Home / Comments / Grave Mistake of PAS
2024 may well become a decisive year in terms of the future regional configuration. However, due to the ill-conceived policies of the ruling party, Moldova is approaching the “moment of truth” in dire straits
Nicolae TCAÇ, RTA: The war in Ukraine created almost perfect conditions for the ruling party to bring the entire society under the banner of European integration. The unprecedented leverage over the political diversity of the republic should have made it possible to solve many long-standing problems, including relations with the left-bank districts and ATU Gagauzia. However, instead of increasing the level of citizens’ loyalty throughout the country, the ruling regime preferred to segregate society into those decent and inferior, resorting to the “best” dictatorship practices. No carrots, only sticks! This is how PAS approaches those territories where it sees signs of stubbornness and disobedience. The best examples are Gagauzia and Transnistria, whose population has been offered nothing but punishments for disloyalty. Thus, political and economic pressure is exploited against Tiraspol, slowly turning it into a “living hell”. The inhabitants of the region see the rise in the price of goods and services, while the mass media administered by the Tiraspol leaders are quick in blaming Chisinau for the current misfortunes, which, as we understand, does not contribute much to the country’s unification. The situation in Comrat is slightly better: the elected head of the autonomy, Evghenia Gutul, has not yet been approved by presidential decree as a member of the government, contrary to the law and common sense, and has also become the subject of a criminal case. Meanwhile, Gagauzia is still waiting for the adequate implementation of the law on the special legal status of the region, but instead the risk of losing even the nominal autonomy is growing. It seems that the official authorities clearly understand that the ideologically opposed population of the left bank, even in case of successful reintegration, will not support the current regime, nor will the Gagauz people support Maia Sandu and PAS during the election campaigns and the referendum on European integration. Given their involvement, the outcome of the election might be deplorable for the incumbent regime, even taking into account the numerous frauds, including postal voting for elected foreign diasporas. Thus, during the upcoming presidential elections and referendum, the country’s leaders will have to elaborate additional ways to restrict access to polling stations for resident of Gagauzia and Transnistria, although it may be problematic to prevent this on the scale of hundreds of thousands of citizens. As for the Russian-Ukrainian war, we can note that after two years of confrontation, by the spring of this year there is a fairly clear trend towards a military advantage for the Russian army. Its gradual offensive on many parts of the front with the use of new weapons is going on slowly but steadily, which, in the conditions of reduced Western aid and growing demoralization of Ukrainian society, gives grounds for speculation about Ukraine’s possible military defeat. And this, as it is easy to guess, will entail radical changes in the balance of forces in the region. In this context, the accelerated integration of Ukraine and Moldova, as well as six Western Balkan countries, into the EU resembles to a greater extent the building of geopolitical lines of defense in the global confrontation between the West and the East. The role of the “front line” is obviously assigned to us and our neighbors; the Balkans and the countries of the western Black Sea region are regarded as the second frontier of the “civilized world” in case the first one falls. Moldova’s survival as a pro-European outpost is quite doubtful. In times of such global cataclysms, only a complete consolidation of society could be the basis on which the state could hold on under such a strong geopolitical squall. Instead, the ruling regime has made considerable efforts to disunite Moldovans, dividing them into “bad and good”, “us and them”, having lost a unique chance to normally resolve relations with Gagauzia and Transnistria, as a result of which division lines are spreading across the country. We are approaching the most important elections and referendum foisted by the president in a rather bad condition, where society is divided and the socio-economic situation can “explode” at any moment. With their policies, the current authorities have put themselves in a stalemate where the fulfilment of their political ambitions depends on equations with no good solutions. If we assume that PAS will not allow the population from the left bank or Gagauzia to participate in the elections and plebiscite, their legitimacy will once again be questioned. If all eligible voters are allowed to go to the polling stations, both the re-election of the president and the “necessary” outcome of the referendum, and consequently the success of the European path, are doubtful. While Russia’s military successes are likely to bring it close to our borders, things could get even more confused, and potential division lines within the republic could turn into real ones. For our Western partners, perhaps, nothing fatal will happen – they will move to the Balkans, “distant frontiers” of defense against the “Russian world”, while scaling back their aid and presenting Moldova with a bill for “good times” and “European path” loans. As for you and me, we will have to deal with the consequences for decades to come.