Dionis Cenușa: I don’t think Igor Dodon can rig elections as Lukashenko did

Political scientist Dionis Cenușa considers the Republic of Moldova is different from Belarus as it is a parliamentary republic and its President does not have so many powers. “The big interest in the presidential elections in Moldova derives from the fact that snap parliamentary elections are to be caused. Consequently, the presidential elections are a rehearsal for the campaign that will precede the future snap parliamentary elections,” the researcher stated in the public debate “Situation in Belarus: mutual influences with world” that was staged by IPN News Agency.

“I don’t think President Igor Dodon can rig the elections to the extent to which Alexandr Lukashenko can and did as the latter controls the vertical of power and takes decisions. As far as I know, the latter instructed the vote collection centers, the CEC of Belarus to manipulate the figures. It was a direct order from the President’s administration to falsify the elections. Something like this cannot happen in the Republic of Moldova because the CEC is supervised by the opposition and there is proportionality of representation and there is interest on the part of the international community, the OSCE, the Council of Europe to monitor the elections in Moldova. There are too many stakes for playing games similar to those played in Belarus,” stated the political scientist. He also said that there can be noticed particular intentions to transport voters from the Transnistrian region, but not by direct order from the President’s administration.

In another development, Dionis Cenușa said democratic progress will be made in Belarus no matter how hard an authoritarian system tries to close the circulation of elites or to prevent the democratic transfer of power between political parties. “Anyway, a moment of crisis appears when the sovereign people demand that their rights should ne respected. No authoritarian regime can feel comfortable as long as it does not permit liberalization either at the level of society, at political level or in the economic sector. We live in an interdependent world and liberalization is an inevitable process. But we can yet influence this so that it supports the public interest.”

According to Dionis Cenușa, even Belarus, which is considered the most stable authoritarian regime, showed signs of weakness. “The opposition there has capacity. There is free thinking inside Belarus and this made the people to take to the streets, the workers to go on strike, even if they risked losing jobs, the lyceum students to mount protests in solidarity,” said the scientist, noting Lukashenko cannot stop such processes.

“The lessons of Belarus should be learned well by the Kremlin regime more than by the Republic of Moldova or other post-Soviet states where democracy has yet experience and the citizens there can benefit from it by using their vote. They voted freely and intend to change the processes in their countries by peaceful methods. The people in Belarus taught us that the protests can change things and can take place without the use of violence.”

The public debate “Situation in Belarus: mutual influences with world” was the 151st installment of the series of debates “Developing political culture through public debates” that are supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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