18 September 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

The political war continues

After December 7 and the risk the communists dared to take when they refused to vote for Marian Lupu as head of state, the Moldovan political system entered a state of primordial chaos, in which the political players will fully manifest themselves and the power relationships between the political parties from Moldova will change.
Petru Culeac, 16 December 2009, 14:14

The Moldovan political arena is looking forward to getting rid of a part of the ballast, as well as to welcoming new political players on the political axis, an eventual new left party formed by progressist members of the PCRM. The increase in the number of political players will generate the need to clarify the political views, shared by the parties currently forming the parliament majority. A clearer differentiation between the parties will determine a further crystallization of the political spectrum, as well as the radicalization of some current political players.

Joint left parties reached a turning point

The most visible metamorphoses are currently expected on the left and centre-left segments of the Moldovan political spectrum. The communists went along with the tide of permanent revolution, which, as ironic as it may be, may lead to the elimination from the political arena even of their promoters. With their destructive short-sightedness and obstruction of the formation of the main state institutions, the Communist Party refused to fulfill at least two of the obligations it undertook as political party, challenging its own existence. First of all the PCRM denied its electors the right to be represented in the decision-making process in this state. The PCRM denied them the right to participate, even indirectly, in the life of the state which, according to their statements, the communists venerate so much.

Second, it seems that the Communist Party deviated from the undertaken commitments to „defend the motherland". As an opposition party, the PCRM had quite a visible performance, in spite of a certain inevitable dose of duplicity, proving that it can be a vigilant opposition party, always keeping an eye on the governing parties. But the assigned role was designed to make the current parliament and government more responsible, not to destabilize the political situation, which is turbid anyway. This way the PCRM voluntarily gave up the right to be viewed as an accountable party, which has a word to say in the political process of the Republic of Moldova. Now the communists will have to deal with the consequences, which are definitely not favorable in the current political context.

Following these deviations, the intention of some progressive politicians to leave the PCRM is absolutely natural. One of the questions many people ask is why these representatives of the Communist Party did not leave earlier, in order to be able to vote for Marian Lupu as president? Their choice can have several explanations.

The hesitation of Vladimir Turcan and his supporters has merely a pragmatic reason and namely, the lack of insufficient manoeuvre space in case they leave the PCRM and create their own party, as well as the need to maximize the benefits they can draw from the participation in the election-appointment of Marian Lupu as head of state. Thus, certain members of the PCRM led by Vladimir Turan are trying to delay the election in favor of Marian Lupu, until the moment they will have their own political party, with its own piggy-bank to be able to collect eventual dividends from the election of Marian Lupu, which could be difficult to obtain as a mere parliament group of former communists, marginalized and stigmatized by the mother party. The presidential aspirations of certain communist representatives could be another reason for delaying the participation in the election of Marian Lupu. People with such ideas have few chances of succeeding in Vladimir Voronin's PCRM, but their aspirations could at least be used in eventual negotiations through a new left party, created before the full dissolution of the PCRM.

Besides the eventual tactical combinations of the communists, dissatisfied with the PCRM position at the presidential elections of December 7, it is possible that even the sole candidate of this electoral round did not want to be elected. Why should Marian Lupu want to be elected, in fact, to be appointed to the position of head of state, if time is on his side? Having no position other than that of MP and no responsibilities, Marian Lupu manages to increase, at least at this stage, his political rating, becoming the most popular player among people, according to the Public Opinion Barometer, carried out at the request of the IPP (Institute of Public Politics). After he left the PCRM, until today, Marian Lupu had other achievements as well, which dissipated part of his image of former PCRM member. One of his most important achievements is the resistance to the temptations of an alliance with the PCRM, eagerly promoted by Vladimir Voronin. In spite of ideological and programmatic differences, of inevitable disagreements within such a multicolored alliance, Marian Lupu succeeded to play the role of a linking element as the presidential candidate of the Alliance for European Integration.

Marian Lupu accumulates political capital due to his image of a person balancing between the two extremities of the political axis. On one hand Marian Lupu is a member of the Alliance for European Integration and, as presidential candidate of the AIE, he participates in the works of the CIS summit and meets the Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev. On the other hand Marian Lupu makes statements which are different from the position of other AIE members, like his opinions on the issue of history subject taught in school and on the state language. These differences did not lead to open conflicts. The AIE managed to keep his members calm maintaining the positions undertaken upon the creation of the alliance.

