Ace of spades and resuscitation of success story. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“The promotion model chosen by the PLDM and its leader is an ordinary one. The ambitions are great, while the invoked success stories are just myths seasoned with events that are often very dubious and some of these are even spicy. What the voters should do is to permanently bear in mind that the scalded cat fears cold water...”

Yes and no, you are so...

Interesting events happen ahead of the local general elections of November 2023. The given elections open the new electoral cycle that until 2025 will cover three stages, by one each year. Fugitive politicians who have been prosecuted and sentenced have announced long ago their interest in the new electoral cycle, expressing their impatience to enter the competition. With a particular delay, on July 2, 2023, the main victim of the mentioned fugitives announced his return to the political and electoral competition. This is ex-Premier Vlad Filat, who in the tenth extraordinary congress of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) was reelected chairman of the party after a period of approximately eight years.

The PLDM’s congress left the impression of a session of laudatio for Vlad Filat as right before the party’s forum, the latter expressed his skepticism about his eventual return to the  leadership of the PLDM: “I will not trifle now and say that I don’t know if I will be voted in or not… I’m thinking, but I haven’t taken a decision. If I run – my mates should forgive me if I anticipate – I know I will be voted in. But I’m looking at this exercise not from the perspective of the post. I’m the founder of the PLDM. I was chairman of the party. I served as Prime Minister. I had power… Not this is important for me. If we can together, under a formula or another, it is good to move things on; if not – I can take steps backward and also aside”. The man didn’t intend to trifle, but the circumstances made him...


The PLDM held the forum in several stages. The first part of the congress was in fact a competition of panegyrics accompanied by demonstrations of miracles of the activity, including charitable one, of Vlad Filat. The latter didn’t attract a charity foundation, as such politicians as Vlad Plahotniuc, Ilan Shor, Igor Dodon, Renato Usatyi and others did, contributing in a modest, but efficient way to the restoration of the locomotor posts of some of the delegates to the congress. Evidently, after the torrent of ovations, Vlad Filat’s candidacy for the chairmanship of the PLDM turned out to be the only one, without any alternative. Respectively, he was voted in unanimously, with only one mysterious abstention, so as to emphasize the quasi-unanimity through contrast. In the second part of the congress, as reelected chairman of the party, Vlad Filat decided to fill the gaps in the torrent of laudatio concerning him, but not before analyzing the current sociopolitical situation in the country, which is now more serious than ever:

  • the current government is incompetent and its representatives are false heroes and everything is false at those with false values;
  • the modest accomplishments of the government – obtaining of the EU candidate status, financial support from the development partners etc. – are only consequences of the circumstances caused by the war in Ukraine;
  • the representatives of the government can be identified by particular distinctive signs – the rucksack and a lot of yellow color. They don’t care about the Republic of Moldova, don’t tie their future to it. Their future goes through the airport, with the rucksack on the back, etc.   

Evidently, the gloomy state in which the Republic of Moldova is now has an alternative – the return of the PLDM and Vlad Filat to power. In this regard, he exhibited his merits of 2009-2013, when he served as Prime Minister. Be attentive, not a simple Prime Minister, but a real ace in the public administration that managed to:

  • achieve the desideratum “Moldova without Voronin, Moldova without Communists!”;
  • restore the rule of law
  • take the country out of international isolation and a proof was the fact that the Republic of Moldova was visited by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of the European Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso. A visa-free regime was granted to the Republic of Moldova, which enabled its citizens to travel freely in the EU. Preparations were made for the drafting and adoption of the Free Trade Agreement with the EU;
  • remove the barbed wire from the Prut etc.

In the final part of the congress, it was announced the project of the future, which started with a symbolical act – the merger of the National Unity Party (PUN) with the PLDM. From now on, the strategic goal was proclaimed the Road to Home!, which is the Republic of Moldova’s union with Romania. The proclaiming was accompanied by the explication Long live the Nation! This way, the party exhibited its new identity: PLDM – a unionist party. It is difficult for now to see if the new identity of the PLDM will gladden the traditional unionists who for tens of years, even when it was very hard, have struggled to promote their ideal. What is sure is that about 30-40% of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova would vote for the Republic of Moldova’s union with Romania at present, according to different opinion polls.

