Andrei Nastase gets tough with PAS at the by-election in the Hincesti district and insists on nominating a “non-party candidate” for president. That is anyone but Maia Sandu actually
The phrase “not a day without scandal and squabble” could easily become the new motto of the right-wing forces in Moldova. Instead of, at least, trying to make a united front against the ruling socialists they are more and more plunged into the internal confrontation abyss. Here’s Andrei Nastase eagerly joining the fight with his apparently ex-ally Maya Sandu, devoting much more time to her than his direct political opponents.
Just one deputy mandate was sufficient to flare up with renewed vigor the conflict between the two components of the ACUM bloc (may it exist, or not) showing thus, how fragile this formation originally was. Now, despite the fact that they belong to the same ideological flank and to the same goals and enemies’ commonality, the abyss that lies deeper and deeper between the parties seems to have completely buried hopes of previous cooperation.
Currently, PAS and DA are clearly not up to it, as they have in fact, switched to a direct confrontation at the by-election to parliament in the Hincesti district. Recall that the Sandu party nominated Olesea Stamate, ex-Minister of Justice, as a single candidate without any coordination with the DA colleagues. However, the local PAS branch led by Grigori Cobzac opposed it, and the later decided to run for election on his own.
There is an opinion that Sandu deliberately provoked a conflict believing that her “ally”, known for his impetuous temper and incontinence would initiate a break and accept all the associated political costs. This is what actually is happening. Within the DA party, clearly as a snub to the former ex-prime minister, they decided to support Cobzac, referring to his election results on February 24, 2019 and to his “local origin”, thus taking the blame for further aggravation of relations.
However, the conflict in Hincesti is just the tip of the iceberg. Even earlier, the common rightwing candidate to the post of the head of state became the stumbling rock. The DA platform leader recently stated that he got tired to “give everything away without getting anything in return” and threatened that his party could present its own candidate for the presidential election.
Interesting, that such blackmail occurred at the end of last year when Nastase first voiced the idea of a “non-party candidate.” It shows that he was actually ready to discuss the nomination of anyone but Maia Sandu. At the same time, everyone understands that right now, the ex-head of the Cabinet is the main competitor of the current president and the most recognizable opposition politician. It is not very clear why would the rightwing look for someone else when having such a candidate. Moreover, in less than a year it will be difficult to promote an absolutely new person for the public, especially in conditions when the country’s main media resources belong to PSRM and PDM.
Participation in the elections of other “pro-Europeans” may not be a big obstacle for Sandu to go forward to the second round. Nevertheless, her resultatives in such a situation may turn out to be much lower than that those of Igor Dodon, thereby disorienting and demotivating the rightwing electorate. It turns out that one of the leaders of the right-wing forces almost openly “drowns” his colleague, literally reducing the opposition’s chances to win. Why?
Perhaps the matter lies in the political ambitions of Andrei Nastase to whom it is important to stay afloat after the series of failures. Apparently, Sandu is really leading to a complete breakdown in relations or is offering the alternative of being content with the role of a junior partner – one of the many. In addition, she consistently closes on herself all European contacts and in Brussels, quite successfully advertises her persona as the only possible counterweight to Dodon.
Nastase, losing initiative has to deliberately go into public conflict and raise rates in negotiations with PAS hoping to nevertheless bargain himself a more or less worthy reward for example, the post of head of the Cabinet or, at least, the Deputy Prime Minister for his support in the coming elections.
There is another option: the leader of the DA “sets up” Sandu by arrangement with the ruling socialists. Such a seemingly exotic scenario is not meaningless. The ratings of the failed Chisinau mayor are rapidly falling, as well as the number of supporters of his party. In fact, Nastase’s independent political career ended at the time of the election failure in the capital. Moreover, he himself threatened to leave the country in case of loss – but according to the Moldavian political tradition the promise of course, was not kept.
Therefore, the actions to split the right flank and attack Sandu are part of the deal, which will ultimately allow Nastase in one capacity or another return to the power configuration and restart his career. Ultimately, this will not be the first time that a major Moldovan politician has dramatically changed his “color” for personal gain.
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