Opinion: A New ‘Technocratic’ Government in Moldova Needed Only to Win Elections

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The government of Chicu should provide comfortable conditions for a confident run of democrats and socialists in future elections Sergey Cheban, RTA As expected, after holding formal consultations with parliamentary factions, Igor Dodon on the same day proposed to Parliament the candidacy of Ion Chicu for the post of Prime Minister. And today, the presidential adviser presented his program and the future Cabinet of Ministers. The leaders of the Democratic Party, despite tactical maneuvers, such as the official proposal to the ACUM bloc to form a coalition, have already expressed their readiness to support the minority government of Chicu. The democrats, like their colleagues in the Parliament, are trying to avoid off-year elections, which in the current conditions can leave them out of the big Moldovan politics. Therefore, the chances to form the so-called ‘technocratic’ government in Moldova in the coming days or even hours are very high. At the same time, future unofficial ‘allies’, as we know, have an acute deficit of mutual trust. Despite the ease with which the democrats demonstrate reciprocity in the dialogue with the socialists, do not dismiss the underlying desire of the PDM to give back the Party of Socialists and Igor Dodon personally for the ‘hot June’. Experienced politicians in the camp of democrats cannot but understand that tactical playing along with the socialists in the future will only strengthen the socialists’ capacity, which will inevitably threaten the prospects of the Democratic Party itself. In this regard, there is a possibility that to up the stakes and for better negotiating positions, the democrats may well vote down Mr. Chicu in the first vote, leaving the Moldovan President with only one attempt to get the maximum political results. An important point is how the current situation in Moldova is seen abroad. So far, officials have given rather restrained comments about the events. Nevertheless, it is quite obvious that Western capitals are convinced that it was the Kremlin that violated the international deal and actually moved to an aggressive counterattack in the Moldovan direction. Sooner or later, this state of affairs will lead to a response from Washington and Brussels. Oddly enough, in this environment the democrats can once again prove their relevance as a supporting political actor for the West in the fight against Russian influence. Moreover, the same Washington has always been quite pragmatic and undemanding in relations with Chisinau, while the latter played ‘the Russian hybrid war against Moldova’ card properly. That is why it should not be excluded that the tactical cooperation with the socialists is now being implemented, including with the consent of certain Western players. At the same time, the main motivation that seems to drive both socialists and democrats is to achieve a convincing result in the next scheduled or off-year elections. In this regard, most likely, the key task of the interim government of Chicu is to provide the most comfortable conditions for the electoral race of the current tactical ‘allies’. This includes the smooth victory of Igor Dodon in the presidential election, taking Maia Sandu out of the game completely, as well as a confident result in the parliamentary race. This will ensure a guaranteed transit of power to the next parliamentary majority, of which the PSRM should remain the majority holder. No wonder the composition of the technical government is formed of representatives associated with either democrats or socialists. Each of them will be tasked with image promotion of the relevant political force, as well as high-profile projects with direct electoral impacts. Therefore, the government of Ion Chicu is only nominally ‘technocratic’, but in fact its activities will be strictly subordinated to the political forces that formed it. This means that Moldova is once again entering a probably long period of stagnation, where clear strategic policies like ‘deoligarchization’ or European integration will give way to the realization of narrow electoral goals of individual Moldovan politicians.