Manipulation by omission...

The leader of the PLDM harshly criticized the PAS government not only for particular actions or inaction, but also for declaring the interminable state of emergency that has lasted for approximately a year and a half. Evidently, he is right. But the state of emergency has also a slight advantage that was announced – countering of the phenomenon of disinformation by omission. If we start to refute the statements made by Vlad Filat at the congress of the PLDM, filling the omissions, we would obtain a slightly different picture from the one he presented to us. In general, we must realize that any action causes another, which is contrary to the first, and any uttered words definitely evoke associated memories of events and facts of the past. Let’s try to apply this simple formula to Vlad Filat’s recent statements about:

A. False heroes. A person who urged his supporters to protest for a “Moldova without Voronin, without Communists” and later lost control over the protesters and simply abandoned them, saying “I dint’ take my people to the streets”, now is speaking about false heroes (). He promised as a fairytale hero that “the one who hides like a rat in the burrow, a puppeteer, will anyway be brought to justice sooner or late. And we will then realize his goals”. But instead of acting like this, he ultimately had to apologize in a manner that doesn’t show any heroism: “It was a condition, but I didn’t apologize to someone in particular. I was speaking about excessive personalization in Moldovan politics. I said that in the future I will focus on processes and phenomena, not on persons. It was condition for having government conditions when the Cabinet is voted in”. Then, he promised that “when I will speak, the whole political system in the Republic of Moldova will blow up”. In fact, he didn’t have courage to speak. Only now we hear that the current situation is more serious than ever.

B. Restoration of the rule of law. To speak about the restoration of the rule of law in the period during which Vlad Filat held premiership, it is enough to reread two speeches of his. This way, in his speech of July 12, 2011 he warned that: “I will not allow Moldova to ever become again a state taken hostage by a political force or an interest group. I transmit a message to those who try to do this – I’m ready to have my personal image considerably affected so as to fight against them till the end”. Four years later, the whole international community was informed, through the U.S. magazine The New York Times, that the public institutions in the Republic of Moldova were captured by oligarchic clans. Respectively, in his speech of October 15, 2015, Vlad Filat admitted that “time probably came for this [the whole political system in the Republic of Moldova] to be blown up so that we build something healthy, functional, not cynical and hypocritical”. But how Vlad Filat contributed to the restoration of the rule of law, public opinion also learned from the self-denouncement of Ilan Shor. The latter lies also when he tells the truth as he shrouds this in lies and falsehoods. But as they say, there is no smoke without a fire. That’s why many of the assertions contain also truths. For example, it is definite that swindler Ilan Shor became a prosperous businessman when Vlad Filat served as Prime Minister. Evidently, not at all accidentally Ilan Shor was allowed to block the start of the autumn parliamentary session for several weeks. The blockage occurred because Ilan Shor decided to have his marriage party in the Parliament’s assembly hall. It was impossible to rent the Palace of the Republic that hosted then the Parliament’s sittings without the support of the Sate Chancellery, which is of the Cabinet led by Vlad Filat.   

C. Moldova without Voronin, Moldova without Communists. There is no doubt that the PLDM and Vlad Filat contributed to removing the Communists from government. The problem is that in only two years, in his speech of July 12, 2012 which was mentioned above, Premier Vlad Filat already insisted that not communization, but mafiotization is now the danger to which the Republic of Moldova is exposed...I took a first step towards resuming the dialogue with the opposition. In the consultations, I had a meeting with the leader of the PCRM, Mister Vladimir Voronin. We discussed the situation in the country, the necessity of swiftly finding a solution to ensure political stability”. But in the turning point of the competition, Vlad Filat turned out to be a false hero, as Vladimir Voronin declared: The SIS direr was dismissed as you could all see, but when the turn of the prosecutor general came, the MPs of the PLDM received a phone call from someone who told them that they cannot go on. Ask Vlad Filat who gave those instructions”. Two years later, in May 2013, the leader of the PLDM had another occasion for choosing between the danger of communization and the danger of mafiotization. Respectively, one of the representatives of the Communists, with whom the representatives of the PLDM negotiated, reached the conclusion that: “Filat exchanged politics for money … he had a big passion – to finalize the fraudulent business at Banca de Economii. In the name of this task, he gave up the snap elections”, anticipating that he will be jailed and this actually happened.

