Government recurs, while opposition is late. IPN analysis

“If the people are not offered proofs of the analysis and decision making and formulation capacities in due time, someone else comes to fill this gap and to manipulate the own electorate and, possibly, even the development partners…”.

The ruling party is again one move ahead of the pro-European opposition. The last week’s announcement according to which the Democratic Party (PDM) will not have an own candidate in the early mayoral elections in the municipality of Chisinau, but will support a common candidate of the pro-European forces or the right showed once again that this can hold the initiative of the political agenda even if we believe that it does not have a direct formal involvement. Unlike the opponents of this, which do not hide their interest in taking part in the local mayoral elections of May 20 and even to take over the administration of the capital city as an important stage for changing the power in Moldova.

Invitation to quick chess match...

The PDM hasn’t been very inventive when it announced its position on the upcoming mayoral elections in Chisinau. It is unusual as its solutions to similar or even smaller problems usually show a lot of innovation, a lot of calculation, involvement of many resources, including financial ones, and are resonant by formulation. In case of the future local elections in Chisinau, the Democrats repeated rather faithfully the position of the last parliamentary elections, when they withdrew their own candidate with small chances, declared that they support some, but actually supported others. At this stage, the general public does not yet know who the PDM will support in reality, but in several days it became very clear that the party will not support what it announced it will support: a common candidate of the pro-European forces.

The conclusion derives especially from the behavior in the online and audiovisual spheres of a large army of more open and more discreet supporters of the PDM which, as in the presidential elections, didn’t stop to criticize, to denigrate and to set the leaders of the Party “Action and Solidarity” (PAS) and the Party “Platform Dignity and Truth” (PPPDA) on each other. On the contrary. As it is excluded that these supporters would act uncoordinatedly (and without being financed) and that the PDM will not promote its interests in Chisinau, the only possible conclusion is the one that has been already formulated: real support will be enjoyed by someone else than the common representative of the pro-European forces. Moreover, the leaders of the main pro-European opposition parties already rejected the offer, describing it as a “poisoned apple”.

Why did the PDM act “non-inventively”? First of all, because the resignation of the ex-mayor general of Chisinau Dorin Chirtoaca, as of the ex-mayor of Balti Renato Usatyi, didn’t leave much time at its disposal. Secondly, relatively not long ago, in the last presidential elections, this tactic was rather successful and they thus bank on its already proven capacity. But the most important reason that should be taken into account is that the PDM preferred to act non-inventively, respectively riskier, than to delay the announcement of a position. The announcement is addressed both to target groups from inside and, especially, to the European partners that they make effort to constantly and on time assure of the own European aspirations and the “ill intent” of the opponents from the European segment, who “do not accept” the offer of consolidating the forces for the sake of the “European integration”.

... that was rejected

Why did the opposition act as it acted?

Because it does not believe in the sincerity and political capacity of the PDM to cooperate and started to have doubts long ago. Because the acceptance of the offer would seriously affect its image before the own supporters now, in the eventual campaign prior to the local elections and in that prior to the parliamentary elections as the main narrative of the opposition was and is based on the criticism leveled at the “oligarchic regime” that is identified with the PDM and its leader Vlad Plahotniuc. The eventual cooperation now or after the parliamentary elections would look more like political suicide if we judge by the results of all the types of “cooperation” with the participation of the PDM.

While the own match?

But things are not as clear as regards the situation of the pro-European opposition both in the interparty relations and in relation to the current and potential supporters. The signals given now by the PAS and PPPDA about the local elections can generate big confusion among the pro-European voters, which would affect the parliamentary elections. These signals mean hesitation and delay in assessing the situation, formulating and announcing positions.

The PPPDA has already announced its candidate in the local elections and we should presume that the party decided to go separately because it could not obtain a common position and a common candidate, at least with the PAS. In these conditions, the PPPDA made a desperate move in order to clarify its place and role in this relationship and to force the PAS to swifter formulate its position.

The PAS reacted with prudence, referring to an eventual poll that is yet to be carried out concerning the performance of candidates for the post of mayor of Chisinau. In the political games, such gestures are inadmissible, but time until the eventual elections remained not much. If the professional politicians do not yet have a clear position on the issue, how can the less initiated people cope in practically several days? Prudence and hesitation or delay are yet different things. If the people are not offered proofs of the analysis and decision making and formulation capacities in due time, someone else comes to fill this gap and to manipulate the own electorate and, possibly, even the development partners...

The impression of delay also comes amid the delay in the process of creating the pro-European coalition for the parliamentary elections announced last November, which are also very close already.

Valeriu Vasilică, IPN

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