29 October 2020

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.

Last week illustrated

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

Leftist flunkee parties regrouping

The anticipated parliamentary elections in Moldova have already pushed some of the center-left political parties to start looking for a formula that will allow them to win some seats in the next parliament. One of the main variables of this formula is going to be „the party that will constitute the nucleus„ of a possible common list of the social-democratic parties.
Petru Culeac, 10 June 2009, 17:15

The Party of Spiritual Development „United Moldova” has already announced that it will participate in the next parliamentary elections as part of the Social Democratic Party of Moldova. The argument for this decision was the fact that out of those parties that didn't pass over the electoral threshold in the April 5th parliamentary elections, the Social Democrats have received the best result. However, the further consolidation of the center-leftist outsiders is slowed down by the ambition of the Democratic Party of Moldova to play the role of that nucleus around which the leftist parties will unite.

 Besides the ambitions of the center-left parties the possibility to set-up an alliance of the social-democrats stumbles upon the offer that this alliance has to offer to the voters. Its lack seems to be  acknowledged by the participants of the social-democratic project, hence their temptation to attract on their side the former Parliament Speaker Marian Lupu and include him in a possible common list  of the social democrats.

 However, the situation of the center-leftist parties is not quite clear. In order to be perceived as a serious actor by the voters and have real chances of passing the electoral threshold, the social-democratic parties need an attractive product, that they currently lack, fact confirmed by the results that these parties have obtained in the previous elections. Even if SDP has stated earlier that it will not cooperate with the Party of Communists of Moldova, the temptation to get in the next parliament helped by a former communist „locomotive”, can make this party be more flexible in the choice of its further actions. The fact that after a period of meditation the former speaker Marian Lupu has finally announced his withdrawal from the Party of Communists, in addition to various hints given so far, indicates to the existence of certain scenarios where he will have the task to animate this project of the social-democrats compensating their image and credibility handicap.

 The feasibility of this project is determined not only by a possible adherence of Mr. Marian Lupu but also by the degree to which he will be able to avoid the risk of having his image associated with that of some marginal political parties. Besides, the popularity of political figures orbiting around the party of communists, can be very shaky being conditioned on one side by their proximity to the president of the Pary of Communists, as well as by their permanent presence in all the media outlets controlled by the communist regime. In the case of his departure from the communists ranks,   Marian Lupu risks to lose his popularity pretty fast the same way it happened to former prime-minister Vasile Tarlev, after he left the Party of Communists and was no longer promoted by the communist media-holding.

 Finally, the practical implementation of the new social-democratic common project depends most of all on the authors of this initiative. The fact that Marian Lupu has announced his withdrawal from the Party of the Communists, referring to the incapacity of the communists to change making some hints to the need for cooperation with extra-parliamentary parties gives us the possibility to think that he will join after all some extra-parliamentary party or group of parties. The fact that the communists allowed one of its most prominent members to leave may be an indicator that this move as well as the social-democratic project can be one that is sponsored by the party of communists.

 However if the social-democratic project belongs to the leftist parties that did not pass the electoral threshold, then in the case that Mr. Lupu joins this project he will face the risk of not having the support of the communist media, thus the entire social-democratic project being put in a position with few chances for success.

 Without Marian Lupu, a possible alliance of the center-left parties will represent just another instrument to hijack votes for the governing party. In case that this alliance will participate in the elections with Lupu having the tacit support of the Party of Communists their mission can be to bring enough leftist members in the parliament to support the Party of Communists and avoid another institutional blockage.

 Even if for the time being, the social-democratic alliance does not seem to be a serious project, still, its existence already suggests a possible regrouping of the leftist parties. This fact again draws attention to the need of consolidation of the right parties in order to prevent the further deepening of the imbalance of forces existing on the Moldavian political arena before the anticipated elections.

Petru Culeac, Research Fellow, Vienna School of Governance, Austria

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