Electoral prelude... Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“It is curios that all those who were mentioned above, impatient to enter electoral straggles, are either condemned or being prosecuted and/or were put on sanctions lists by the EU, the U.S., the UK and Canada...”

President Maia Sandu’s announcement

Between two high-profile events, in several days after the European Moldova Assembly (EMA) and right before the European Political Community (EPC) Summit of June 1, 2023, President Maia Sandu confirmed that in November 2024, she will run for a new term in office. The announcement concerning the participation in the next electoral competition is motivated by the necessity of maintaining “the pro-European feeling and of leaving Moscow’s orbit”. Respectively, we can deduce that these are indispensable preconditions for the promised good times to ultimately come to the Republic of Moldova. Everyone must realize that the good times will not simply fall onto the Moldovans like larks fall into one’s mouth ready roasted.    

In fact, the purpose of the two aforementioned events was to show that the citizens of the Republic of Moldova are not passive blockheads and they support the country’s European integration indeed. On the other hand, it was expected that the leaders of the European Union (EU) and of the main institutions of the EU, who took part in the EPC Summit, will positively react to the manifestation of the pro-European aspirations of the Moldovan authorities that are supported by the citizens. We must admit that both of the events ended somehow successfully. Firstly, the events took place without incidents, even if the sociopolitical situation in the country remains rather tense, while the security measures caused major traffic inconveniences to the citizens. Secondly, the citizens indeed accepted Maia Sandu’s invitation and took part in the EMA in a large number. Finally, the participants in the EPC Summit announced considerable financial support for the Republic of Moldova, both from the EU and from a non-EU member state. This way, we see that the benefits from the summit are evident and considerably exceed traffic inconveniences.

However, the most interesting conclusion we can reach after the two events is that President Maia Sandu adopted a dialectical approach to sociopolitical phenomena. The given approach helps us to realize the subsequent order of the events, according to the famous saying, paraphrased as it follows: “The hard times create good people. The good people create good times. The good times create weak people. The weak people create hard times” and so on endlessly. This is an encouraging approach, not only for the supporters of Maia Sandu, but also for her political opponents. The point is the current hard times were created by the Putinist regime that invaded Ukraine, causing multiple crises. The Putinist regime and its aggression are tacitly supported by the pro-Russian opposition in the Republic of Moldova. Respectively, this opposition has to only wait until the current good people create good times and the latter, in a dialectical way, after a complete series, will create conditions for eventual victories of the opposition. In such circumstances, the supporting of the objective pursued by Maia Sandu and the ruling party – the exit from Moscow’s orbit - is imposed in a logical way.

What do sociological surveys show?

Together with the public announcing of the intention to convoke the EMA by President Maia Sandu, the sociological company IMAS assumed the post of sociological radar to probe public opinion. The sociological radar of IMAS can be suspected of specific setting and calibration if we take into account the fact that the given institution gained its glory from the close cooperation with one of the main opponents of Maia Sandu – the Shor Party and its leader, who was recently sentenced to 15 years in jail for swindle. But we should admit that the results of the IMAS poll published on May 23, 2023, immediately after the EMA was held, are very interesting and worth being consulted. Anyone who sees the given research can form an opinion about the correctness of questions – are these really correct and avoid suggesting the expected responses. Probably, the future sociology textbooks, in the manipulation chapter, will present as case study the following question from the IMAS study: To your mind, who governs now the Republic of Moldova?, with the suggested responses being (see page 42):

  • Maia Sandu/Government/Parliament in an independent way (33%);
  • European/American forces (59%);
  • Forces from the Russian Federation (2%);
  • I don’t know/I will not respond (6%).

According to the IMAS survey, President Maia Sandu, in the current socioeconomic and political circumstances, loses the presidential electoral competition to the leader of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) Igor Dodon. Accidentally or not, Igor Dodon intuited the results of the poll about a month before the publication of the poll results. In an interview for the Moscow newspaper “Izvestia”, he said that to change the current sociopolitical situation in the Republic of Moldova into one favorable to Russia, it would be ideal for snap parliamentary and presidential elections to be caused this autumn. So, we see that Igor Dodon does his political and electoral calculations in a scientific manner, based on sociological data, while Maia Sandu hurried to announce her participation in the future presidential election, allowing to be overwhelmed by a public rally like the EMA.

