Igor Boțan: Antigovernment protests are aimed at undermining Moldova’s international prestige

The antigovernment protests mounted by the Shor Party are aimed at undermining the international prestige of Moldova that is following the path of European integration. The protesters demand that the country should associate itself with those who can open up the market and can offer us better gas prices but that use these as blackmail weapons. Things are approaching a deadlock and this protest cannot develop, Igor Boțan, the standing expert of IPN’s project, stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency.

Igor Boțan noted that each protest, no matter who initiates it, is an invitation to the other citizens to join in, to offer support and contribute to achieving the goal declared or hidden by those who initiated the protest. It is also an invitation to the authorities to respond to the messages that come from protesters.

According to the expert, when society is invited to support the protest, it should answer this way: “You have the right to protest but your leaders are people with a very dubious reputation. Your fugitive leader should come and appear before judges for the alleged offenses he committed. His goal is to use you, those with a precarious financial situation, by corrupting you, giving you money and this way he discredits a legitimate method of exerting pressure. For their part, the authorities can say: “You, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, became involved in a protest staged by a party that does not have a political doctrine and a political program. The only thing it promised to you is to create kolkhozes in the Republic of Moldova. Do you trust that such a party pursues noble goals in this country?!”. This message is also intended for the other citizens who should decide whether to join in the protest or to consider the government’s viewpoint.

“Not long ago, the supporters and the leaders of these protests started to disrupt public order, to block the main arteries in the city and such acts destabilize the situation and cause inconveniences to the citizens. In accordance with the law on assembly, the police need to intervene and it should be determined here if the intervention is proportional and appropriate,” stated the expert.

Igor Boțan noted that these protests and the people who support them are beneficiaries of a commercial scheme and this is banned in the case of a party. “The parties work our programs, develop ides, share them with the citizens and this way secure support. The parties are vehicles that bring people from civil society to the political society. In our society, there are problems, circumstances, objectives and many things do not depend on the current government but the government also has a lot of sins and policies and discussions are therefore necessary.”

The standing expert of the project also said that Moldovan society is divided and people who take part in such protests appear as a result. There are poor people who accept to come to the protest for a sum of money. Even if this thing is known, the protest cannot be banned. But there are people in society for whom gaining money is more important than the moral aspect and this is more serious. “There is a subculture representing 15%, which challenges our traditions, the generally accepted culture. We have social segments with their representatives, which should be analyzed well so that we realize what system of coordinates we match as a society,” stated the expert.

Igor Boțan noted that the authorities had a clear reaction to the created situation. They said that this protest is illegal and to a great extent it is illegal indeed. But the protesters will not achieve their goal as the objectives are formulated by an obscure force that buys them. The day of financial reporting will yet come and they will need to explain where this money comes from. The protest is close to an end. If a protest reaches a deadlock and the organizers resort to violence, the law enforcement bodies should identify solutions.

The public debate entitled “Antigovernment protests: motives, demands, players, actions and effects” is the 264th series of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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