Opinion: Sandu Intentionally Moves to Break Relations with Nastase

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According to Marina Dragalin RTA expert, Maia Sandu intentionally provokes the conflict with DA and Andrei Nastase aiming to get rid of the already unnecessary ally Marina Dragalin, RTA: The situation surrounding the by-election to parliament in the Hincesti district drives one more wedge between pro-European parties that have not agreed to nominate a common candidate. Such an events development is quite predictable. The decision to cooperate in due time was fed on the desire of both to politically survive. As time has shown, at least tactically that was a right move. Now, at first glance, it seems that the pro-European parties are acting unreasonably, conflicting among themselves instead of criticizing the president and Ion Chicu government. However, the current discord in the former ACUM’s camp has its own purely pragmatic reasons. To begin with, it is worth recalling that before forming ACUM, the political forces of Maia Sandu and Andrei Nastase functioned separately and actively criticized each other. Besides, in the specific situation with by-elections, do not forget it was previously assumed that party leaders would run directly, since both have lost the posts - and the deputy chair on the presidential election eve would be none the worse. Hincesti is a personal occasion for both Nastase and Sandu parties to become part of the power structure again and to gain political points from the rostrum of the parliament. However, despite DA’s active calls, the rights failed to agree. As a result, PAS single-handedly nominated former Minister of Justice Olesea Stamate. And ironically enough, the by-election provoked a split in PAS itself. The official candidate, Stamate, did not receive the support of the local cell, which decided to support Grigorie Cobzac. The latter, although a member of the Sandu party, is running as an independent candidate and has even secured the support of some DA members. The source of former associates “incompatibility” does not actually lye in the area of ​​personal contradictions of Sandu and Nastase, but in the sphere of rational calculations. Since the creation of the bloc, the PAS and DA leaders’   political paths have diverged significantly. When Maia Sandu strengthens her position and catches up with Igor Dodon in terms of ratings, Andrei Nastase “goes downhill”: failures in the post of Minister of the Interior and the elections in Chisinau affected him. Obviously, for Sandu Nastase is a political ballast, which does not make sense to continue dragging to the struggle process with the socialists. Judging by recent statements with long appeals to PAS with proposals for joining forces on all possible fronts, Andrei Nastase and DA are gradually coming to realize this new reality. Nastase, for example, firmly stated that he would no longer allow "unilateral political victims." Moreover, DA representatives decided to participate in the presidential election: Nastase informed "the platform has and can nominate its own candidate." In this context, it’s even a little pity that due to Mihai Druta’s refusal to register for the Hincesti election race, we will not see the electoral struggle of DA and PAS, which could become a good trailer for the upcoming presidential election. Although, perhaps, in spite of Sandu, Nastase’s associates will still bet on Grigorie Cobzac. Anyway, we will see in the near future the way events unfold since the by-elections in the Hincesti district will take place on March 15th. Nastase’s reservation (which obviously soberly assesses the party’s chances for personal success) about readiness “in the context of creating a broad common pro-European and national front to support a single non-party candidate” spoils a little the DA resolute spirit. In general, Andrei Nastase’s rhetoric looks nervous lately, if not even hysterical. And that does not certainly add him any attractiveness as a political partner. On the contrary, being on a restrained distance he adds Maia Sandu political points (including in the eyes of donors) and gives space and freedom for maneuvers. One may reasonable believe that Maia Sandu, confidently occupying today the niche of Dodon’s main opponent, no longer needs equal partners to reckon with. She would rather be disposed to search for temporary "auxiliary" allies, capable of even more to overshadow her candidacy in the elections and bring her closer to the presidential chair. She does have options. It can be both unionists or the Civil Congress, or part of the Democrats. In this sense, it is obvious that if Nastase tries to enter the electoral race, he should prepare to actively oppose both his former ally and, probably Western partners, who are also increasingly relying on the PAS leader.