New parliamentarian elections will be held in Moldova on July 29th, 2009. Local and international experts have labeled the elections as a turning point for the future of this tiny, former Soviet republic. Yet, all polls show tremendous discrepancies between the various candidates and their supporters. It appears that most Moldovan voters are supporting the present government that imposed itself upon them by using anti-liberal, pro-Russian and anti-Romanian electoral slogans and rhetoric. The ruling party exploited the ambiguous and controversial events of April 7th to undermine the so-called “liberal” opposition. A variety of inquests that mushroomed during the electoral campaign attributed almost equal responsibility for the demonstrations (converted by unknown forces in to a “youth uprising”) to both Communists and the “united” opposition. But this fact did not change the proportion of electoral sympathy directed towards the various parties. So, the leading party remains the Party of Communists (PCM), commanding around 30% of the electoral vote.

The most active electoral battle occurred on the right of the political spectrum, where a new political formation emerged– the Democratic Party of Moldova. Its creation is largely down to the people’s disaffection with parties such as the Liberal Democrat Party and Alliance “Our Moldova”. In this way, in the light of huge and abundant “dirty” propaganda managed by the communists against the liberal parties (LPM, LDM and AOM), the Democrats, led former communist President of the Moldovan Parliament, Marian Lupu, aligned itself on the right of the political divide.

For one, the upcoming elections have been devised so that all post-electoral formulae are more or less beneficial for the parties involved. In case the Liberals (all three parties or only two of them) and Democrats get to Parliament along with the Communists, they will not have a majority to elect the new Moldovan president. Therefore, the parties of the right will be required to negotiate the candidacy of the President with the Communists. In fact, former Communist Lupu could avoid a political crisis and damage to his new image as a stable and reliable political leader inside and outside of the country. Also, on the basis of balanced dialogue with the Communists, Lupu has the opportunity to propel himself as a legitimate national leader and possibly President of the Republic of Moldova. Concurrently, the Communists will have the opportunity to keep their majority at the legislative level. Nonetheless, it will mean that they must possess appropriate and sufficient leverage to control its future potential “partner,” the DPM, within the Parliament.

The European integration of Moldova depends on whether or not the Communists develop allies in the next Parliament. Jeopardizing integration can happen due to an open political crisis resulting from unwillingness of the Liberal parties (and maybe democrats) to achieve a consensus with Communists. Or, it could be provoked by four more years of Communist government. Limitations in the pro-European orientation of the country could be caused by a lack of interest from the authorities in reforming the Moldovan political system and bolstering democratic reform to set up a constructive and cooperative relationship with Romania. At the same time, this external vector will continue to be overlapped with the Eurasian tendencies of the Communists who strive to maintain a political nexus with Moscow.

Meanwhile, the Communist leader, Vladimir Voronin, is coordinating a complex and dysfunctional process of identity creation by combining Moldova’s European, Soviet and indigenous identities. In fact, he has recently stated that by keeping alive the memory of Soviet patriots the “Moldovan Europenization” could continue. Therefore, even the Communists, the party with the old Soviet approach, is trying to revive historically failed perceptions in order make a European project sustainable. Ironically, it was precisely this clinging to the Soviet past that could not push Moldova closer to a European future. Unfortunately, the Communists and their visible political “friends” are ready to postpone the moving of Moldova towards the EU. The predictable results of the upcoming election seem to favor the present government rather than the liberal opposition.

In conclusion, such a prospect is unfavorable to Moldova’s citizens, political parties and even the EU. Without a different electoral result, Moldova is headed for the same discouraging and “closed” stance as it was after the election of April 5th, 2009.

Denis Cenusa is a political analyst and expert in Eastern European politics.

Explore posts in the same categories: Alegeri anticipate 2009, Articles in English, moldova

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