Habit cures habit? Op-Ed de Victor Pelin

“So, the policy pursued by the PSRM and its administration the past three years has been disastrous. The most curious thing is that on the Russophile segment of the political sector, an ordinary swindler manages to substitute a hypocritical liar, confirming the proverbial truth, habit cures habit...”

Line of society splitting in the Republic of Moldova

The political arena in the Republic of Moldova has been long divided on the line: European Union (EU) – Russian World. This Russian World functions according to the formula “a separate empire appears, another one falls, while the third waits for the start – and a new imperial state is created”. That’s why Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine for building the fifth empire deepened to the limit the mentioned cleavage in society of the Republic of Moldova.

The citizens with pro-European views condemn the Russian aggression and support Ukraine, while the Russophiles support the aggression, repeating the clichés of Russian propaganda. In such circumstances, for the pro-European voters, the main pole of electoral attraction is the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) and President Maia Sandu. Respectively, for the Russophile voters, two preferred parties existed until recently – the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), led by Igor Dodon, and the Shor Party, led by a personage that gave the party his own name.

It is curios, but it turned out that the integrity (image of morality) of the leaders of the mentioned parties does not matter at all for the Russophile voters. What matters for them is only the pleading in favor of the Russian World and the imperial plans of Vladimir Putin. The confirmation of this weird fact resides in the fact that the leader of the PSRM is prosecuted on a number of counts, while the leader of the Shor Party is an ordinary swindler, who was sentenced to 15 years in jail for the theft of US$1 billion from the banking system. Nevertheless, the two parties are supported by over 1/3 of the voters in the Republic of Moldova. But it was so until recently...

Everything has its time...

The recent Bashkan election held in Gagauzia can cardinally change the balance of forces on the  Russophile segment of the political sector. The post of governor of Gagauzia was won, with serious violations of the electoral legislation, by the Shor Party’s candidate. The point is Gagauzia was the last electoral fiefdom of the PSRM, which was now lost to the Shor Party. Even if many candidates affirmed that the voters were corrupted, while the election was influenced from outside the country, none of these dared to challenge the election outcome, even the candidate supported by the PSRM.

In such circumstances, a question appears, why does the candidate of a party led by a convicted swindler beat the candidate of a party led by a potential convict? The answer is that the voters in Gagauzia bank more on Shor’s money than on Dodon’s ideology. Indeed, the leader of the Shor Party promised to invest $500 million in Gagauzia, evidently without specifying the sources of its potential investments. Respectively, most of the Gagauz voters embraced the Shor formula, which became famous years ago: Steal, but give to us too! Concurrently, the leader of the PSRM is prosecuted for the illegal financing of his party and therefore didn’t dare to enter the competition for the corruption of Gagauz voters, alongside the Shor Party. In response to Shor’s promise to invest $500 million, Dodon promised to bring Vladimir Putin in Gagauzia: "If I’m one day elected President (e.n. – of the Republic of Moldova), I will bring Putin. Putin hasn’t visited Gagauzia yet, but I think we will bring him here as we also had brought Erdogan."

From the aforementioned, we must deduce that no matter what is said, the Gagauz voters are pragmatic. Between the promises to invest $500 million and to bring Putin to Gagauzia, they chose the money. No one knows if the promised money ever reaches Gagauzia, but it is known with certitude that an international arrest warrant was issued against Putin for war crimes. There is one more factor that is disadvantageous for Igor Dodon. He is considered a hypocritical lair by politicians and opinion leaders in Gagauzia:

  • Dmitrii Constantinov, speaker of the People’s Assembly – “Dodon cheated us for many times. When he held absolute power in Moldova, he promised to everyone that Moldova’s future is a federation and then forgot about this. He told our Gagauz people before the elections that we will study the history of Moldova and even held a book in his hands, but as everyone knows, all these promises were forgotten. He also made promises about the Moldovan language, but nothing was done”;
  • Georgii Leichu, deputy speaker of the People’s Assembly – the Socialist leader Igor Dodon hasn’t supported Gagauzia the last few years, while his last statements can be described as “cheap hypocrisy”;
  • Leonid Dobrov, civic activist for the national renaissance of Gagauzia – “Another liar, Igor Dodon, was driven away from Gagauzia, as Voronin was. Dodon has been present in politics in Gagauzia for ten years. All his promises turned out to be empty;
  • Ivan Burgudji, chairman of the Gagauz Halki Movement – “Before the parliamentary elections, I was told that Igor Dodon is a cheater, but I didn’t believe. I thought that if a person promises, he should fulfill this promise. I was lied to as to a child when I was told that there will be by a representative of Gagauzia on each fifth position (on the list of the PSRM)”, etc.  

So, in public opinion in Gagauzia, the leader of the PSRM Igor Dodon is considered a liar and hypocritical. Evidently, his promises do not have any weight. The Putinist conservatism promoted by Igor Dodon and the PSRM through the Russian World doctrine, which was imbedded in the Republic of Moldova with the support of its ideologist – the founder of the Russian imperial movement – also doesn’t value much. The branch of the imperial movement includes heavyweights of the PSRM and also included the Bashkan of Gagauzia Irina Vlah for a period. But everything changed according to the wisdom of the sayingeverything has its time.    

Gubernatorial elections in Gagauzia – last nail in political coffin of PSRM...

Over the past three years, the PSRM has lost all the positions it held in politics in the Republic of Moldova:

  • lost the presidential elections of November 2020;
  • was beaten clearly in the parliamentary elections of 2021;
  • was abandoned by the mayor general of the municipality of Chisinau, Ion Ceban, who was elected to the post on behalf of the PSRM in November 2019. The cause of the split emerged when Ion Ceban founded his own party – the National Alternativa Movement (MAN), which embraces the European social-democratic doctrine that is ostentatiously counterpoised to the Putinist conservatism that is based on the Russian world ideology that is embraced by the PSRM. Moreover, the PSRM recently dared to carry in public the portrait of Joseph Stalin, who is used as an ultima ratio;
  • was defeated in the recent Bashkan election in Gagauzia by the Shor Party, which earlier converted a number of Socialist MPs and continues doing this successfully, and also tens of mayors etc.  

So, the policy pursued by the PSRM and its administration the past three years has been disastrous. The most curious thing is that on the Russophile segment of the political sector, an ordinary swindler manages to substitute a hypocritical liar, confirming the proverbial truth, habit cures habit.

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