Against the background of the news on the presidential staff being funded from abroad, Moldova’s international partners increase their interference in internal political affairs even further
Vladimir ROTAR, RTA:
The political crisis in the republic is getting more and more tangled every day. The parliament is trying to counterattack the president in a desperate attempt to seize the tactical initiative. However, the main goal of the deputies – to postpone early elections – will apparently not be achieved. The state of emergency in the country will inevitably be removed by the Constitutional Court to be followed by Maia Sandu’s decree dissolving the legislature and putting an end to the current confrontation phase. This might happen any day now.
Therefore, we will all have to go to the polls again, most likely this summer. There is no doubt that the future electoral campaign will be one of the toughest and most irreconcilable in the history of Moldova. The degree of antagonism is off scale, and the losing side risks losing far more than just power and money. In the coming months, it can be expected that opponents will tell each other a lot of incriminating stories, trying to gain voters’ support.
In this regard, the parliamentary majority has much more prospect to succeed against the hopeless affair to confirm the government and postpone elections after Durlesteanu’s self-withdrawal. In recent weeks, as is known, the socialist media network was enthusiastically hyping up the case of the Ukrainian kidnapped judge Nikolai Chaus in Chisinau. In the light of recent events, this story has so far lost its relevance, but perhaps only temporarily. The profile parliamentary commission’s investigation findings will surely be brought to light at the right time in order to damage the president’s image as much as possible, who seems to be somehow involved in the theft of Chaus.
Recently, the mass media loyal to the PSRM helped promote another remarkable news that the president’s office staff is allegedly funded by foreign structures. In the end, the presidency had to admit that this information was true. As turned out, on January 1 she signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in the field of “justice, sectoral reforms and communication.”
In principle, there is nothing reprehensible about the foreign advisory assistance. However, using such formats for this is inappropriate. The situation is far from being clear since the president’s office made no press release regarding the agreement with the German foundation and reported only after the press requested comments four months after the document was signed.
The fact that Maia Sandu has been assisted in her activities by European advisers and consultants in recent years is an open secret, as well as the fact that she is not only an ardent supporter but also a direct protégé of the West, primarily the European Union. It was never a secret that the PAS leader, together with her colleague from the DA Platform, regularly visited Brussels to see the ex-President of the European Council Donald Tusk, who supervised both politicians and smoothed out their contradictions, when necessary. Today, these advisers are holding official positions in the presidency being paid a “foreign salary”, an undoubtedly nasty fact for the state whose sovereign status has already been questionable.
Curiously, along with this story the socialists began to play the geopolitical card in the already pre-election rhetoric, speaking of their intentions to oppose the plans of the collective West to use Moldova against Russia. Apparently, the upcoming campaign will again be not a battle of opinions and ideas but a clash of foreign policy vectors, as has been the case in almost all recent years. At the same time, it must be admitted that this narrative, designed to mobilize the left electorate, hasn’t not come out of nothing.
One can easily notice the degree to which international partners have intensified their actions in the context of internal political processes in our republic. Even a minimal polity is no longer observed – the US and EU representatives both on the ground, through their diplomatic missions, and at the level of senior officials, regularly comment on current events, in fact clearly outlining the boundaries of what is possible for all the players – of course, primarily for the parliamentary majority. Some of its recent steps are characterized, for example, by the US Department of State as an “encroachment on democracy”, and by the President of the European Council as an “attack on justice.”
Official Chisinau is now constantly being accused of and reproached with not using financial assistance, and threatened. The EU leadership has actually openly sided with one of the parties in the conflict between the president and parliament. And the point here, of course, is far from being a matter of democracy and constitutionality. Igor Dodon rightly drew attention to the fact that much more egregious events around the Constitutional Court in neighboring Ukraine were ignored by Western partners. It’s about political preferences and promoting personal favorites in the battle for the Moldovan Olympus.
Such blatant meddling of Western partners in the peak of internal political crisis in Moldova indirectly confirms the opinion of a number of experts that preparations for a decisive attack on the forces opposing Maia Sandu are underway who will be subsequently purged as soon as early elections are over. Thereupon, a ruling coalition and government loyal to the head of state will be formed, where advisers financed from abroad will apparently find their place as well, and the republic will abandon the notorious multi-vector approach in favor of an exclusively pro-Western course.
It is difficult to disagree that Chisinau cannot independently cope with integrating into the Euro-Atlantic community in fundamental areas. At the same time, the experience of involving foreign advisers at the height of European integration in the early and mid-2010s suggests that such “assistance” is still not a guarantee of success. Especially when the same people are behind it, in those days and today. Whether it is worth exchanging the country’s sovereignty for dubious prospects while getting on the geopolitical agenda that is disadvantageous for the state is a good question that will further exacerbate the pre-election dilemma for Moldovan citizens.
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