26 October 2021

Gheorghe Russu

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

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


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

No matter who wins mayoralty, City Hall’s work will be hindered by battles between parties

The electoral programs of the candidates are the main means by which they inform the voters about their work priorities and concrete solutions to the identified problems. However, the people in Moldova do not usually vote according to candidates’ platforms. They make a choice rather according to the ethnic and linguistic origin, the level of studies, and the place of origin – urban or rural. They can also resort to boycott – the Democrats won in 2009 because the voters got tired of the Communists. Things seem to go into reverse now.
Antoniţa Fonari pentru Info-Prim Neo, 17 June 2011, 11:42

The platforms of Dorin Chirtoaca and Igor Dodon are based on what the people would like to hear and not on a serious analysis of the problems. They do not properly center on the needs of the municipality, but contain mainly electoral slogans.

Let's take an example from the platform of Igor Dodon, where the candidate says he will deal with the problem of begging by optimizing the asylum for persons without shelter. It is visible that the problem has not been preliminarily analyzed because a solution can be achieved by a much more systemic approach - cooperation between the Chisinau City Hall's Social Assistance Division and the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family should be strengthened; every separate case should be examined to see why the person begs - has a shelter or not, is from the city or the suburbs, is from a children's home or released from prison. Solutions should be identified to include the given persons in the social assistance system because a large part of them have a home, but face other serious problems.

If we thoroughly analyze the programs of the two candidates, we see that there are not many clear and argued provisions as regards the solving of problems. No reference is made to a cost-effectiveness analysis of the proposed policies.

Another thing that should be mentioned is that the candidates' attitude to their platforms is not the most serious one. Reading the platforms, the person gets the impression that those who formulated them do not have complete information at least about the present situation. For example, Dorin Chirtoaca's program says nothing about the cooperation with civil society even if he committed himself to involving the NGOs in monitoring the work of the City Hall and signed a cooperation agreement between the City Hall and the National NGO Council. On the other hand, Igor Dodon's program says cooperation relations will be established with civil society, but does not specify how. It is know that the PCRM is not really open to civil society. It showed it by its method of cooperating with representatives of NGOs at parliamentary level.
Another example showing the superficial approach to the problems adopted by the candidates is the point about the studying of the mother tongue of ethnic minorities from Igor Dodon's platform. The Communist candidate aims to do it through embassies of foreign states. To my mind, this is not the best method for socially integrating the ethnic groups.

In general, I consider that society in Moldova, including in Chisinau, is split and the lack of social cohesion is first of all due to the wide gap between the poor and rich sections of the population. In order to obtain cohesion between all the members of society, regardless of the economic and social status and ethnic origin, the candidates for mayor should analyze their provisions very well. Every problem identified should be accompanied by a through analysis, while every solution proposed - by the estimated costs and possible financial resources for covering them.

When the results of the local election of councilors were announced, it became evident that no matter who wins the mayoral elections in Chisinau in the second round of voting, the situation will be extremely difficult and the work of the local administration will be seriously hampered. If the Communist candidate wins, the whole City Hall will be in opposition to the central administration of the country. If the Liberal candidate wins, the battle will be fought inside the City Hall. Therefore, it was logical for the candidates to anticipate the fears of the voters and suggest strategies for overcoming these difficulties. But neither their platforms nor electoral messages address the issue.

It is evident that the work of the City Hall will be hindered by battles between parties, but we want to believe that the future mayor, no matter who he is, will promote the interests of the Chisinau residents and will put them above the party interests. The platforms of the two candidates have in fact many common points and if they are really well-intentioned they should find ways of fulfilling their promises. If they want the voters to believe that they are sincere, they should make effort to prove it. Otherwise, the people will no more believe the promises. They already started to show that they are tired.

Antonita Fonari, executive director of the Resource Center "Young and Free", secretary general of the National NGO Council of Moldova.


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