Black swan, the last hope... Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

„...but we should not forget that “the God’s ways are unknown…” and they should not depend on the hopes of the one who distorts the facts, says untruths, negotiates in secret obscure financing, supports annexations of foreign territories and justifies military aggressions against peaceful people...

Political maneuvers of the PAS

The winter holidays eased the tense political situation in the Republic of Moldova. It is normal, on the occasion of the Christian holidays, for the citizens to think about their own affairs, to more intensely communicate with family members and friends. The rulers decided to also benefit from the relaxing atmosphere and staged two special operations: a) making of changes in the government team and in the field of communication with the public; b) dissipation of citizens’ concerns by announcing that we have sufficient amounts of gas to pass well this winter and will also have electricity at prices that will be lower than on the market. Moreover, the rulers transmitted encouraging messages to the citizens about the Republic of Moldova’s accession to the European Union (EU) until the end of this decade. The noted facts show the government of the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) adjusted somehow to the crisis situation and learned the basic elements of the arts of political maneuvers for mobilizing the citizens through the agency of hopes for a better future.

But the calm atmosphere didn’t annihilate the opposition’s vigilance. It was expected that, against the relaxing background, a representative of the opposition would come out to persuade the citizens of the contrary - that the appearances are deceptive and that things go very bad and the country does not have any future in the EU as the EU can itself disappear soon. Evidently, only the representative of the opposition, which felt itself the effects of this crisis, could be the most credible debunker of the successes of the PAS government.

Warnings of fifth President

No one is more suitable for the role of debunker of the successes of the PAS than Igor Dodon, the president of honor of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), who in a TV program depicted the gloomiest possible picture of the current situation:

  • the country is in danger, while the state institutions were captured by Soros and the network of NGOs;
  • the free press is strangled and the withdrawal of the licenses of six TV channels is a proof of this;
  • justice was fully devalued and is administered by order of President Maia Sandu;
  • inflation went out if control owing to the incompetence of the rulers who impoverish the country with new debts;
  • the businesses are suffocated by the exorbitant prices of energy resources, while the citizens leave the country, including the relatives of President Maia Sandu;
  • the government follows blindly the path of European integration and makes common cause with Ukraine and the EU against the Russian aggression instead of gaining benefits from the war, like Armenia, Georgia, Turkey and other countries do, by facilitating trade with products banned by the sanctions imposed on Russia in favorer of the latter. In general, Russia should be treated not as an aggressor, but as a partner;
  • President Maia Sandu lost control over the PAS, which split into interest groups for exploiting criminal schemes in different areas, including smuggling schemes; 
  • the latent splits inside the PAS could provoke snap parliamentary elections, which are wanted by the citizens, but for which the opposition is not ready;
  • the century-old traditions of the Moldovans are in a big danger as a plot against the Orthodox Church affiliated to Moscow is being planned, similar to that in Ukraine, etc.

To give weight to his statements, Igor Dodon underlined that he was the fifth President of the Republic of Moldova who conceded power to the PAS as a result of elections, but who kept relations in the state bodies and, respectively, is informed about the incompetence of the PAS government and the criminal schemes of this. Moreover, he noted that the given information is received directly from foreign counselors who assist the Government and who are surprised by the incompetence of this, and also from prosecutors who document ongoing criminal schemes, waiting for the PAS to be removed from power so as to start criminal cases.

Igor Dodon’s assertions should be treated with prudence as these help us realize the level of polarization of the political class and, respectively, of society that is equality represented by the political class and by the opposition. Igor Dodon’s fury can be understood if we analyze his situation. After half a year under house arrest, he now says that he is to be swiftly convicted by order of President Maia Sandu. For the purpose, according to him, ten hearings were already set for February. Respectively, Igor Dodon avoided saying if he intends to compete in the presidential election of 2024 or not as everything depends on the hearings.

There is no doubt that most of the assertions of the fifth President are: a) reverberations of conspiracy theories disseminated by the Russian imperial movement for which Igor Dodon has worked as an expert for about ten years; b) deliberate exaggerations that lack any discernment and ignore the imperial pretentions of the Putinist regime and the effects of the Russian aggression against Ukraine on the regional political and socioeconomic situation, including on the Republic of Moldova; c) inappropriate manifestations of the pretentions of a fighter for just causes, who compares himself with Mahatma Gandhi. Nevertheless, ensuring Igor Dodon has a fair trial that will leave no room for suppositions that he is the victim of justice by order is a matter of principle.

