The RTA expert explains why the ‘wheels of deoligarchization’ first hit third best Sor’s cronies Marina Tauber and Regina Apostolova, not the real invaders of Moldova
Sergey Cheban, RTA
The actions of the current Moldovan authorities, who from the very beginning declared a policy of deoligarchization and called themselves its leaders, are increasingly demonstrating the ‘effect of a street lamp’.
This metaphor came from an anecdote when a person lost the keys on the other side of the street, and was looking for it under the lamp, because ‘it’s lighter to look under it’.
Simply put, the government does deoligarchization wherever it is convenient, not where people are waiting for it. All remember loud declarations, risky fraudulent negotiations on hidden camera, night sessions of the Parliament without light and urgent missions of senior foreign officials and diplomats, who ‘asked’ Plahotniuc out. It is unlikely that such efforts can be justified only by the fact that three months later, just before the 100th day, the new government defiantly deprives of immunity and arrest two associates of Ilan Sor. Frankly, this is a faint outcome.
Most experts agree that the deoligarchization by the ACUM-PSRM coalition has not been particularly successful. It seems that this rather absurd fact has several explanations, which, however, are directly related to the factor of the disgraced, expelled and by many forgotten Plahotniuc.
The first reason is internal conflicts in the camp of the current government. Up until June of this year, the PSRM and the ACUM could barely stand each other for both personal and political reasons. Both camps declared contrary ideology: friendship with Russia and the traditional Orthodox values of the socialists conflicted with the pro-Western and sometimes pro-Romanian policy of PAS and DA, who shared European values in politics and social structure.
For a good cause, Moscow, Brussels and Washington managed to iron out differences between the two political forces and literally put them together. But the contradictions remain: these three months the relationship of Sandu and Dodon reminded very sensitive and very intense waltz where partners do not look at each other and don’t want to step on the partner’s foot. It was evident that the ACUM and the PSRM cannot always keep mouth shut, and when fail all pretend that nothing happened. Instead of seeking compromises, Dodon and Sandu are busy working on their geopolitical fronts, while deoligarchization is a domestic matter. As a result, the process of combating the oligarchic legacy stalled considerably.
The second reason is that the Moldovan society and the politicians themselves have got used that there is one center of power. Plahotniuc was the evil and the main culprit of all troubles, but he also single-handedly managed the entire system. When the authoritarian government was gone, it turned out that the country is not so easy to govern. It is so difficult that it is impossible to get rid of Plahotniuc’s supporters and henchmen in state structures at once, because these people just understand how the system works. As a result, Moldova has lost a single ‘center of power’, and yet cannot get used to the new reality. Not least because of this, the legitimacy of the new government rests largely on the support of external partners. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, for example, will soon come back to the country.
The third and at the same time common reason is the fear of the ghost of Plahotniuc. The Democratic Party was completely beaten, and the ‘puppeteer’ fled the country as soon as possible. However, the new government let him and Sor, and many others escape, which greatly tarnished their image of the revolutionaries.
The point is that no one in Chisinau knows for sure on what conditions Plahotniuc gave power. That means serious pressure on the system left after him may force the disgraced oligarch actively intervene in Moldovan infighting and pour out a fair share of dirt on both Dodon, and Sandu with Nastase. Thereby spoiling their game before local (and then also presidential) elections. In the end, a lot of information remains in Moldova itself and Plahotniuc’s legacy such as hundreds of people in the governmental system will begin to actively defend themselves.
Mutual distrust, fear of revenge by Plahotniuc and his allies, as well as the habit of living under the authoritarian government greatly hamper the deoligarchization efforts of the new government. In the end it gets absurd and even comical, when a forty-second cousin is arrested instead the real bad guys. But how long will the new government fight fears and regale the public with a low-grade imitation of restoring order?
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.