Preparations for snap elections. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“Measures of cooperation between the pro-European parties are needed so as not to allow the PSRM to use the administrative resources in the eventual snap parliamentary elections, by resorting to the dismissal of the district heads who supported Igor Dodon in the recent presidential elections...

Between hammer and sickle

The representatives of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) accept with difficulty the defeat suffered by their leader in the presidential elections. They encourage each other, persuading each other that they lost a battle, not yet the political war that they started themselves. In such circumstances, the tireless propagandists have to abandon the deserved vacation after zealously washing the brains of the citizens in the election campaign, becoming engaged in a new propagandistic campaign so as to persuade the voters that they made the incorrect choice in favor of Igor Dodon’s opponent.

The problem of Igor Dodon is that he cannot remain long without a public post or he can be forgotten by the own voters. This way, in about half a year, the people would simply not remember him and his recent four-year presidential mandate. Or, on the contrary, the Russian-speaking voters educated on the famous stories of Alexandr Pushkin could remember the deserved punishment received by emperor Dadon because he didn’t deliver on his promises. That’s why, towards there end of his mandate, Igor Dodon and the PSRM started to devise bills that premeditatedly deepen the cleavages in society for the sake of maintaining control over a part of the electors who voted for them.

It goes to the bills on the: status of the Russian language on the territory of the Republic of Moldova; functioning of languages spoken on the territory of the Republic of Moldova; modification of the Code of Media Services (permission to broadcast propagandistic programs produced in Russia); modification to the opposite of the June 2019 form of the law on the Security and Intelligence Service. The given bills were drafted during a week and are to be debated swiftly in Parliament and promulgated by Igor Dodon until the expiry of his term in office, i.e. by December 23. It should be noted that the Socialist lawmakers ignored the sensitiveness of the linguistic laws that 30 years ago were used as a pretext for dividing society and causing separatist conflicts and also omitted the necessity of providing economic-financial substantiation for the implementation of the promoted laws, invoking only bizarre formulas concerning financial costs at organizational level stipulated in the budget

In fact, the given bills are aimed at equipping Igor Dodon with program theses for the eventual snap parliamentary elections that can be held in 2021, helping him to return to an important public post. These are the rehabilitation plans of Igor Dodon following the lost battle and the preconditions for winning the political war that he triggered. But the big problem is that the given laws can be adopted by the Socialist parliamentary group with the support of the parliamentary group “For Moldova” that is controlled by fugitive oligarchs Ilan Shor and Vlad Plahotniuc. This way, Igor Dodon cannot avoid staying between the hammer and sickle. On the one hand, he wants to have the mentioned laws adopted so as to appear as the defender of the rights of Russian speaking citizens. On the other hand, it is not suitable for him for the promotion of the given bills to be associated with the support of the oligarchic tools. In fact, it is not for the first time that Igor Dodon finds himself between the hammer and sickle. It happened also in June 2019, when he had to choose between the pressure exerted by the strategic oligarchs from the Kremlin and the coordinator of the power from Chisinau. The choice was in favor of the partner who is considered more powerful, but the coordinator’s blow had serious consequences. It is an experience from which Igor Dodon should learn.

Response countermeasures

Moldova’s President-elect Maia Sandu declared her intention to protect the people’s vote in favor of her presidential mandate, asking the Constitutional Court to determine the compliance of the bills initiated by the PSRM with the supreme law. She also invited the citizens to take part in protests against the PSRM’s intentions to usurp the power. The given measures represent the immediate reaction against the troublesome proposals of the PSRM.

On the other hand, essential preparations for the snap parliamentary elections are needed so as to strip the PSRM of the administrative resources from which it benefited in the recent presidential elections. It should be noted the recent meeting of the President-elect and the leader of the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) Pavel Filip, who stated that he cleared the party of the subversive elements affiliated with oligarch Plahotniuc, who now form part of the parliamentary group “For Moldova”, alongside the Shor Party and the PSRM. What matters is the common intention of the two to contribute to the building of a modern and European state... acceleration of the country’s European course”. The fact that the PSRM misused the administrative resources in the recent elections was proved by the involvement in the presidential campaign, on the side of Igor Dodon, of 22 district heads who were elected a year ago with the support of the district councilors of the PDM. Given the way in which Prime Minister Ion Chicu recently treated the PDM’s ministers, demanding that they should resign, an appropriate response reaction from the PDM would be welcome – dismissing the district heads where the PDM and the ACUM Bloc, alongside the councilors of other pro-European parties, have majorities. If such a step is taken, the PSRM would lose control over ¾ of the districts. It is yet important to avoid making this seem like revenge as this is actually a measure not to allow the district heads to become involved in political games.   


The political situation in the Republic of Moldova risks being destabilized in the immediate period by the PSRM’s proposals aimed at ensuring Igor Dodon’s visibility and political program theses for eventual snap parliamentary elections. The bad side is that Igor Dodon remains anyway between the hammer and sickle – the bills that are proposed and could be implemented with the support of the MPs affiliated to Shor and Plahotniuc.

The response measures taken by President-elect Maia Sandu and her supporters are based on the legitimacy of the vote given by the people in the recent presidential elections and on the involvement of the Constitutional Court.

Measures of cooperation between the pro-European parties are needed so as not to allow the PSRM to use the administrative resources in the eventual snap parliamentary elections, by resorting to the dismissal of the district heads who supported Igor Dodon in the recent presidential elections.

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