Opposition’s chances to take over are insignificant

When reflecting on the opposition’s chances to take over power, Igor Dodon shows his skepticism. Moreover, he is sure that President Maia Sandu is the beneficiary of the ineffective protests staged by the Shor Party. The cause of the failure is that the other opposition parties avoided joining Shor, showing that the opposition is unable to combine forces. Indeed, only the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) openly supported the Shor Party’s protests, alongside several insignificant parties. The leader of the PCRM Vladimir Voronin was one of the initiators of the protests under the slogan “For a New Life”, while his mate, MP Constantin Starysh, was even elected a member of the National Salvation Council (NSC) to fight for power. But Starysh got scared and preferred to shirk his responsibilities within the so-called NSC.

At the same time, the PCRM launched a furious campaign against the PSRM and Igor Dodon, accusing the latter of treason and love for “kulyoks” (bags with money, e.n.). In such circumstances, the PSRM preferred to distance himself from the Shor Party and the PCRM, joining the Common Agenda Platform (CAP). The latter, even if it has a common agenda, refers to only a series of ordinary subjects, not yet to really major subjects – the attitude to the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the issue of European integration. So, the opposition functions according to the formula – the crab, the frog and the pike..., without the capacity to unite in order to promote common goals and ideals.

The separation of the mayor of Chisinau Ion Ceban and of the governor of Gagauzia Irina Vlah from the PSRM is Igor Dodon’s big disappointment. This way, Ion Ceban preferred to launch his own political project – the National Alternativa Movement (NAM), which supports the European integration of the Republic of Moldova and considers that Russia is an aggressor in the war against Ukraine. For her part, Irina Vlah considers Romanian is the official language of the Republic of Moldova and all the country’s citizens should learn it. Evidently, Ceban and Vlah cannot remain affiliated to the PSRM, which has Igor Dodon as a millstone around the party’s neck due to the kulyoks.

It’s true that Igor Dodon has a justification for the treason he committed against the PCRM, but this is unsubstantiated. He asserted that he and Zinaida Grechanyi had a rating when they left the PCRM, in 2011. As usual, Igor Dodon says untruths. The Public Opinion Barometer (POB) showed (see page 42) that Igor Dodon ranked sixth in the popular approval rating, while Zinaida Grechanyi in general wasn’t among the politicians who enjoyed a particular level of confidence and the PSRM also didn’t enjoy confidence. Moreover, in the spring of the electoral year 2014, the POB showed that Igor Dodon’s confidence rating was of only 2% (see page 43) and the intention to vote for the PSRM  was at the same level (see page 48). Instead, the rating of the PCRM that was betrayed by Igor Dodon was of about 40%. So, the PCRM would have had real chances of winning the elections if Dodon hadn’t committed that diversion. This way, the PCRM is justified in labeling Dodon a traitor, who, for the sake of common sense, should refrain from accusing his former mates of deeds that he committed himself, especially because the last POB, of November 2022, shows that Ion Ceban and his party NAM have now a better rating than Dodon and the PSRM had when Dodon left the PCRM.

To turn the PSRM into a parliamentary party in 2014, Dodon and Grechanyi went to kneel down before Putin. Respectively, Dodon and Grechanyi turned from promoters of the European integration into promotes of the Eurasian perspective. Moreover, Dodon became an expert of the Russian imperial movement and founded a branch of this in Chisinau. That’s why Igor Dodon’s assertions about the opposition’s incapacity to unite should be regarded through the angle of his political activities that made him undesirable for almost all his former mates.

The black swan, a solution...  

Despite the things he mentioned, Igor Dodon is confident that the situation in the Republic of Moldova can be changed and, respectively, the PAS can be removed from power. In this regard, Igor Dodon’s all hopes are tied to the black swanintervening of abnormal and unexpected events with a great power of influence for radically changing the existing situation.

Why does Igor Dodon bank on the black swan? The answer is that his political fate was influenced by this enigmatic bird. Indeed, the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 played the role of a black swan. Dodon publicly supported the annexation and was this way welcomed at the Kremlin by Putin and, respectively, was helped to dispossess the PCRM of half of the voters of this, who represented approximately 40%. This way, Dodon became a leading politician with chances of influencing the events in the country, a promoter of the Eurasian integration and an expert of the imperial movement.

It’s true that the black swan also brought a lot of trouble to Igor Dodon. In 2019, the black swan manifested itself through Plahotniuc’s film about the financing of the PSRM by GAZPROM and the plan to federalize Moldova. In 2020, the black swan brought about 250,000 voters from the diaspora to the polls and Dodon as a result lost the presidential election and then the parliamentary elections of 2021. In 2022, the black swan brought the prosecutors to Dodon’s gate and many other troubles. That’s why, not at all accidentally, Igor Dodon really believes in the black swan. But we should not forget that “the God’s ways are unknown…” and they should not depend on the hopes of the one who distorts the facts, says untruths, negotiates in secret obscure financing, supports annexations of foreign territories and justifies military aggressions against peaceful people.

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