The ruling alliance of the ACUM bloc and the Party of Socialists overcame the first hundred-day milestone and ‘gave birth’ to a new political agreement
In recent weeks, the expert community believed that the alliance between the two political camps with opposing views is weakening every day: they say the divide gets deeper. For example, experienced and hardcore socialists successfully capitalized three months in power. The influence of the PSRM has grown significantly, mainly due to control over the security and judicial authorities. According to experts, the main factor of success of Dodon’s party is one-man management, a clear understanding of the goals and party discipline in the PSRM.
Brussels managed to put together the ACUM bloc with difficulty just before the elections. Therefore, the union of the Sandu and Nastase parties suffers from internal disunity. Right now, the bloc from which MPs are already fleeing looks clearly weaker than the PSRM. Most ministries and agencies are run by pro-Europeans, but this is a questionable advantage: the bloc automatically assumed responsibility for the deplorable socio-economic situation in the country. Five years ago, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, appointed immediately after the Maidan, honestly called his Cabinet a “government of political suicides”. The same can be said about the executive power of the ACUM bloc, which are now in a losing position.
However, even in situation of mutual distrust, the ACUM and the PSRM still agreed to extend the union. The signing of the agreement symbolically took place just before Maia Sandu’s trip to Washington and Dmitry Kozak’s visit to Chisinau.
It is interesting how the document was signed: it was endorsed not only by the leaders of the parliamentary factions, but also by the speaker of the Parliament, the President and the Prime Minister. Through such a ‘collective responsibility’ the pro-European bloc might warn socialists against any attempt to blame the ACUM bloc for the crisis in Moldova and to go for off-year elections.
The key paragraph of the union document was the implementation of the Association Agreement with the European Union. Some experts were quick to reproach Dodon’s socialists for lacking provision on the strategic relations with Russia and the Eurasian Union. However, beyond the political rhetoric, Moldova has only one strategic document and it describes in detail and clearly the close integration with the European Union. Therefore, any other is no more than the subjective wishes of individual Moldovan politicians and parties.
Igor Dodon is well aware that at the current stage the movement of Moldova to the West is inevitable, and therefore must be following the principle “If can’t win it, lead it!”. It also fits perfectly into the President’s strategy to adjust his own image in the West.
The foreign policy part of the agreement, especially the “Security and Strategic Partnership” section, clearly indicates where Moldova is going. Chisinau intends to strengthen its strategic partnership with the United States, develop privileged relations with Romania, and expand good-neighborly relations with Ukraine. As for Russia, the Moldovan government does not set itself a super-task, limiting itself to the normalization of political and economic relations with Moscow.
The Transdniestrian conflict is unexpectedly viewed by the alliance through the prism of foreign policy rather than domestic policy. It is surprising that in this section there was no place for the coalition to develop common principles and concepts of settlement and for the need to launch negotiations on the status of the Left Bank as soon as possible. Apparently, there is no common vision in Chisinau on the Transdniestrian issue, despite all the efforts of Igor Dodon now to boost political negotiations on Transdniestria. It is quite obvious that no one in ACUM is going to help the President to raise his popularity through the topic of reintegration.
Preservation of the parliamentary coalition in extremely difficult ‘adjustment’ of its components was largely a forced measure. So far, neither the PSRM nor the ACUM, despite all the differences, are ready for off-year elections. However, the new agreement is not a lasting peace, but only a truce before a new round of electoral battles. Local elections are coming, which will show the real situation of each party and its political future.
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