Opinion: PAS May Soon Find Itself Surrounded by Enemies

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Dissatisfaction with the President and the majority party is growing in the West. Their incompetence, dictatorial behavior and rampant corruption that threaten the European idea of Moldova could prompt handlers to replace the ruling team    
Semyon ALBU, RTA: In living in the era of “good times” we have only learned of one undeniable talent of the current government – namely the ability to make enemies, everywhere and actively. A look at this week’s news reports and what do we see? Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, harshly criticizes Sandu for “trying to join” NATO and Romania, and for turning Moldova into “anti-Russia”. One cannot say that these accusations are totally groundless. Not to mention that such statements by Lavrov point to the bottom at which Moldovan-Russian relations have sunk – largely through the fault of the PAS. Or here is another top issue of the week – the conflict of the central authorities with the Chisinau City Hall, which almost led to the disconnection of the capital’s water supply (!). So far the catastrophe has been avoided, but the issue has not been solved, just suspended until next week. Yes, even if Ion Ceban in this case does not look innocent – and obviously he wants not so much to deal with a possible water outage, as to put the current government under public attack. The election is almost upon us. But whatever the case, it was the central leadership that provoked this anomalous situation, unprecedented for Chisinau. What else is there? Well, for example, the scandalous bill on separatism, as it has been dubbed. Yesterday it was passed in its final reading. If the President promulgates the document, the criminal code will be filled with a whole pile of new articles, including the one on separatism. We all know who the main target of these amendments is. And if some PAS members tried to play it cool and hide their real motives, the rest were so stupid that they stated bluntly – yes, this is directed against Transdniestria. The left bank expectedly responded with an outburst of indignation and threats to the still-living negotiation process. The deputy speaker of the parliament, Mihai Popşoi, admitted that after the adoption of the law, the dialogue “may indeed be complicated”. Of course, the views of the aggressor country, the ex-socialist mayor and the separatists from the left bank are hardly of serious concern to the ruling party, which mainly looks beyond Moldova, to the west. That is where the legitimacy of the current regime lies. And it is true that as long as the Western partners “cover up” Maia Sandu and the PAS, their position will remain more or less stable, even in spite of internal unrest. However, it is foolish to think that Western support is a given. On the contrary, our handlers are clearly very unhappy with Moldovan affairs. And it makes sense. After all, so much money, political influence and public relations have been invested in the “yellow team”. We have already been trumpeted as a new “success story” and Maia Sandu has been almost made out to be the Joan of Arc of European democracy. And now the European protégés are failing miserably, becoming an increasingly problematic and even toxic asset, no matter how much money you pour into it. Assessing the odiousness of the current government, we can safely give it at least “twenty Plahotniucs out of ten”. They do not even try to cover up the dictatorial ambitions of the regime any more. The ruling in the regime of the indefinite state of emergency, during which it is not clear how billions of lei are spent. Zero transparency, which they boasted of during the pre-election campaigns, try to trace the 300-million-euro loan from EBRD, or to find out what gas reserves we have or how much money Moldova got at the last donors’ conference. The cleansing of the country’s political and informational field – the West might be okay with that, but the authorities do it with the grace of a bull in a china shop, constantly finding themselves in the midst of scandals. We can also add to this the deteriorating relations with difficult regions – Gagauzia and Transdniestria. But most importantly, the current government has completely failed in socio-economic policy. And given the fact that every Moldovan newscaster talks about Euro-integration, this very Euro-integration has become naturally associated with poverty, record inflation, sky-high tariffs, etc. It turns out that the authorities, because of their underperformance, discredit the very idea of a “European Moldova” and prepare the ground for revenge of forces that Brussels and Washington will not like. Moreover, this circus is funded by hundreds millions euros of the western taxpayers. That’s a good reason to think of changing horses in midstream. And this is not just an assumption. I hope you don’t think that the tough criticism of PAS, and Sandu personally, poured by Vlad Filat on one of the TV channels, is just an ordinary interview. Practically all the “pillars” of the current regime were criticized: the justification of everything by the war in Ukraine, the repeatition of Plahotniuc’s actions, the endless state of emergency, the fake European integration, and the generally inept management of the country. In my opinion, this interview, coupled with the discouraging results of opinion polls by the Western-funded think tanks, is not a yellow but an orange card. Besides, we can see that our partners are becoming increasingly scrupulous in checking what their allocated funds are being spent on. Given the huge costs of the conflict in Ukraine, corruption in the Eastern European satellites is less and less tolerated. Even Ukrainians, who really, not virtually like Moldova, resist the Russian aggression, are now being slammed. Because of the corruption scandal unleashed by the West, almost the entire power hierarchy in Ukraine is crumbling, despite a raging war. Against this backdrop, does anyone think that our amazing monoparty will keep on fooling around and resting on its laurels? So, it is likely that the regime will not stay in its present form for long. One should not think that the West has no alternatives for PAS and Sandu. There are many loyal players on the bench, and even more who dream of getting on the bench, even from among the former pro-Russians. All of them are ready to enter the game at any moment. The same DA platform, CUB, Ceban’s MAN, and Renato Usatii has also livened up. And no one will allow any harmful actions against them, unlike the Socialists or the Sor men: the ruling “Euro-integrators” will be kept in check, on a short leash. Thus, at some point, when the government finally loses its head from impunity and theft, it may fall out of the high protection and suddenly find itself helpless in a circle of enemies. It is clear that the ideological transfer in Moldova is out of the question – European integration remains the alpha and omega of everything. But it is quite possible that the team of executors can be changed by our supervisors in a controlled manner.