PAS Makes Hay of Balti Elections

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The inept actions of the ruling party in the Balti elections will come back to haunt them
Semion ALBU, RTA: According to legend, everything that the Median king Croesus touched turned into gold. Our “Croesuses” from the yellow team also have a unique gift – to turn everything they touch into a failure, scandal and crisis. It is difficult to put in mind what happened during the interlude period in the northern capital, if exclusively in legal or at least logical terms. Last time, looking at the events taking place, I, like many of my colleagues, recalled the regime of Vlad Plahotniuc. Today, such comparisons for the ruling party are practically a compliment. After all, even the oligarch-autocrat at least tried to cover his arbitrary actions according to the active laws. But the current managers, apparently, took Maia Sandu’s words that there is no right-wing state in Moldova literally – and now they seize every chance to prove the president right. The Marina Tauber’s exclusion from the elections was executed so clumsily that one cannot but think that traitors and pests have settled in PAS. It is simply impossible to imagine, how it would be possible to make this case worse. Then why on earth did they allow Tauber to participate in the race at all? When at the very registration stage they could cause troubles, as happened with Arina Spataru. Then they looked blankly at her populist, but at the same time extremely profitable election campaign amidst other contenders, which naturally ended in a convincing victory. Which, apparently, became an absolute surprise – as the need to negotiate on gas did before. And only after they were cornered, PAS decided to “hedge their bets” and quickly concoct Tauber’s withdrawal from the race. The pretext for it was, at least for the public, unconvincing. All these measures can be called legal. Another proof for it is passing “Tauber’s case” between the Balti courts, when no authority wanted to take responsibility for an obviously illegal decision. But this time the administrative resource worked after all, and the necessary verdict was obtained. After Tauber’s forced exclusion, the last (for now) act of this phantasmagoric play began, when it became unclear what to do with the second round. As a result, the CEC, under pressure from the presidency, canceled it literally half an hour before the start of voting, only further embittering the citizens who, having come to the polling stations, ran into closed doors. The arguments that the suspension was caused by the need to have two candidates have already been dispelled by experts citing the opposite precedents in our electoral practice. But again, what’s some kind of right or legality for PAS. So far, the vote has been postponed to December 19, but who knows if this will be it – opinions are already being heard in the ruling party that the mayoral elections should be completely restarted. It will be funny if in this case the authorities will slip up again and fail to deal with the Sor candidate – fortunately, the latter does not even need a campaign against such a background, it is enough to show party symbols. In order to somehow cushion out the negative impact of this whole story, PAS hastened to remove its representative Boris Marcoci from the elections – unless, of course, it was not his initiative, because discipline in the yellow team leaves much to be desired. Whatever it was, it hardly makes people any less angry – it went without saying that the “official candidate” would have no chance of winning whatsoever. In addition, according to rumors, the authorities are already pushing wedges to the silver medalist of the first round, Nicolai Grigorisin. The latter, left without the support of a senior patron in the person of Renato Usatii, may be more than willing to cooperate in order to ensure a calm and cloudless management of the urban economy. So what does that leave us? The party of power is a complete mess after being criticized by everyone, even the loyal advocacy organizations. The electoral process in Balti has been completely and utterly discredited, and whoever wins the elections in the future can hardly be considered a completely legitimate mayor. The paradox is that the party of the stolen billion and its candidate are acting as the victims of the authoritarian regime. Honestly, if I were Mrs. President, I would have already kicked out everyone whose advice led to such sad results. Well, maybe her foreign advisers, whose cohort is filling up day by day, will cope better. I don’t know what the president and her entourage think, but it’s hard to come up with a worse result. Well, there should not be a situation where Sor looks like a victim of political repression. But PAS already hints unambiguously that they will soon finish with the party of the Orhei businessman – but if it is done with such unsophisticated methods, then there is a chance to knock out not only opponents, but also themselves as well. All the consequences of the municipal elections in Balti have yet to strike. In the meantime, the opponents of the yellow party have received new leverage for the authorities, and the Sor Party is a boost for further takeoff. Moreover, thanks to the parliamentary tribune, Marina Tauber can do a lot not to let her “stolen” position be forgotten for a long time. There is no doubt that the opposition is already is preparing with might and main to ride the growing protest wave, the peak of which is expected in the middle of this winter.