One Hundred Days of Recean Government: Minimum Results, Maximum Disappointment

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Civil society and independent experts still give a very low rating to the activities of the new government, which failed to show the prospect of solving national social and economic problems in the first watershed term
On May 27, the government of Dorin Recean turned 100 days old. Traditionally, this term is given to the governing bodies as a trial period in order to prove themselves, while experts, journalists and civil society try to sum up the first results of their work. However, our new Cabinet is in no hurry to report for the first “hundred meters”. It can be assumed that the report will follow the first days of June in order to take credit for the successful holding of the summit of the European Political Community in Bulboaca. The first three months of the current government ended with another emergency state extension for 60 days, which gives it almost unlimited power that no one is going to give up, as we see. The main reasons that require the emergency state extension, as usual, include the unpredictable nature of the war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the growing risks in security, energy and migration from a neighboring state. Being in the groove, the Minister Cabinet intends to make life even easier for itself and in June to submit to the Parliament an initiative to amend the current legislation in order to empower itself with the possibility of adopting emergency decrees. Apparently, this is done in case the state of emergency would be lifted. Substitution of Natalia Gavrilita’s Government with the team of Dorin Recean was presented to the population by court journalists as a breath of hope. At the same time, this is what caused unreasonably high expectations in society, which in the end can lead to serious social disappointment. Due to a series of mistakes and setbacks, which, as the first hundred days have shown, are inevitable, Recean’s Cabinet may also suffer the fate of resignation. Moreover, even faster, given not the highest position of the current prime minister in the behind-the-scenes hierarchy of the ruling regime. This is confirmed at least by the fact that Recean is still not a PAS member. Although back in February he stated that it would be an honor for him to receive an invitation to join it, it must be assumed that he has not received such an offer so far. This only strengthens the hypothesis that Recean remains a “foreign native” for the PAS intra-party groups, being more a creature of Western embassies than a nominee of pro-government clans. “European integration, security and discipline” – this is how you can briefly outline the goals that the current government set three months ago. According to most experts, it has not been possible to achieve anything significant in these areas. At the same time, some loyal commentators attribute the main “achievements” of the current ministerial team to the fact that it could stop trends that are dangerous for the state, and the general situation in the country has ceased to degrade. As a result, we can allegedly count on a weak, but still, economic growth at the end of this year. According to the latest opinion polls, people assess the government in the first three months very mediocrely, without feeling anything that could indicate a change in the situation for the better in the near future. At least officials from ministries and agencies can have some optimism, since, at Recean’s suggestion, they are offered to increase salaries several times. Such an increase of welfare in the public sector clearly comes not from the existing financial surpluses, but from the rapidly growing shortage of personnel. It arose, by the way, at the initial stage of the PAS rule, when government experienced political purges indiscriminately. The deplorable HR situation resulted in the only 373 investment promotion program, which caused a lot of ironic responses. Moreover, Dorin Recean, together with his colleagues, quarreled with the farmers, who have already announced a non-stop protest action from June 7 to 30 at the Great National Assembly Square. Approximately 1,000 people are expected to participate with approximately 300 pieces of agricultural equipment. The current government has to pay a lot of attention to the “special” regions of the country. If we talk about the left bank, the main result was the conclusion of a long-term, by today’s standards, contract for the purchase of Transnistrian electricity, resulted in cost decrease. Otherwise, relations with Tiraspol remain mostly frozen. Most likely, we should not hope for any breakthroughs in the near future: everyone, obviously, is waiting for clarity in the conflict between Kyiv and Moscow. Dialogue with Gagauzia, on the contrary, has every chance of reaching the escalation level of the early 1990s from its usual moderate state. The Prime Minister almost regularly enters into a skirmish with the still acting Bashkan Irina Vlah, and if there are no serious legal changes in the powers of Gagauzia, then picks between Chisinau and Comrat will become a common thing for every government session. Judging by his statements, Recean was one of the supporters of cancelling the results of the Bashkan elections, so any compromise between the Cabinet and the local Gagauz elites is highly unlikely. Especially if we take into account the definitely ultimatum tone of the demands addressed to the central authorities, set out in the resolution of the recent All-Gagauz Congress of MPs. Just before the inauguration of Dorin Recean’s new government, I assumed that his main tasks would be domestic political stabilization, holding power at any cost and comprehensive support for Ukraine, while social and economic challenges would fade into the background. In fact, this is exactly what happened, and the calling card of the first hundred days was Recean’s communication with the Orhei pensioner, which ended with the prime minister’s call to the country “to whine less”. For all three months, we had a feeling that the current Minister Cabinet is still temporary, transitional. The February reshuffling helped to blow off the steam of accumulated social anger and, at the same time, to extinguish intra-party tensions that threatened to destroy the majority configuration of the current government. Dorin Recean was never allowed to form his own team, and the personal composition of the government was mostly a compromise between various interest groups close to power. The Prime Minister needs to seriously prepare for the fact that the ramp-up is over, and the voters need to demonstrate some result. One way or another, the progress reached by the government will be one of the determining factors in the upcoming local elections this fall. And if the Minister Cabinet pulls down the ratings of the ruling party with its unsatisfactory operation, it cannot be ruled out that on the eve of the elections the parliament may go for another reorganization of the executive branch.