Vladimir Plahotniuc’s management is a virtuosic “political” construction. For a couple of years, the Democratic Party has grown into a financial-political giant octopus, which controls the parliament as a whole, and many deputies personally, the government, the courts, the economy, and in general everything in this country. Therefore, to be a member of the Democratic Party of Moldova or an ally of the Democrats is promising, lucrative and aristocratic, provided that you came to terms with conscience. However, there are some weak points. Financial-political groups centered on one person are usually very vulnerable, and manual control often fails. Some always want to overthrow the “King”, and the slightest sign of the master’s weakness provokes instability and a behind-the-scenes political power struggle. Everyone understands that the PDM, with all the extent of its power and influence that is unique in scale, is the same typical house of cards – Democrats ignore democracy way too blatantly and disdainfully and make enemies too fast inside and outside the country. The extensive “apparatus” of the Democratic Party represented by deputies and officials is nervous since the price tag is extremely high, and losing will turn into a true disaster for every “vassal” of the current regime. Another incentive is needed to avoid grumbling and anxious expectations, and to maintain good management over the team of “his people”. Therefore, in the elections of 2019, PDM launches a “social elevator” as a reward for loyalty, which is intended to create a safety cushion for the group of especially distinguished ones. It is reliably known that a significant part of the PDM list at the parliamentary elections is ministers, state secretaries, high-ranking officials and heads of enterprises. For a long time, these people served the party in executive positions, where the risk of being “overboard” and sometimes in jail was very great. Now they are moving to a calmer and more stable platform – to the parliament, where they can recklessly do business and any other affairs overtly, only from time to time visiting the conference hall and voting correctly. Let’s not forget that this year Moldovans elect half of the deputies on the basis of a majority system. These are candidates from single-member constituencies, where people will vote for names, but not parties. Obviously, the main political forces will promote their people in the constituencies, among which the party of Plahotniuc maintains leadership in resources and influence. Democrats will engage the existing officials – mayors and districts heads, for whom entering the parliament will be a noticeable promotion.

Make way for the young

Free workplaces, left by the part of the officials who became members of the parliament, are a social elevator for a new generation of politicians and managers. The PDM office reasonably believes that it is better to recruit people in advance and not to give a chance to politically active citizens to join the rivals – the PSRM and ACUM. In this sense, after the elections Moldova will obviously face a new round of personnel changes – young party activists off the bench will assume the posts. All this, as we remember, will be accompanied by the property redistribution for the “business wing” of the Democrats and the division of influence in the country. A similar approach is applied to the official apparatus: even now they receive proposals to support the Democrats in exchange for a career growth and guarantees of a stable and successful future. Democrats broadcast sets of simple association-rules to the Moldovan society: “A successful businessman supports PDM. A successful official supports PDM. Young and active supports PDM”.  These rules work despite the reputation of the Democrats and their supreme leader. In the country where there are so few prospects for a happy future, people usually do not ignore the tempting offers of a successful career. The 2019 elections will be the catalyst for many changes that are starting now. With a favorable outcome of the elections Vlad Plahotniuc will easily create in Moldova the largest oligarchic network group in Europe composed of loyal businessmen and officials. The “Democratic Party of Moldova” will become only a political signboard for a new, advanced version of the “captured state”. The ultimate goal of the Democrats is a one-party system modeled on the classic totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, which has nothing to do with modern democracy. The European community, as well as all other partners of Moldova, will have to choose between cooperation with the oligarchy clan dictatorship or public non-recognition of the new government in 2019. The choice is difficult and unobvious: to turn a blind eye to lawlessness in the Europe-oriented country or to recognize that insufficient rigidity and acquiescence of European institutions made such a situation possible. The decision is obviously not easy and simple but it can’t be postponed because the stronger the clan oligarchic octopus in the country, the more tragic and painful crises will be for Moldova in the future.