Today’s events in the Moldovan parliament indicate that the internal political situation’s pendulum in the country is confidently shifting towards a new government being approved
So, Natalia Gavrilitsa, the candidate for the post of Prime Minister presented her program “Good Moldova” to the Moldovan parliament and spoke in a raised voice with the people’s representatives on this matter. Communication within the walls of the legislature was hot and tense, as expected. As a result, the cabinet of ministers that Ms. Gavrilitsa has proposed, never found support from the majority of deputies, received zero votes and, thus, nominally an early election to the country’s legislature seemed to have reached a 50% probability.
Following the legal logic, after the first attempt failure, the President of Moldova should again invite all parliamentary factions for consultations and, based on their results, decide on the further nomination of a new or previous candidate for the prime minister’s position. But here she was in for a surprise. Igor Dodon, without waiting for voting completion at the plenary session, arrived in parliament and announced his candidacy for the post of head of the Cabinet of Ministers – Mariana Durlesteanu. He urged all political forces to sign her nomination. Whilst this article writing, a group of “Shor / For Moldova” deputies together with other deputies, expressed their desire to participate in the new coalition race, adding a total of 55 mandates.
Over the past few days, individual media outlets and political speakers, through evening broadcasts, have already begun to prepare public opinion for the next sharp turn in the internal political situation and the issue of provoking early parliamentary elections has increasingly dropped out of the main factional groups leaders’ rhetoric in parliament. There were voiced thoughts about the need to nominate a real figure with an adequate anti-crisis program for the second round of voting. Therefore, as many experts predicted, the pendulum nevertheless swung towards the election of a new government.
However, it is obvious that the mere desire of political parties to oppose something to the linear scenario of Sandu was not enough, and for this it was necessary to overcome serious antagonism and mutual mistrust, redraw red lines and start difficult discussions that required no less difficult compromises. At the same time, another risky political deal may become fatal for individual negotiators, entail a deep internal split and deprive them of their last chances to stay on the Moldovan political scene in the future.
The first “thinking signals ” began appearing from the Socialist Party, in particular, from Cornel Furculita the head of the PSRM parliamentary faction. He hinted that if the political situation starts developing according to a scenario unpredictable for the socialists, they will decide to nominate their own cabinet of ministers. Capable of acting quite unexpectedly Maia Sandu and interested within parliamentary factions were, most likely, the addressees of this declaration. Based on Furculita’s words, in certain situations they may count on a collegial formation of an alternative cabinet of ministers.
As expected, fearing that the president would issue a decree re-nominating Natalia Gavrilitsa for the post of prime minister, Igor Dodon launched the flywheel of the rapid events development and decided to act as proactively as possible to neutralize any cunning maneuver on the part of the presidency.
Considering the leaks that got into social networks, today Igor Dodon plans to fly to Moscow and agree on further steps ahead of the second round of voting for the Moldovan government. It is possible that during this trip it was only planned to come to a common understanding about which scenario would be the most optimal. However, it seems that the leader of the Socialists decided to act proactively and create for his Russian colleagues a fait accompli, explaining it by urgent circumstances and namely the risks of forming an alternative pro-European parliamentary majority.
Nevertheless, unlike other parliamentary parties, the issue of political survival is not so acute for the socialists as the need to inflict electoral damage on Maia Sandu and the political formation close to her. Following the classic “divide and conquer” rule, Andrei Nastase still remains the main contender for the role of the main battering ram in the overall rating of the head of state and the PAS party. The DA Platform leader, as before, is seen as one of the compromise figures, which the president will not easily reject and not nominate as a candidate, therefore, in parallel with the designation of Ms. Durlesteanu to the president, the DA Platform has proposed an alternative figure of its permanent leader as “Lifebuoy”.
The storyline’s rapid development suggests that the accelerated nomination of Durlesteanu is a distraction aimed at helping the very “compromise figure” of Andrei Nastase to be nominated. It is to be mentioned that for his candidacy the necessary number of votes might be found as well. This course of events is much more beneficial to Igor Dodon if compared to the subsidiary responsibility for the situation with the Shor / For Moldova representatives in the country.
The next few days might become the moment of truth for Maia Sandu when she will have to act decisively, consider all the possible consequences for her personal political career. Obviously, the refusal to put an alternative candidate from the formalized parliamentary majority to a vote in parliament is fraught with launching an impeachment procedure. Initiating it itself is of a great interest for the Socialist Party, that wants to sanction the current president and remove him from his duties by two-thirds of deputies. This may lead to a temporary transfer of powers to the Speaker of Parliament Zinaida Greceanii and that will further strengthen the PSRM and personally Igor Dodon’s positions.
However, the impeachment scenario is fraught with many pitfalls and achieving the final result – the actual head of state’s resignation is hardly feasible due to the complexity of the relevant legal procedures. As a result, this option is most likely designated as “extreme” in the list of available options. On the other hand, the internal political “Gordian knot” is gradually tightening, and attempting to cut it in their favor, key actors of Moldovan politics are apparently, ready taking even the most radical steps.
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