To be correct, we should note that the IMAS study contains difficult to interpret data from logical viewpoint as there is discordance between what most of the citizens do and who can satisfy these wishes. This way, the absolute majority of citizens are for joining the EU, while less that 1/3 are in favor of joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) (see page 60). Nevertheless, in a future electoral competition, Maia Sandu, who pleads for integration into the EU, would be beaten by Igor Dodon with an almost inverse score – of 38% to 45% (see page 33). This almost symmetric inversion points to the enigmatic conscience of the Moldovan citizens, who, when they want something, act so as to make the accomplishment of the own will impossible.

Anyway, we should not hurry to draw conclusions. We should only take into account the fact that Moldovan sociology has particularities. For example, another Moldovan sociological company, Intellect Group, astounded us not only once. The last time this happened recently, when it published the results of the poll concerning the chances of the election contenders in the Bashkan election in Gagauzia, but particularly after it published the results of the so-called after poll. The mentioned so-called researches could not even guess the order of the candidates as a result of the election and exceeded the margin of sampling error for several times. So, this is a proof of the fact that the Moldovan sociological radars are set elsewhere. The conclusion is that both IMAS and Intellect Group should inquire about the fate of the Association of Sociologists and Demographers of Moldova, which since 2021 hasn’t presented any poll showing only Igor Dodon and the PSRM as the winners.

Unanticipated effects of anti-oligarchic fight

President Maia Sandu’s announcement concerning the intention to run for a new term in office made the notorious Veaceslav Platon, who hides from Moldovan justice outside the country, to also announce his involvement in politics: “I avoided becoming involved in politics. I considered it is a dirty business. The result was the coming to power of all kinds of knaves, villains and liars. (…) I do not have any way out than to enter politics myself and to try and transform the country into a modern, advanced state in which they will speak about poverty and misery as about a distant past”. This is a visible result of the struggle of President Maia Sandu against corruption and oligarchs. It was enough for the Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau to accept Maia Sandu’s request to put the Moldovan fugitives who are absconding on the sanctions list and Veaceslav Platon immediately started to exhibit his political ambitions. In fact, it became a rule for all the adventurers who are in conflict with the law to declare themselves politicians so as to claim that they are politically persecuted – Plahotniuc, Shor, Cavcaliuc and others.

There is no doubt that Veaceslav Platon’s decision was influenced by the recent results of the polls published by IMAS and those of Intellect Group, which anticipate the fall of Maia Sandu and the parliamentary majority of the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) in favor of the opposition forces. In fact, the political ambitions of Veaceslav Platon haven’t been intuited a year ago by a Moldovan politician with medical studies. These ambitions were confirmed recently, two months ago, by the female partner of Veaceslav Platon, who publicly announced that she would vote for Maia Sandu in the next presidential election. The threat forms part of the arsenal of Vlad Plahotniuc, who in the presidential election of 2016 publicly urged to support candidate Maia Sandu, evidently in order to discredit her.

In fact, we should admit that the electoral chances of the Platon&partener duo cannot be ignored. It is presumed that they have enough money to efficiently combat the competition that comes from Ilan Shor, as regards the persuasion of voters by financial stimuli. But this does not matter. What really matters is that the duo can be supported by the strategic partners from Russia, who are interested by the project Big Housea resting room for eventual occupants, and could offer ingenious solutions to the serious demographic problem in the country – creation of an in vitro fertilization center.


The initiatives of President Maia Sandu, followed by the announcement concerning the intention to run for a new term in office, generate interest in advance in the presidential election. The results of the most recent opinion polls come to amplify this interest and, respectively, the adventurers cannot stop the impulses and avidity for power. In fact, the chronological factor is a false one. The infamous oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc was the first who announced his intention to return to politics back in October 2022. Igor Dodon’s interview with Izvestia followed, about his intention to cause snap parliamentary and presidential elections this autumn. As Dodon’s intentions are no longer taken seriously, a massive exodus of MPs and mayors from the PSRM to bodies controlled by Ilan Shor was organized. Veaceslav Platon is the last in this series. It is curios that all those who were mentioned above, impatient to enter electoral straggles, are either condemned or being prosecuted and/or were put on sanctions lists by the EU, the U.S., the UK and Canada.

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