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13 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

Who is Misinforming: Mass Media or (Mass Media of) Filat.

After China showing great promise, Brussels was Prime Minister Filat's next destination. Filat feels more comfortable there, having the risky wide- and slightly stipulated support from the European institutions, starting from the European Parliament and ending with a number of European Commissioners sympathizing with democratic changes that have taken place in Chisinau since 2009.
Denis CENUSA, 28 September 2010, 9:25

Who is Misinforming: Mass Media or (Mass Media of) Filat.

After China showing great promise, Brussels was Prime Minister Filat's next destination. Filat feels more comfortable there, having the risky wide- and slightly stipulated support from the European institutions, starting from the European Parliament and ending with a number of European Commissioners sympathizing with democratic changes that have taken place in Chisinau since 2009.

The Roadmap for Visa Liberalization - is an "(Im)Possible Fact?"

The most part of data regarding the developments in Brussels with our "Prime Minister-Administrator's" participation can be found on the Moldovan Government's official webpage inspiring the press hurrying to publish the information that we will receive "the roadmap of visa liberalization for Moldovan citizens" as early as in October of this year. The bad part is that both the Government's official webpage and websites of credulous mass media, which carelessly or deliberately published this news, write that it was stated by Sesilia Marmstrom, the European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs. Meanwhile, scanning Ms. Commissioner's official website, we don't see any press release regarding the meeting with Moldovan Prime Minister. Besides, we don't find any press releases or any other publications which would somehow confirm that Moldova is going to obtain a "roadmap" in October.

The persistence, the Liberal Democratic Prime Minister and his team are working with to promote the negotiations over liberalization of the visa order with the EU isn't deprived of logic. It could have also been a hyper-attractive goal from the political and pre-election point of view, the LDPM's position being significantly strengthened before the early elections. With a concrete visa order liberalization "document" available, the Liberal Democrats are secured with loyalty of the most part of the electorate, not just of Left-Centrists, thereby putting in a difficult situation their colleagues from the Alliance separated for the objective reasons from the "distant" state affairs connected with Moldova's European integration, where the rules have been dictated by the "Filat's camp" for the last year.

Nevertheless, distribution of advantages and internal political costs shouldn't affect the created situation and real substance of relations with the European party. The Filat-Malmstrom meeting's result could have been not the completion and launch of the "roadmap" for the liberalization but just evaluation of the country's readiness for the possible "document". According to the Moldovan Government's press releases, we state that the parties discussed realization of reforms on the national level in the fields of justice and home affairs. According to the same source, we find out that the evaluation report that will contain data about two European experts missions will be developed in October. After it has been published, the operative stage can be started by adopting a plan of actions realization of which would allow the visa order liberalization.

Summarizing the above-mentioned, we don't get any certain period or obligations regarding the receipt of the "roadmap" from the Europeans, except for the abstract month of October until which it is physically improbable to draft, examine and adopt this document, first of all, because of the European bureaucracy. Instead of the balanced and realistic reports, in Chisinau, we notice an unjustified exaltation among pro-governmental press and mass media trying to pass the desirable for reality.

The exaggerated interpretations of some mass media aren't accidental, but resulted from the blind perception of the information, generously provided by the Government's press service which in the end failed to explain the meaning and prospects which appeared after Filat's meeting with Malmstrom.

The risk, the Government is exposed to, is that it artificially arouses optimism of electors playing on their visa order liberalization expectations, thereby exerting the useless and irritating pressure on the European partners and putting them in an uncomfortable situation to promote the extremely technical and less political document as soon as possible.

Perhaps, the game is worth this risk as the stake is "the green colonization of the LDPM Parliament", and if not, then at least, the numerical growth.

The Electronic Page of the Government or the LDPM's Personal Webpage?

The use of the Government's press service to create the positive perception among population was observed in other cases as well. Although having no big significance for the country or influence on the Government's direct activity, the information about the European People's Party summit in Meise was published by the Moldovan Government's press service. Given the obvious political coloring, this event can be published only on the LDPM's webpage, but, most likely under somebody's order, the details about the People's Party meeting were demonstrated on the Government's official webpage.

Being unacceptable in the European countries whose political leaders also participated in this event, but possible for Moldova, a kind of influence caused by the Filat team's desire to improve the image of Liberal Democratic Prime Minister who was in a company with the "European political heavyweights" (Merkel, Berlusconi, Barrozu, Buzek and others) can be observed. [2]  This sign shows both the abundance of temptation to use the administrative resources for election purposes and the shortsightedness of mass media which fail to understand it.

Silence and Half-Truthful Statements

The "triumphal" visit of the "traveling" Prime Minister to Brussels also threw light on another uneasy issue connected with citizens' access to the information. It was normal for the previous government to announce only positive information, leaving the more problematic aspects and negative issues in shadow. It looks like the current governors have the same defect as they claim that they are absolutely honest with the society and present the whole information about the government's actions.

If to believe the Moldovan Government's press releases, the European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek who met Prime Minister Filat in Brussels, admired only the Moldovan Government. More than that, he "wished successes to Vlad Filat" in the context of the early parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, entering the European Parliament President's official webpage we see another reality, closer to truth.

First of all, all wishes were addressed to Moldova, that is, to the whole state, instead of the Filat's Government. [3]

Besides, Buzek demonstrates profound pragmatism and a small share of pessimism speaking of Moldova's European aspirations which, in his opinion, can be realized by Moldovan citizens only by working hard. According to the Government's version, the EP President said, „the Moldovan citizens' dream can be realized step by step, by means of concrete actions". We can see a considerable difference between the original statement of the European official and the content of the press release of the Government which, perhaps, doesn't want citizens having optimistic EU integration expectations to be discouraged, especially, since their number went down to 60-65 percent, according to the latest polls. That is, the state prefers saying that we are going step by step and one day we will join the EU to being honest and admitting that we should work hard (the population as well) to achieve this goal.

Not to show the Europeans' disappointment with the referendum's results, the Government's press service "accidentally" skipped Buzek's discontent with the referendum and the low turnout. [4] Also, the European official's statement about the necessity of „ the political leaders to stay united to continue necessary reforms: constitutional and political" was omitted as well.

Is it a simple skipping, incompetence of the state administration or a political editing of the press release about the Buzek-Filat meeting? The fact that the press service underlines Buzek's support to Filat during the early parliamentary election demonstrates that it is about the latest supposition, that is, the "political" editing of the statement issued by Filat's team on behalf of the Moldovan Government. Given this fact, it is obvious that it wants to appropriate all "laurels" from the talks with the Europeans and to present everything as if it is only one party - the LDPM - that enjoys the European support.

We are concluding with a concern how fragile the control over the political factor's interference in the governing act is, even in the period of the Alliance for the European Integration's government. Unfortunately, these defects are due both to the wrong monitoring of the government by local mass media and to the loyalty of the European partners refraining from sharp criticism in order not to favor Communists focused on resumption of power.

References:

1 The official web-page of Cecilia Malmstrom, the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs

2. EPP leaders meet for Party Summit ahead of European Council, in Meise,

3. President Jerzy Buzek on the meeting with Vlad Filat, Prime-Minister of Moldova,

4. Buzek: "I regret that the constitutional referendum in Moldova failed because of a low turnout. Political leaders should stay united and continue necessary reforms: constitutional and political."

 

 

 



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