All the electoral contenders competing in the presidential elections of November 1 say that they want to be elected President. Besides the made promises, the candidates resort to all kinds of practices so as to appear more convincing before the voters and these put the stamp “Voted” against their names on the ballot. IPN News Agency contacted a number of experts and asked them to analyze the behavior of the eight aspirants for the office of President, in the order in which they were registered, and the actions to which they resort to build a favorable image: No. 4 Igor Dodon, independent candidate.
Political commentator Ion Tăbârță said the decision to run independently is a camouflaged move, not a real situation. During his four-year term in office, Igor Dodon has tried to somehow show that he does not have something in common with the Party of Socialists. However, sometimes, without wanting to, he admitted that he makes the best team together with the PSRM. Saying that he runs independently is a tactic – his opponents were fielded by political parties, but he was not. But this is rather incredible for most of the people or at least for those who follow the political phenomena and those who are impartial. This message can yet attract a part of the voters, primarily the Russian-speaking voters who are influenced by the Russian-language information sources that now focus on Igor Dodon.
As regards the bilingualism to which he makes use, this way the candidate has an advantage from the start, as the Party of Communists had earlier. The ethic vote that represents about 20% belongs to him. At a certain moment, Ilan Shor cane through this segment, but he targeted the voters nostalgic for the Soviet times. Igor Dodon says we must know the Russian language and insists on such a message so as to broaden the ranks of his supporters.
As to the simple language, with Russian words and metaphors, used by the candidate, Ion Tăbârță said there is a difference between his style and the styles of other politicians, like Renato Usatyi or Vladimir Voronin. The last two have personal charisma, while in the case of Igor Dodon, it is evident that this is a political-technological tactic. He has yet an advantage that other politicians do not have - he speaks in a plain language, for the ordinary people to understand his messages. But his jokes often look indecent, show his arrogance, purely Moldovan swagger or even that provincialism that is still typical of a part of society.
He announced that he will not use posters, but he now has so many TV channels that he does not need them. The public TV channel shows its obedience to him even more than to Mister Plahotniuc. He uses images of the Moldovan Metropolitan Church and has informational and administrative instruments that can project him to the forefront.
The religious component has been very important for Igor Dodon. Since the start of his political project, he has focused on this component and visited holy places, on Mount Athos, insisted on the traditional family, etc. During the pandemic, the Premier was tough on the meetings of a religious character, while Igor Dodon said nothing about these.
By starting his election campaign on a building site, he wanted to show a Moldova undergoing construction works, which has a future and goes on, but wasn’t convincing enough. His plan to transform the country into a building side also failed.
“WatchDog.MD” expert Valeriu Pașa said Igor Dodon tries to cover everything of which he can boast. He makes a lot of promises. He has to provide many arguments to explain why he didn’t deliver many of his promises. He comes with this pro-Russian narrative and tries to keep his pro-Russian supporters, enjoying the practically open support of Moscow.
Igor Dodon maximally avoids responding to any criticism as he does not really have plausible arguments. It seems that his goal in the first round of voting is to maximally strengthen his electoral pool and to extend it to the left and to the center. He realizes that he is the target of the attacks of practically all the competitors, but this is normal, as he is the incumbent President.
Igor Dodon carries a heavy burden that derives from the assumption of personal responsibility for the management of the pandemic, the economic crisis and practically all the public affairs and he bears direct political responsibility for what the Chicu Government did and, particularly, for what this didn’t do. He is in a rather difficult situation.
Media expert Aneta Gonța noted that Igor Dodon has the greatest media visibility among the eight candidates for President of Moldova. A large number of TV channels and online publications support him openly and favor massively the candidate supported by the PSRM, presenting him only in a positive context and offering details about all his campaign activities, meetings with people, visits, participation in different events, etc.
The program “Igor Dodon responds” is broadcast live and based on this program news articles are later produced. The video interview with the First Lady is disseminated. The candidate’s participation in the activities held to celebrate the Day of Chisinau was broadly covered. In his statements for the press, the mayor never forgets to tell that the best things done in the capital city are done on the initiative of the incumbent President, etc. Igor Dodon is also presented neutrally or rather unfavorably, but to a lesser extent. A balance is thus not ensured and the scales incline towards pronounced media favoring of the independent candidate. The efforts made by a number of media outset to build a favorable image to Igor Dodon are considerable.
In fact, during the past few years, the consumers of information in our country have been used to the constant and only positive appearances of Dodon in the journalistic materials of a group of press institutions. Now these institutions have stepped up their efforts, including online. During the last few days yet, the same candidate has been featured in resonant journalistic investigations that spoil his spotless image presented by the media outlets that support him.
During the last week of his campaign, Igor Dodon could accentuate his appearances only in the media outlets that present him in a favorable light and would avoid the TV channels and print and online media that can disfavor him. His refusal to take part in electoral debates forms part of the same precaution tactic as he avoids having his image spoiled.