RTA expert Dorin Mocanu is confident that after overthrowing Plahotniuc Moldova will face the next scramble for power
The Republic of Moldova has once again entered a profound political crisis that has regularly hit the country since the well-known ‘Twitter revolution’ of 2009. Moldovan politicians are not particularly decent and noble, so they can elect the head of state for years, create dummy ‘pro-European’ coalitions, and then destroy each other and seize the remains of political parties and blocs. This is what the events of the last 10 years looked like in a very brief summary.
The parliamentary elections of 24 February 2019 were no exception. As a result of the vote, three irreconcilable political forces passed to the legislative body, which then searched for a way to deceive subtly each other during 3 months. The culmination of this unconvincing soap opera was the simultaneous visit of high representatives of the USA, Russia and the EU to Chisinau on June 3, after which the process of power formation in the country acquired a completely different, rapid dynamics.
According to experts, the main ‘driver’ of the situation was the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak. Many observers agree that under the pressure of the Kremlin official the Party of Socialists and Igor Dodon personally significantly softened their positions in the negotiations with the ACUM bloc and actually aborted a deal with the Democratic Party of Vladimir Plahotniuc. The tough reaction of the latter proves once again that the relationship between the PSRM and the PDM was much more complicated than an open confrontation, so the unexpected break at the finish line became so painful.
Position multi-year collaboration of the Socialists with the Democrats must have given rise to the illusion of Plahotniuc that he can make an agreement with Moscow on certain terms.
However, the coordinator, who was known as a skillful schemer, this time made a grave miscalculation, and it seems that this miscalculation leads to fatal consequences for the Democratic Party and him personally. As a result, there was a radical break, accompanied by a war of compromising materials, which is far from over. Therefore, the reasons for Dodon’s ‘special op’ to liberate the country, unexpected in all respects, are not so important as its far-reaching consequences.
Nevertheless, the main issue on the Moldovan agenda is to break the political impasse, and here the approaches of the parties differ diametrically. If the Democrats rest on sovereign legality, the coalition of the ‘new power’ is largely based on external legitimacy, under the pressure of which the oligarchic regime should fall. As historical experience shows, the position of international partners plays an important role. Since they openly joined the process, unequivocally supporting one of the parties to the confrontation, they assumed their share of responsibility for the relatively peaceful transit of power. This means that there is only one way out of the Moldovan crisis that is to negotiate. Yes, the rules do not prohibit bluffing, bargaining, testing the strength of competitors in different ways, but it is absolutely forbidden to cross the ‘red lines’. All active political forces seem to have a common understanding of this reality. The showy conciliatory rhetoric of the Democrats and the refusal of the opposing alliance to engage their supporters in the streets and squares are proof of this.
There is no alternative – everyone will have to agree on new rules of the political game: early elections in the new environment.
Today, the ACUM and PSRM coalition colleagues get euphoric from what is happening. Meanwhile, it is obvious that the existing tactical alliance is an extremely temporary phenomenon. When the PDM regime can be securely neutralized, the temporary allies will return to their original ideological attitudes, and therefore we should expect an aggravation of the political struggle.
Whatever the outcome of the current situation, the political forces that dismantled the Democratic Party will necessarily compete for the ill-gotten ‘Plahotniuc’s legacy’ in order to ensure control over the system and exclusive access to the domestic and foreign policy controls of the Moldovan state. And here Socialists can expect different troubles, in contrast to the ACUM bloc that is ‘sterile’ according to European standards. The PSRM and its leaders will surely be reminded about their long-term balancing in contact with the autocratic oligarch, the concept of federalization of the country that was widely announced when Igor Dodon was a presidential candidate, and speculation about external financing, and much more.
In addition, if after the negotiations Democrats will retain the opportunity to participate in early elections, the socialist party may soon become the main target for them and for pro-European forces.
It happened so that in the recent history of Moldova, political stability has been exclusively under the monopoly position of a single political force. I would like to warn the long-suffering Moldova from repeating the previous mistakes. Today, the danger of losing the new future of Moldova being busy fighting for the abundant heritage of the inevitably outgoing era of the captured state comes to the fore. The country must not be lost once again in the struggle for its ‘liberation’. The people will not forgive it.
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