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19 October 2019
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Gheorghe Russu

Vice-director, The Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption

Parties-Phantoms, Parties - State Institutions, Parties - State Enterprises

Ion PREAŞCĂ

20 parties have registered in the current election campaign. Many people say it is a too big number for such a small country as Moldova. At the same time, much more parties could take part in the election campaign.

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Activists launch Moldova’s first ‘Space Camp’ © Susan Coughtrie

Conformism versus civism in the Moldovan society

The socio-psychological environment in Moldova, dominated by closedness, subordination, and compromised relations between governors and ordinary citizens, has become introverted, strongly inhibited, and neutral.
Denis CENUSA, 23 March 2010, 16:51

Both local networks of nongovernmental organizations and information agents have failed relieving the Moldovans of communist fatalism. The minor impact of these community elements on behavioral and ideological manifestations reflects, in fact, the degree of decay and anachronism of the system as a whole. All these aspects characterized the first elections of 2009 that culminated in mass violations of the fundamental human freedoms and establishment of a long political crisis.

The diagnosis of the Moldovan civism of that period of time shows deep politicization of the state's most important spheres of life: local public administration, education, economics, religion, etc. This context also influenced civic processes in the country, seriously affected by paternalism, reticence or even indifference of the citizens. As a result, it was possible to perpetuate and spread conformism within the Moldovan society making it easier for the communist government and its "satellites" (loyal or controlled by communists media sources, the majority church institute, "partner" political parties, etc.).

Together with the evolution of depressive mood in the majority of the Moldovan population, encouraged by anti-communist formations, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova from abroad managed to make the local public pay more attention to the parliamentary elections. Sentimental attachments and the close financial interdependence between Moldovan migrants and direct consumers of remittances have conditioned the transfer of receptivity/initiative/civism to other citizens.

The impulse to take an attitude and initiative was also ensured through the conscious, active, but sometimes politically indifferent Moldovan youth, who regardless of their ethnic background or spoken language showed their discontent with the violations committed by the communist regime during the election process and in the previous years. Strong connections between many youth segments and the Romanian educational and cultural community intensified mass anti-government protests. These messages were taken up by their compatriots studying in the West, spreading the manifestations beyond the national boundaries, via virtual socialization platforms or in a traditional way - by pickets in public places.

Despite the fact that these initiatives have changed the political class, this result is in reality just the beginning of radical transformations in the way of thinking and behavior of Moldovan citizens, with or without clear political prospects of European integration.

The relaxation of the major part of the society, observed after the communists lost their power, is dangerous because it cannot be considered a victory of democratic elements over the authoritarian forces. And the liberal democratic forces are not capable enough to neutralize the propaganda machine, supported and protected by communists, once and for all. At the same time, the benevolent attitude of the majority of population to the Alliance for European Integration risks to transform into the exact antithesis. That is why it is imperative to materialize individual initiatives and those launched by liberal democrats together with their international partners, especially from Europe, as effectively and soon as possible.

However, the illusory satisfaction related to the apparent slackening of the Party of Communists of Moldova crushes against the real daily frustration of the citizens affected by the economic crisis and consequences of the vicious communist government. And the removal of the Moldovan society from the act of governance (by cultivating dependent and obedient media sources, presentation of false information to public opinion, etc.), as well as the precipitate implementation of reforms will keep on maintaining a conformist and paternalist lifestyle among the Moldovans.

Deviation from the democratic principles of interaction between the new government and the community in general will lead to a more evident implantation of the conformist mentality deep-rooted in the post-Soviet character of many Moldovans and their civic actions.

In practice, this phenomenon was clearly seen during the protests of Chisinau pensioners against the increased tariffs for public transport services and annulled travel benefits. The elderly people tend to perceive these actions as part of a campaign carried out by the liberal democrats to hurt their dignity of pensioners/veterans of "Soviet origin", refusing to see them from the viewpoint of social equity or human dignity.

In order to prevent the antidemocratic forces from coming back, as well as to consolidate the current power, the governors must capture any negative signal sent by the society and suggest solutions to improve the situation, at the same time encouraging full emancipation of human rights. The feasibility of this mechanism will depend greatly on the participation and development of the associative sector, but also on the variety and effects of the conditions set for the Republic of Moldova by the European Union.

 



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