Năstase, Filip, Dodon... Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“Under the pressure of circumstances in the Republic of Moldova, European practices are established step by step – party leaders who achieve unsatisfactory results in general elections have to resign, offering the new leaders the chance to showcase their capabilities. In this connection, given the quality of the current government of the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), the necessity of resuscitating a powerful and competent opposition force is evident...”
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Unexpected consequences of parliamentary elections

Clear indicators of the modernization of the Republic of Moldova started to appear. Leaders of former parliamentary political parties began to resign after their parties obtained unsatisfactory results in the recent general elections. Andrei Năstase was the first to announce his withdrawal from the post of leader of the Party “Dignity and Truth Platform” (PPDA), alongside the whole administration of the party, immediately after the elections. Pavel Filip also quit recently as president of the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM), saying he intended to do it after the elections, but remained to solve a series of organizational problems for the proper functioning of the party.

Even if he claims to be a Eurasia-leaning politician, the leader of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), Igor Dodon, also acted in a European style, announcing his resignation as president of PSRM and his withdrawal from Parliament on October 18, 2021. It is noteworthy that exactly a year ago, Igor Dodon saw himself a priori in the position of future winner of the presidential elections, who, following his reelection to the supreme post, was to dissolve Parliament (min. 9.52) so as to ensure an absolute majority for PSRM in the legislative body. But we know what actually happened – the leader of PSRM lost the presidential elections, caused the resignation of the Chicu Government, which, for its part, caused the dissolution of Parliament, and finally lost the snap parliamentary elections of July 11, 2021. This is the type of strategist Igor Dodon showed to be. However, he can be praised for an incontestable achievement – the leader of PSRM confirmed by his example the utility of the wise saying: Never halloo till you are out of the wood!

Despite the somehow European gesture of Igor Dodon, we must admit that his Eurasian reflexes are yet very strong. It may seem that the announcement concerning his withdrawal perfectly matches the logic of the unsatisfactory election results, but it is not so. In fact, the leader of PSRM informed us that he leaves in order to come back and free Moldova and that his recent political path was a victorious one.      

Imaginary and real political path of Igor Dodon

Announcing his resignation, Igor Dodon also took stock of the results of his activity: “In two months, in December, it will be ten years since I took over the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova and in the period we, together with the team, achieved all the results and victories that are possible in Moldovan politics. During ten years, we gradually obtained impressive political results”. In fact, the victorious path was marred by many reprovable deeds, such as:

  • betrayal of his own oath, of his mentor Vladimir Voronin and of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), which brought him to politics back in 2005;
  • Ideological lability for becoming a parvenu. In this regard, he changed three doctrines and political ideologies during the past ten years – communist, socialist and conservative. He insistently asked the leader of PCRM Vladimir Voronin to be sworn in as a member of PCRM right on the birthday of the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Ilych Lenin – April 22. In this respect, he cared a lot about the symbolical factor, showing his willingness to be handed over the communist card near the monument of the theoretician of the militant materialism. In only a year and a half, he left PCRM to become the president of PSRM, embracing the ideology of democratic socialism. In December 2020, at the congress of PSRM, Igor Dodon imposed the giving up of the ideology of democratic socialism in favor of social conservatism. He did so in order to align himself ideologically with President Vladimir Putin’s party United Russia. Even if he not long ago declared himself a promoter of Christianity, Igor Dodon didn’t give up the pagan practices, formulating his political and electoral strategies based on foretelling results;
  • Fundamental contribution to state capture made by some of the leaders of the Alliance for European Integration (AEI), who panned and implemented – the Laundromat, the billion theft, the concession of the Chisinau International Airport, etc. On the day he left PCRM, November 4, 2011, Igor Dodon said that he was ready to save the AEI government from the eventual electoral revenge of PCRM: “We have an alternative solution. This can be the only and last valid solution for overcoming the political crisis. Our solution is to offer three votes for a nonparty President". The given proposal was implemented on March 16, 2012, after Igor Dodon tested the nonparty candidate of the AEI for President, attributing the name of tester to himself. Consequently, as a result of the PSRM‘s vote of March 16, 2012, alongside the AEI, Vladimir Plahotniuc managed to keep the Republic of Moldova hostage until June 14, i2019; 
  • Separation and disorientation of the united voters of PCRM. For the purpose, Igor Dodon became the only Moldovan politician who publicly supported the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, formulating on March 19, 2014 irredentist pretentions towards Ukraine: “In the new created conjuncture, I think we should also recover our lost historical territories […] I think it is very clear what I meant. Those are our territories. If someone didn’t see what I meant, they should come to our party and we will teach them courses for them to understand”. In response, President Vladimir Putin had a picture alongside Igor Dodon, allowing the latter to use the photo on electoral boards in the parliamentary elections of November 2014. It is curious that the picture enabled PSRM  to attract over 20% of the PCRM’s voters, this being the secret of the rise in the PSRM’s rating from 0.5% in March 2014 to 20% in November;
  • Simulation of protests for obtaining oligarchic support for acceding to the post of President. Two of the leaders of the protests mounted in the autumn of 2015 publicly confirmed that the leader of PSRM was a kind of Trojan horse among the protesters, being controlled and financed from behind. This thing was announced by the leader of Our Party, Renato Usatîi, and was confirmed by the initiator of the protests – Andrei Năstase. Later, at the request of Plahotniuc, the Constitutional Court reviewed its own case law so as to make the direct election of the President possible. As a result, Igor Dodon was elected President, this being the reward for his contribution to keeping the oligarchic regime afloat, etc.

Of the aforementioned, we can see that the electoral victories of PSRM were caused by factors that are very far from the real virtues of the party and his leader. In fact, the given conclusion belongs to Vladimir Voronin – the current ally of PSRM. It was presented in the sixteenth plenary meeting of PCRM of September 2020, when Igor Dodon was described as a renegade who assumed the role of “the hand of Moscow”, but who was unable to deliver on any electoral promise during the presidential mandate, in 2016-2020. This is the reason why PCRM refuses to merge with PSRM.

Conclusions

Under the pressure of circumstances in the Republic of Moldova, European practices are established step by step – party leaders who achieve unsatisfactory results in general elections have to resign, offering the new leaders the chance to showcase their capabilities. In this connection, given the quality of the current government of the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), the necessity of resuscitating a powerful and competent opposition force is evident.

Igor Dodon’s decision to quit as leader of PSRM is undoubtedly a positive event for the party. It now maters who of the party’s elite will assume the role of real leader of the party for breaking the impasse that it reached. For now, mayor general of Chisinau municipality Ion Ceban seems to be the most suitable candidate for restoring the upward trend of PSRM. 

Igor Dodon’s warning that he will come back to the political forefront to take revenge should be treated through the angle of the pagan values that he embraces, of which we convinced ourselves in the case of the foretelling incident in Etulia. Definitely, Igor Dodon knows that any comeback is a bad omen. Therefore, to return successfully, he should show his tongue to himself in the mirror as often as possible.  

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