Chisinau’s western partners are on the brink of a foul, since fearing to miss the unquestioning leadership of “their” political forces in Moldova in the upcoming elections, RTA expert Semion ALBU considers.
“Today, the victory of the pro-European forces seems inevitable, for many people in the republic but if you dig into, the situation is no longer so defined. The right flank is scattered, and the PAS in there looks like a lone flagship amidst the wreckage. Will it be able to overcome all the storms and withstand a direct duel with its opponents alone is a big question,” the expert says.
According to Albu, the pro-presidential party’s calculation to take an individual majority in early elections looks too optimistic: “One gets the impression that PAS does not have a proper Plan B. At the same time, in my opinion, there are few chances taking fifty-one or more mandates from the pro-European force. This means negotiation is inevitable anyway. But there are currently no signs for such a work to be underway and it is obvious to everyone that it is desirable to start it before, and not after the vote”.
Another problem, according to the analyst, is the very uncertain pre-election positions of potential allies of Action and Solidarity. “The leader of the formation, Igor Grossu, once publicly stated that he sees unionists as partners in the coalition. But in the camp of supporters of unification with Romania, now, as always, there is confusion and vacillation. Instead of one powerful force for the July elections, three parties are dispatched at once: the Alliance for the Unification of Romanians, the Party of National Unity and Democracy at Home, which will have to feed on a very meager meadow, biting off each other’s precious votes. It is extremely difficult to imagine that in such conditions any of them will make their way to parliament,” the observer believes.
Semion Albu called ghostly the prospects of the old PAS’ partner in the ACUM block – the Dignity and Truth platform, which, in his opinion, has managed to marginalize in the past years, whilst its leader has lost almost all the remnants of former popularity.
“Another possible “partner” in the coalition is Renato Usatii. The fact that he is considered as such was vividly illustrated by the visit of a delegation of European ambassadors to Balti. But the mayor of Balti made his life difficult when deciding to be nominated not by a party, but by a bloc named after himself. This means that he needs to gain not five, but as much as seven percent in order to cross the electoral barrier. On the one hand, in the presidential elections, Renato Usatii took almost seventeen percent of the vote, which seems to make the task described above not at all difficult. But the politician’s rating is far from identical to the rating of his party. Besides, people then voted rather not for Usatii, but against traditional leaders the unhappy Moldovan reality was associated with. It is not a fact that this trick can be done again,” Albu believes.
Thus, the analyst argues, the disposition is simple: the Shor party and the communists – socialists’ bloc is guaranteed to enter the parliament, and if the PAS does not have a majority or potential allies, then it is the center-left forces to form the ruling coalition – moreover, they are to be the same ones as in the past parliament.
“Well, of course, Western partners do categorically reject such a catastrophic result, but they are fully aware of such a reality. That is why now, we see such an increase in the activity of the US, EU and Romania in our space, sometimes even disdainful of Moldova’s state sovereignty. But nobody cares about the rules of decency – it is at any cost necessary to form the correct political regime following the election results in order to exclude a new long-term round of instability,” the expert explains.
Therefore, while the PAS continues resting on the laurels of the December victory, the West has to urgently rectify the situation in the mode of a fire brigade and extinguish the “hotbeds of electoral fire”. “We see that all available resources are being connected. Derived from the state of suspended animation, the EU Delegation non-stop broadcasts the correct messages about the benefits of European integration. US Ambassador Derek Hogan manually corrects the positions and the rhetoric of election participants, and also visits important government agencies, such as the CEC. Individual representatives and entire delegations from the European Union are being regularly sent to our country. And last week Brussels rolled out the final argument, a 600-million-dollar program for Moldova,” Albu says.
The nervousness of the Western partners is apparently transmitted to their protégés, which caused such a sharp reaction to the decision of the Central Election Commission not to open additional polling stations abroad. “It is clear that in this case they encroached on the Holly Cow of the pro-Western forces, that is, the voices of the diaspora meant for cementing their confident victory. But pressure on the Commission both inside and outside the country seems excessive, and public threats against its members do not make attractive the pro-European camp, which has already initiated large-scale protests at the CEC walls,” the observer believes.
The expert is sure that so far, things are not going as theWest would like them to. “The victory seemed to be already in its pocket, but due to the fact that the president did not manage to push through the idea of early elections at the beginning of the year, the political alignments began to shift to a certain balance again. At the same time, the right flank was never able to properly mobilize. A dangerous situation has arisen for the West, when its partners in Moldova risk tactically winning but strategically losing these elections. Therefore, there is no doubt that in the time remaining before the voting date, we will see more than one attempt to turn the tide of events and prevent even a theoretical possibility for the victory of the center-left forces, which, in the event of further rallying, are capable of turning the intrigue of the upcoming elections to the limit,” Semion Albu concluded.
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