Life is fully flourishing around the quarantined parliament: some signs show that active work to collect a new ruling coalition composition is underway. It may as well include unexpected participants.
Against the background of the operetta election campaign with its banal compromising materials and main candidates squabbling, diluted with bizarre exoticism like Usatiy’s Wine City, many experts start once again throwing glances towards the actively pursued realpolitik near the Moldovan parliament.
The protracted quarantine within the country’s main legislative body, that does not even intend ending (the other day, speaker Zinaida Greceanii tested positive for coronavirus), created the impression of a certain stagnation in parliamentary life. Apparently, it is false because according to some markers one can see that quite curious processes are taking place at the current moment; processes able to affect the future political structure of the country to a much greater extent than the upcoming elections.
As well known, the current coalition literally miraculously resisted this summer’s powerful oligarchic onslaught when its stool pigeons bearing six-figure American currency sums got actively sent to the camp of the ruling parties. This led to the parliamentary majority loss as a result, whilst the dominant status of the PSRM-PDM minority union is now being retained thanks to the votes of Vladimir Andronachi and Eugen Nichiforciuc ex-democrats and of the independent deputy Alexandru Oleinic.
At the same time, the atmosphere in the coalition is being far from the best. Reportedly, relations between Socialists and Democrats have cracked due to some unfulfilled promises and unfair financial flows distribution, which in fact were the main factor holding this union together.
As a result, the leadership of the Democratic Party has more than once or twice expressed its dissatisfaction with the current situation and openly did not support the Socialist presidential candidate. In addition, PDM leader Pavel Filip publicly stated the intention of many party members to leave the coalition hinting at possible cooperation with the right-wing opposition after the presidential elections. In turn, PSRM gave its tit for tat. Judging by Igor Dodon’s statements, the socialists do not intend fulfilling their promises made to the Democrats within the framework of the coalition agreement, thus putting up a number of democratic portfolios for auction in the government, indicating as well their intention to keep Ion Chicu at the head of the Cabinet.
The deepening crisis in the ranks of the coalition might of course, only be the tip of the iceberg, intentionally exposed to the public and the opposition (still keeping an eye on the PDM). Nevertheless, so far everything indicates a real discord between the parties of the ruling alliance; this fact is to most likely lead to alternative coalition options working out.
In this sense, comes under notice the obvious flirting with the Shor party, in relation to which take place signal events such as withdrawing two of its deputies out of billion theft criminal case prosecution. On the other hand, representatives of the Orhei businessman’s political force have as well muted the president and socialists’ criticism.
It is easy to notice that at the moment the Shor party does not clearly dispose of enough deputies to completely replace the PDM within the ruling coalition. However, the situation may soon change. Thus, according to the mayor of Balti and presidential candidate Renato Usatii data, in the near future another flow of deputies is to get fully prepared, specially meant for the Shor party. The donor in this case will be the splitting Pro Moldova faction.
Preferences forming within presidential elections show that certain movements have appeared in Andrian Candu’s group. Thus, already four MPs from Pro Moldova have expressed their support for the Shor candidate Violetta Ivanova, despite the fact that, according to Candu, the party has not yet made a formal decision on this issue. Plahotniuc’s good man called as personal opinion the statements of four of his party members in support of Ivanova.
Thus, Shor-men (and maybe not only them) who have been reinforced at the expense of Pro Moldova might replace the so-called presumptuous and noticeably weakened democrats in the coalition.
One of this week’s notable political topics was the new round of the Cold War between two sworn allies – Maia Sandu and Andrei Nastase who at first glance, has nothing to do with the events described above. This time, the chairman of the DA Platform proposed to his colleague recreating the pro-European ACUM bloc but most importantly, to get out of the presidential race in his favor, of course.
In his opinion, this should be done, since “sociological polls, as in 2016, unfortunately, do not give the PAS candidate a chance to bypass Igor Dodon in the second round.” “The only candidate able to defeat Igor Dodon is the candidate of the DA Platform. Sociological arguments are based on dozens of studies conducted since the beginning of 2020 and relevant to the entire population of Moldova, while success in this case is associated with the following: previous activities; the past; profile and electoral opponents’ personality,” Nastase explained.
It is not quite clear what polls the politician is talking about, because according to all sociological calculations, Igor Dodon and Maia Sandu are leading in the race by a large margin. However, this can be regarded as another episode in the conflict between Sandu and Nastase that has been dragging on throughout this year. It was the ex-prime minister to start this, attempting to lower her partner’s status, who (after losing the Chisinau elections) was no longer viewed as equal. However, Nastase was clearly not ready to accept such a role, still feeling himself a subject and not an object of Moldovan politics (that he partly demonstrated during farmers’ protests). The confrontation between two key forces of the right-wing opposition has already led to a direct clash in the by-elections in the Hincesti district leading to an unexpected deputy mandate drain in favor of the original outsiders of the vote – the socialists.
Afterwards, Nastase began methodically disrupting Maia Sandu’s election campaign, devoting much more time to criticizing her person than the current president. The motives of this happening have already been discussed here. It is not surprising that even now the DA leader continues drowning his former ally, claiming that she has no chance in the pre-election battle with Igor Dodon.
If Nastase’s formation manages to achieve intermediate goals (defeat Sandu and postpone the prospect of early parliamentary elections that are capable to cut off the DA faction), interesting options open before it. No secret that it was the representatives of the platform who most of all grieved over the destroyed coalition with the socialists and repeatedly criticized Maia Sandu for. So, as to some insider information, a part of them are not averse to renewing such cooperation. Socialist deputy Grigore Novac recently spoke about, confirming certain regrets within the right-wing camp about the ACUM-PSRM alliance and noted that “many in parliament do not want early elections” and are ready to reformat the parliamentary majority.
It is rather difficult, of course to imagine a new coalition involving the left-ones and the right-ones at the moment. But Moldovan politics has repeatedly proved that the impossible is possible and the socialists have always left this door open. Perhaps further events will show that there are reasons for.
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