Under certain conditions, the approval and functioning of the Gavrilita-led government might be backed by the parliamentary faction consisting of the socialists, Sor party and DPM pieces.
This week will be very eventful, especially as regards the prospects to overcome the internal political crisis. As early as this Thursday, the parliament will resume its regular work after the winter break and meet for this year’s first plenary meeting. The core issue on the agenda is expected to be a vote for the new Moldovan government, but in fact – the prospect for the early parliamentary election.
Judging by particular signs, the internal situation in the key party structures leaves much to be desired, and the Moldovan politicians still don’t show a genuine willingness to go to the polls. After Maia Sandu left PAS, the confrontation between several leaders within the party groups is more and more clearly manifested, therefore the final decision on appointing the chairman was postponed to a later date. The DA Platform as the closest partner within the former ACUM bloc which has weakened to the limit in recent years, also has latent revanchist sentiments among the individual members, who are determined to breathe a second life into the political formation by removing the unfortunate Andrei Nastase from the leadership position.
The Democratic Party leaders feel some hopelessness and a weak chance of getting into parliament again, primarily since the PDM has lost access to key financial sources with the departure of several business tycoons. The unionist camp has at all disappeared from the electoral radar and got lost in almost all pro-European political forces.
After much deliberation, having analyzed various options, Maia Sandu is trying to be more pro-active and play number one with experienced parliamentary magnets. The opponents, who have kept the president under heavy pressure and criticism throughout the recent weeks, are now forced to consider ways of their withdrawal and further actions. The choice is not easy – either to vote for the Sandu government, or bring the early parliamentary elections closer, with the latter boding no good even for the socialists, as the recent sociological snapshots show.
The head of state has nevertheless made up her mind and nominated one of her close associates, Natalia Gavrilita, as a candidate for prime minister. The latter, apparently, fully understands the precariousness of the President’s position, who, on the one hand, completely and utterly trusts her nominee, and, on the other, does not want her to be supported by the parliament.
Some experts are already talking about the fact that Maia Sandu made one of her worst mistakes as president by not nominating a technical nominee for the post of prime minister. Nevertheless, with all the disadvantages and risks, the head of state’s position will certainly be strengthened if investiture of a loyal Cabinet takes place. By the way, exactly in this composition the government will prepare early parliamentary elections, as the case may be, and deprive its direct competitors of the administrative resource. In particular, it can implement a stricter neutralization of the “Transdniestrian voter” factor and, conversely, strengthen the diaspora’s electoral potential.
In her government, the head of state will cement control over a significant number of the country’s power leverages. Any attempt to block the Cabinet’s functionality in the parliament will surely affect the parties that supported a no-confidence vote in the Gavrilita government. Such developments create a big dilemma for the president’s political rivals who want a respite through appointing the Sandu government, destined for a slaughter, but at the same time take risks – after all, the Moldovan voter may not understand why the executive branch is constantly tripped up.
Since Natalia Gavrilita’s candidacy was announced, the political forces has noticeably softened their rhetoric, but predictably not in favor of preconditions to enable early legislative elections. On the contrary, there are barely concealed attempts to find a convincing reason for a new cabinet of ministers voting, which in the first turn will prolong political life of the potential outsiders in the future electoral race.
There remains an intrigue as to the possible situation development when considering Gavrilita’s candidacy in parliament, despite the high probability of receiving 51 MP votes, according to a number of indicators. Meanwhile, the socialists’ final say is quite obvious. However, it is the PSRM that will apparently face difficulties in explaining to its voter the party’s decision to support Gavrilita’s government program: after all, she backs Maia Sandu whom Igor Dodon fiercely opposed in the recent presidential campaign.
There is reason to expect that the PSRM will add to the internal political tension as much as possible by triggering a heated parliamentary debate regarding Natalia Gavrilita’s program. The logic of political processes suggests that the PSRM faction will reject the Prime Minister’s candidacy during the first attempt, but the last one will end up voting for a new provisional government. Moreover, based on the Constitutional Court’s decision, Gavrilita’s candidacy, whom the socialist leader was complimentary about, can be submitted for consideration for a second time.
This is the best way to postpone early parliamentary elections, ideally until next year, or even totally abandon this idea. According to current sociological measurements, holding parliamentary elections this fall will be disadvantageous for the socialists. Therefore, it is beneficial for them to create conditions in which Maia Sandu’s nominees could have time to take their lumps clearly demonstrating the inability to address concerns of the population who still has high expectations for the new leader. Given the scale of Moldova’s chronic problems, this scenario looks more than realistic.
In this vein, experts drew attention to Igor Dodon’s statements about his readiness to appoint a government for the longest possible term in order to save the country from the permanent political instability. Seen from a certain angle, these declarations are the socialist leader’s offer to Maia Sandu. The point is to create a quasi-coalition cabinet of ministers headed by Gavrilita, which can count on the long-term support of the socialist parliamentary faction, if PSRM’s individual personnel and administrative demands are met.
As you can see, the thesis that Maia Sandu, by nominating her ally for the prime minister, took a chance and put herself under the blow of the socialists who control the parliamentary majority is not far from the truth. But as applied to our country, any processes have to be analyzed with due regard for an external factor. Something suggests that the weighty opinion of the international development partners, who had put so much effort to ensure the victory of the “democratic” candidate in the presidential election, will be expressed more than once.
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