Opinion: Moldova’s Political Cleansing Continues

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It seems the SOR party is being dealt with seriously and will be systematically destroyed, leaving the political board without one of the authorities’ most vociferous opponents
Semyon ALBU, RTA: As usual, recent sociology has given the ruling party a good reason to grieve. There is almost no sign of love for them left. The ungrateful people didn’t appreciate the gift from above, even the candidate status, and keep losing faith in both the President and PAS in general. Nearly three-quarters of the population is convinced the country moves in the wrong direction; slightly fewer consider Natalia Gavrilita’s government the weakest in a decade and completely incompetent. The ratings of the President and her party keep dropping, and most people wish for early elections. The trends are sad, but by no means surprising. Living conditions in the country are getting worse day by day, and the authorities are showing signs of schizophrenia, thinking not about improving life for the citizens, but about war and how to get modern weapons for the national army to defend itself against the Russian threat. But the ruling party has its own tasks, far removed from public needs. The first one related to serving the interests of its Western handlers is the separation of Moldova from the post-Soviet space, the imposition of a single, Western course, the heating up of anti-Russian sentiments and confrontation in relations with Russia. The second, narrowly corporate, is to strengthen its regime and maintain control over the country at all costs. Both of these objectives, as we can see, are being pursued in parallel and, unfortunately, not without success. No matter how dissatisfied the population is, the PAS dictatorship in bloom. The fight against dissent in the form of false concern for “information security”, the takeover of law enforcement and regulatory structures, the mayhem of municipal elections, and political persecution are in the arsenal of the means the ruling party has already displayed. This week the repressive policy of the presidential formation received its logical continuation. This time its punishing gaze fell upon the SOR party. Of course, this is not an easy subject to deal with – there are too many unclear variables. There are versions, shared even by some colleagues, that the confrontation between PAS and SOR is illusory and no more than a political show. I think it is beautiful, but not very realistic – the ruling party can hardly reach an agreement with anyone, reveling in its own power and sense of impunity, as the elections are still far away. All the more so since the two parties have long been ‘at war’. Suffice it to recall the pots and pans clashing during the municipal elections in the Northern capital, where the Center had to make monstrous law violations in order to prevent Marina Tauber’s victory. In the end it succeeded, but the image and reputation losses were very high. The retaliatory strike soon followed in searches and arrests of thirteen former members of parliament – the so-called ‘defectors’ who, by coincidence, were all SOR members. In general, it was the Orhei businessman’s political force that stood out the most in the field of confrontation with PAS. In addition to the ‘fight’ in Balti, we can recall the constant harsh criticism in parliament and the organization of the largest opposition rally in the center of the capital so far. SOR uses its advantages of a convenient populist platform to quickly captivate the population, the availability of money to hold a variety of actions, the inaccessibility of its leader to criminal prosecution. And although the Minister of Justice says that the extradition of Ilan Mironovici is already being considered by the competent authorities of Israel, I find it hard to believe. It seems that the situation is the same as with Vlad Plahotniuc’s return to the country, that is, it won’t happen. This, however, naturally does not prevent from ‘pressing’ his allies in the territory of Moldova. Yesterday employees of SIS and NACC carried out searches in hundreds places across the country. On the same day the chain dog of the regime, acting Prosecutor General Dmitry Robu appeared in the parliament to remove once again Marina Tauber’s immunity. In addition to the accusations of money laundering and bank fraud she had already faced, she was also accused of presenting false data in a report on the party’s activities and financing it by an organized criminal group. After her immunity was lifted, Tauber was detained for three days. It seems that the long-forecasted event has taken place – the SOR party was taken seriously and now the authorities are preparing for its final destruction. The Socialist and Communists must get ready. We can notice that the authorities, by and large, have learned the mistakes of the shameful story of Alexander Stoianoglo’s dismissal, are now acting more methodically. The last strikes against the opposition were much better prepared and delivered at the right moment, to interrupt other inconvenient subjects for the power. At the last congress of PAS, the new leader of the party, Igor Grosu, frankly said that its main objective is to retain power. This can be done in two ways – either to achieve such successes that people vote for you in the next elections, or to burn out the political field so that there would be no strong competitors at all. It is quite obvious which way the ruling party has chosen. The unique geopolitical situation helps. If the US always looked at our internal affairs rather pragmatically, the EU demands at least formally to observe the democratic rules of human decency in the country’s politics, even switching off the country from its help otherwise. So it was under Plahotniuc, for example. Now the times have changed. Confrontation with Russia in the ‘cold-hot’ phase now forces to overlook almost any lawlessness in the conflict zone. In Ukraine, the government has gone completely haywire, canceling all parties and media that are not in power. Our leadership looks closely at the best Ukrainian practices and slowly applies them in our country, erecting one bastion after another around their power – political, informational, legal, etc., knowing full well that now their development partners will not punish them for this, but rather encourage them to do so. Under these conditions, the only thing that is not clear is what will happen to the right-wing opposition, PAS’ only rival. By the middle of last year, it was almost completely defeated, but now it is capable of taking revenge. The same former partner in the ACUM bloc, the DA platform, has become an active critic of the government. For sure, it still has influential friends in the West, so it will not be as easy to pin down as the center-left. We can assume that the authorities will act more carefully here, convincing their handlers to pressure their former allies once again, so that they don’t go too ‘stormy’ and create conditions for ‘left-wing revenge’.