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

Brussels Showing Its True Colors with the Referendum Failed

The scattered splinters of the September 5th Constitutional referendum haven't had their impact yet on the European officials, who closely watched it starting from the initial stage, sometimes intervening to manage maneuvers of non-cooperating democratic political forces of Chisinau.
Denis CENUSA, 21 September 2010, 17:19

Preserving the conditional status of nonintervention in a foreign country's internal affairs, the European institutions accepted in the long run organization of the plebiscite, though obtaining, in return, the Moldovan government's obligation to hold the parliamentary elections this autumn.

The failure of the referendum was interpreted by the European institutions differently - starting from the pessimist attitude when it comes to some European Parliament representatives and ending with more reserved appreciation expressed by the European Commission delegations.

The Failed Plebiscite Drawing European Deputies' Attention

The signs of solidarity with the Alliance for the European Integration were expressed by the Head of the EU-Moldova Delegation, the European deputy Monica Macovei, who underlined the importance of the referendum if it was validated for overcoming the political crisis. The necessity of comprehensible and efficient conversations with electors, including regarding the constitutional reform, is proposed by the European parliamentary as a measure in the context of the failed referendum. Partially neglecting the "golden rule" of nonintervention into local affairs, Monica Macovei urged "the country's political elite to find a solution" [1]. At the same time, the European official gave to understand that the democratic forces have to "keep the unity" to deepen relations with the European Union which have been intensively developed this year.

Known as belonging to the "Romanian President Traian Basescu's political circle" Monica Macovei expressed a kind of disregard for the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova mentioning that the referendum's failure should no way be taken as Communists' victory.

On the eve of her visit to Chisinau in coming October, the European deputy made a step to console the ruling Alliance upset with the unexpected results of the plebiscite. At the same time, the Head of the Moldova-specialized Parliament Delegation noted hidden critics in respect of Communists inspired by the Liberal Democrats' inability to convince the electors. The European deputy's affirmations also bore some tinges of disappointment over the pro-European political forces' poor preparation for the referendum, mostly criticizing the way of informing of citizens by the central political actors.

Probably received through diplomatic and political channels, the European officials' declarations demonstrate the concern persisting among Moldova's supporters within the framework of the European legislative body. The pessimist outcome of the referendum determines a part of the European officials to be more careful when it comes to the Moldovan political realities making them word different requirements to the Moldovan government.

Brussels Suggests Focusing on the Early Elections Rather than on the Referendum

In order not to be suspected of collaboration with the government which failed the referendum contested on the local plan by the Communists and their political partners, the European Executive' representatives accredited in Chisinau in the end emphasized their non-interference in the referendum matter. Dirk Schuebel, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Moldova [1] stated directly that the decision to hold the Constitutional referendum belonged to the Alliance for the European Integration reminding that the Venice Commission's recommendations suggested solution of the political problem by and within the legislative body. Underlining the nonintervention character, the European diplomat explained that the Liberal Democrats' decision had been just respected and accepted by the UE.[2] Meanwhile, the Alliance's decision taken on June 3, 2010 was also determined by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland who was participating directly in the political crisis settlement. He also noted that the idea of the plebiscite had been supported on the European institutions' level due to the deadlock in finding of the viable political solution. Ignoring these circumstances, the Head of the European diplomacy in Moldova chose to adopt a more neutral stand distancing himself from the moment of the previous approval of the "solution" elaborated by the Alliance's components initiating the referendum. This adjustment of the viewpoint comes from the fact that the EU doesn't want to be associated with the failed "political initiatives" projected by the Chisinau political class. It is also necessary for ensuring the continuity and stability of the European activity in Moldova in case if, by surprise, just like with the referendum's results, Communists return to power.

In another context, the European official defended ordinary citizens who didn't vote saying that their absence also represents a democratic expression of their opinion.

Being the promoter of the dialogue and unanimity in politics, the European diplomat hopes that overcoming of the political crisis can be possible in the future Parliament with attraction of the PCRM pleading for the political crisis settlement within the framework of the Parliament.

According to Dirk Schuebel's observations, in any circumstances, there should be persisting indicators which would guarantee the authority and public justification of decisions taken by the political leaders, therefore the electoral threshold for referendums is prescribed but at the same time isn't obligatory.

Despite the behavior of some Chisinau politicians hesitating to set the exact day of the Parliament dissolution, the Head of the European diplomacy in Moldova insists on the necessity of the parliamentary elections and on the importance of leaving apart the invalid referendum. The Europeans' expectations are that the "black page" of the failed plebiscite to be covered by the victory of the Pro-European democratic forces at the early elections. Naturally, the European official underlined the priority of the correct positioning of the country urging the necessity of overcoming the existing obstacles to build a real democracy and a legal state in Moldova which were made fragile in the Communists' period.

Instead of the conclusion

If the European legislative body is notable for its more subjective and partial attitude, then the European Executive's agents seem to carry out a strategic recalculation and/or adjustment of the political line due to the possible unpredictable political changes in Moldova. Both the referendum and Ukraine's experience convinced the European officials to follow a more pragmatic and prudent policy including regarding the European integration processes, Chisinau actively engaged in.

1. "Urging Moldovan democratic forces to be united",
2. "The Head of the European Union Delegation in Moldova states that the Venice Commission's spring recommendations didn't stipulate a referendum in Moldova"


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