Back in the early summer, experts gave the government some time to prove itself and somehow justify the hopes placed on it. Yet, a few months later almost no one had any doubts that the current cabinet has completely exhausted and needs “resignation”
Last week, deputies of the Bloc of Communists and Socialists faction submitted to parliament a motion of no confidence in the government of Dorin Recean. As justification, the BCS points to the current situation in the country - a large-scale socio-economic crisis, Moldova being in emergency regime for more than two years, and numerous attacks on the rule of law.
In accordance with the parliamentary regulations, the issue will be placed on the agenda of the autumn session, after which the standing bureau will set a date for its consideration. The prime minister will then be invited to the parliamentary session to address the MPs. Given that Recean has decided not to report on the first 100 days of his government, experts and journalists are waiting with great interest for his report on how he personally assesses work done.
Of course, the opposition has little chance of getting the current cabinet to resign, given the ruling party’s 63 mandates. However, it will at least have a good opportunity to bash the current prime minister, bringing down a lot of criticism and a pile of uncomfortable questions from the audience. In addition, the timing for the motion of no confidence is not at all coincidental and fits well into the current domestic political situation.
Firstly, it’s all about the electoral context. Despite the fact that the ruling party will not vote for Recean’s resignation, he will have to take part in an unpleasant spectacle that is unlikely to add electoral points to PAS. As it happens, the prime minister is one of the main anti-heroes of the current government, which is associated with constant crises and a rapid decline in the living standards of the population.
In addition, it will be interesting to watch what kind of questions the deputies of the ruling parliamentary faction will pose to the prime minister, and what will be the vote for the confirmation of his mandate. This will help understand the “average temperature” in the “party chamber” and the real mood among influential clans and groups close to the current government, including the current attitude towards the prime minister and his team.
The government has accumulated a lot of problems over the past year, in addition to those inherited from Natalia Gavrilita. Moreover, Dorin Recean’s public communication and “closeness to the people” somehow failed. After the notorious dialogue with a man from Orhei district, the prime minister’s advisers decided to distance him a bit from the media and mass gatherings of people. Therefore, in recent months Recean has been trying to comment only during government meetings or participate in carefully prepared broadcasts on pro-government TV channels.
At the same time, in order to improve the personal and cabinet’s image, Dorin Recean paid about 100,000 lei to promote a positive image on Facebook during his eight months in office. By means of paid advertising, the prime minister tries to promote his “successful” work and the intense activity of his colleagues.
It is also worth remembering that in February Recean was “enthroned” to the premiership at a special moment, with a proper presentation and task setting. At that time, the authorities were actively fueling politico-military fears in the society, so they appointed a person who was to focus primarily on the security sphere. As many experts and ordinary people note, no one in Moldova has become more confident over the past year, and the prime minister was more like exercising rhetoric on the threats coming from Russia and absolute loyalty to Kyiv.
By the end of autumn, it became clear that the war topic began to cause fatigue among the population, which was increasingly grumbling about the government’s failed policy. Retaining power, strengthening the position of the ruling party, stabilizing the socio-economic situation, overcoming the energy crisis – all of these tasks have been failed by the current government, which is reflected accordingly on the final scoreboard and PAS rating. The weird Minister of Economy has failed to find a creative approach to reverse the negative trends in his field of competence and stop the decline in trade and economic indicators and incomes of his fellow citizens. The energy situation is also far from predictable, given that the long-term contract for the purchase of electricity has not yet been finalized, and analysts say that a reduction in the end-user tariff can be expected only next year.
All this leads to growing doubts about the justification of Dorin Recean’s continued tenure. Increasing volatility between intra-party groupings may eventually lead to a breakdown of consent, and PAS will have to find a new point of equilibrium, preferably before the beginning of 2024 and the presidential race. A sign of the shaky internal balance in the ruling party is the active spreading of rumors since August that the chair under the incumbent prime minister is wobbling more and more, and the main trigger for his possible resignation could be the failure of PAS in the local elections. To reaffirm his loyalty to the leader and the party, Recean has once again started flirting with party activists, hinting at his willingness to become a full member of the political organization and to be actively involved in the campaign and electoral activities.
Obviously, the main contender to replace the current prime minister will be the infamous Andrei Spinu. In September, both politicians publicly refuted the reports about swapping one for the other. Nevertheless, it is quite clear to specialists who are familiar with the intricacies of Moldovan politics that such a replacement is possible under certain circumstances and if the internal political context requires it.
Eight months later, it is becoming clear that the actual replacement of Gavrilita with Recean was a kind of political anesthesia aimed at reducing social tensions in society. The new government have not made or perhaps even planned any real changes. In fact, the authorities concentrated on foreign policy and solving some dubious geopolitical tasks that could drag the country into the vortex of harmful regional instability.
It is likely that the prime minister’s retinue and Dorin Recean himself see the opposition’s attempt to secure a motion of no confidence as a good way to reaffirm his mandate, dampening the negative sentiments within the party and thus postponing his rapidly approaching resignation. However, common sense suggests that prolonging the inevitable is far worse than honorably accepting it.
If at the beginning of summer experts gave the government some time to show its abilities and somehow justify the hopes that many citizens had associated with the reset of the executive branch, then a few months later almost no one has any doubts that the current Cabinet of Ministers is completely exhausted and needs to be dismissed. However, due to the severe staff shortage, it is unlikely that new faces will appear: everything will resemble Krylov’s fable “Quartet”.