Taking these facts into account, we can allow the possibility that the repeated failure to elect-appoint Marian Lupu as head of state is to his advantage as well. Currently Lupu has only 12 supporters in the parliament and he is involved in a rather inconvenient partnership, which he has the obligation to honor. If new elections take place, the obligation of fidelity to the AIE disappears and if his rating continues to increase, Marian Lupu has the chance to consolidate the position of the Democratic Party in the parliament, thus ensuring a greater support in the parliament, the control of a larger number of state institutions, as well as greater influence on the direction the Republic of Moldova will take.

Liberalism concerns

It is more obvious that the important players of this new electoral fight, Vlad Filat and the Liberal Democratic Party from Moldova will move to the right and to the centre right extremities of the political axis. The leader of the liberal-democrats continues to play the role, which fits him the best -to strike while the iron is hot, in other words to prove his talent of a good, energetic manager that can turn Moldova towards Europe. Even if the most recent public opinion barometer shows a more modest increase in the popularity of Vlad Filat compared to other politicians, this increase of 10% is rather significant due to the fact that it is based on practical actions, with long term impact, as opposed to the rating of Marian Lupu, which currently is based more on people's expectations. The proximity of such a tremendous player as the PLDM, will determine the need of a clearer self-identification of other parties from that axis. The political survival, both of the Liberal Party and of the Our Moldova Alliance will depend on it.

In previous surveys, the attention of the AMN was drawn to the decrease of the popularity of the party. Serafim Urechean hesitates, at least for the moment, to take some clear steps in order to save the party. The retirement of Oleg Cernei, as well as the eventual retirement of other important members of the party can trigger a series of irreversible processes within the AMN, which could endanger the existence of this political party, before the following parliamentary elections, which, according to the public opinion barometer, the AMN could dramatically lose. However, it is still early to give a certain verdict to this political party, which proved to be rather viable until now, in spite of all pessimistic forecasts. Serafim Urechean still has time to find a way for AMN to survive or, at least, for him to survive as a politician. One of the solutions could be the internal reform of the management, which involves a greater risk, both for the politician Serafim Urechean, and for the party he leads. This risk is due to the fact that until now the AMN did not promote any other members than the leader, who could be able to ensure passing of the election threshold by the AMN in the next elections.

The second option of the AMN can be to join another party of the same political segment. There are some impediments to such a solution, mainly related to the fact that this party can only offer an eventual host party a team, which, unfortunately, has been in the shadow of the leader all these years. When it comes to image and rating, it is not clear what would be the benefits of the party who would be willing to absorb the AMN. Now, Serafim Urechean has the task to identify and promote young talents from the AMN, in order to urgently restore the image of the party, before an eventual absorption or an election campaign.

On the right segment, the Liberal Party might undergo a radicalization, caused by the need to differentiate the political players within the Alliance for European Integration. Even if Mihai Ghimpu holds the most visible positions in the state, that of parliament speaker and of interim president, he does not manage to make use of these advantages and contribute to a better image of his party. The hasty decisions and statements of the current head of state can alienate part of the PL electorate, disappointed by the doubtful performance of the leader. Such a situation is rather dangerous, because it can rebound and affect the image of the city mayor, Dorin Chirtoaca, whose work has been lately shaded by the electoral fights from the parliament.

There is an increased need to clarify the ideology of the party and adopt either liberal positions, or/and more strong national-liberal positions, as well as to implement certain image reforms among the leaders, allowing PL to attract part of former PPCD voters during the next election campaign. It is unlikely for them to be able to attract this entire group of voters, since none of the two liberal leaders has the charisma Iurie Rosca had until 2005. Moreover, the simple recycling of the "Romanian identity" rhetoric, without a practical explanation of the method of implementation, will only lead to an irrevocable compromise of the Romanian ideals in the Republic of Moldova. In such case the migration of right extremity voters to the centre-right extremity or to the segment of passive citizens will be inevitable.

 Petru Culeac, political analyst, researcher at Vienna School of Governance, Austria


Readers' comments
Recent comments:
iannn, 4 January 2010, 9:24
The recent refusal of help to the E.U. homeless in Wien is not an example to follow.
It shows a gross lack of liberal charity considering the large profits generated from the markets of the homeless. Not to care for the vulnarable is deriliction of spiritual values and a pointer to right wing extreme evil.
iannn, 4 January 2010, 9:01
To counteract the growth of legal 'hidden' agenda's the growth of the free press is essential. The usual party political spin 'merchants' always try and manilulate the press. Freedom of speech through the written word is the enemy of the dictator; so write; publish and be free. Yesterdays communist is tomorrows neo-con boss of a private company. Changing hats does not constitute democratic values; a free press and all inclusive democratic values in public life are sacred.
Never allow the power merchants to silence free debate and an open society. The liberation of the mind through the liberation of the soul as free people is your birth right.
Moldova is a free; let it remain free;
happy new year.
Love Ian xxx
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