Igor Dodon and the Party of Socialists plan to form a ‘technocratic government’
After the Sandu’s government resigned, the political situation in Moldova has got extremely complicated. Formally, the ruling coalition still exists – the President, for example, expresses his wishes that the ACUM and the PSRM form a new government, without Maia Sandu atop. Even the leaders of the pro-European bloc with all their strong accusations and criticism of Igor Dodon and his party have not yet said a clear ‘no’ to the proposals of the socialists. However, it is evident to the majority of the country’s residents that the coalition formed in June is already the past, and soon there will be a new government in Moldova. What will it be?
Now the most realistic option is a minority government of socialists. To do this, the latter inevitably need to negotiate with the democrats, without their votes that can’t be done. Dodon reiterated that there could be no alliance with the Democratic Party, and indeed there would be none. At least, we should not expect the signing of any new cooperation agreements, such as those of the PSRM and ACUM. Documenting the coalition is now not necessary for anyone, as it may upset both the voters and international partners. Especially Moscow, which, according to some reports, at one time made serious political and diplomatic efforts to just prevent a potential alliance of the PSRM and the Democratic Party.
However, it is highly likely that democrats in the coming days will vote for the candidates for the government, offered by the left-wingers, and in the future will help to ensure its activities at the legislative level. Otherwise, the current government in the country simply becomes dysfunctional, which automatically activates the scenario of off-year elections. At this stage, neither the socialists nor the democrats, who consciously shared responsibility for the collapse of the ruling coalition, need them. Needless to say, this could have a negative impact on the electoral prospects of both parties if the parliamentary vote is held in the near future.
The government, created by the unspoken alliance of the Party of Socialists and the PDM, is likely to be declared ‘technocratic’ to further highlight the contrast with Sandu’s “incompetent” ministers. In fact, this means that it will nominally be formed on a professional, not ideological basis, and will focus on addressing the socio-economic problems of Moldova, first of all. At the same time, we should expect a noticeable decrease in international contacts, as well as less attention to the Transdniestrian settlement process. In general, it can be predicted that the activities of the new government will be similar to the last year of Plahotniuc’s administration, when before the elections the emphasis was placed on high-profile social and infrastructure projects.
It is difficult to say how long such a government will last, but it is likely that its life span may be longer than it seems at first glance. Democrats through Andrian Candu have already hinted that it should work for at least three years to implement the tasks.
However, this longevity is still very doubtful, because the new government will face a lot of pitfalls. To say the least, the socialists must now prepare for another change in relations with the European Union. Judging by the incoming signals from the EU, which clearly does not hide its disappointment with the recent events in Moldova, one should not expect continuation of macro-financial assistance (at least in the previous amount). Even if this is not a critical moment – the democrats once governed the country without European money – this blow will still be painful; and not only in terms of budget, but also image of the republic.
Besides, the viability of the alliance of socialists and democrats, where the roles can be distributed in the most unexpected way, raises questions. The socialists will formally play the first fiddle, but their dependence on partners will increase dangerously. In coalition with ACUM the PSRM has always had room for maneuver. Now it’s gone. It is hard to imagine that the bloc will ever again agree to cooperate with the left, even under pressure from international partners. And, therefore, the PSRM’s fate is almost entirely in the hands of the Democratic Party, which can dictate its terms, and at a convenient opportunity turn to the pro-Europeans.
Making the government of Maia Sandu resign, the socialists and Igor Dodon, in fact, cut off their escape routes and played all-in. Now, in order to have non-theoretical opportunities to maintain its current position, the new PSRM government needs to demonstrate remarkable results that would justify breaking of the previous coalition and cooperation with the democrats. Otherwise, in the best case, in a year the socialists will again plunge into fierce election struggle, but in much worse conditions.
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