D. Taking of the country out of international isolation. The overcoming of international isolation was circumstantial and took place after the official launch, on May 7, 2009, of the EU’s strategy Eastern Partnership (EaP). The Republic of Moldova joined the EaP the same day, when the whole power was held by Voronin’s Communists. As in the case of the obtaining of the EU candidate status in 2022, following the outbreak of Russia’s war against Ukraine, in 2009 the Republic of Moldova entered the EaP after the Russo—Georgian war of August 2008. From this viewpoint, the obtaining of the liberalized visa regime and the Republic of Moldova’s association with the EU, of which Vlad Filat boasts, were circumstantial to the same extent to which the obtaining of the EU candidate status was. The method of functioning of the EU’s strategies – package approach – is the proof of this. Six post-Soviet states joined the EaP this way and three of them, including the Republic of Moldova, later became EU associated countries after signing relevant agreements. In suitable circumstances, the interest in obtaining the EU candidate status was shown by three of the six mentioned states. Respectively, two of them – Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova – obtained it, while Georgia has yet to deal with a series of problems.

As to the visits paid by international officials, the leader of the PLDM should be cautious when he mentions these. The point is the Vice President of the U.S. Joe Biden visited the Republic of Moldova out of sheer curiosity. While in Moscow, Joe Biden stated in an interview for the official newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta (“Russian Paper”): “I’m visiting Moldova because it is a democratic success story The United States already offers substantial support to Moldova to help it develop and I would like to see what else we can do to help it. Also, I will be proud of being the first vice president of the Unites States who is visiting Moldova”. In only four months, Premier Filat, in his speech of July 12, 2011, admitted that the story is actually a myth and he was a dilemma – the choice between the Republic of Moldova’s communization and its mafiotization. This way, the success story started to slowly turn into a nightmare story which the Republic of Moldova managed to overcome with difficulty in 2019, after the shameful fleeing of the puppeteer to which Vlad Filat and PLDM didn’t make any contribution.

We can speak a lot also about the visit made by the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, but it is not worth the effort, especially because this official also visited the Republic of Moldova later as a private person, at the invitation of the puppeteer. It happened in half a year after the arrest of Vlad Filat and it should be noted that Barroso, during his private visit, criticized the Republic of Moldova for the lack of a consistent fought against corruption. It is curious, but in about a month of the given criticism, Vlad Filat was sentenced to nine years in jail for passive corruption

E. Removal of the barbed wire from the Prut. It happened so that as a result of an intentional leak by Vlad Filat’s ‘friends’, in any action the leader of the PLDM takes with regard to Romania or in his communication with its leaders, the discussion that Premier Vlad Filat had with the President of Romania Traian Băsescu in a spicy situation about problems of bilateral interest, of state importance, involuntarily arise in collective memory.

The aforementioned things are only a part of the omissions allowed by Vlad Filat in the process of auto-laudatio for himself, in the tenth extraordinary congress of the PLDM.


The tenth extraordinary congress of the PLDM, after the merciless and well-deserved criticism leveled at the current government, after the solving of a series of organizational and strategic vision problems, left the impression that they are preparing the resuscitation of the success story, this time on the unionist dimension. The promotion model chosen by the PLDM and its leader is an ordinary one. The ambitions are great, while the invoked success stories are just myths seasoned with events that are often very dubious and some of these are even spicy. What the voters should do is to permanently bear in mind that the scalded cat fears cold water.    

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