Socialists oscillating between three models. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“The changes in the senior administration of the party and the modification of programmatic provisions concerning very sensitive political issues are most probably aimed at persuading the mayor of the municipality of Chisinau Ion Ceban not to fully detach himself from the PSRM…”

Not only viruses are affected by mutation

Starting with 2020, we have witnessed a period of uninterrupted mutations at different levels. The COVID-19 virus suffered tens of mutations and some of the new variants became dominant, causing waves of new cases. But not only the given virus is affected by mutation, but also the political class in the Republic of Moldova. This way, about five political parties remained without leasers for long periods of time, including the ruling party – the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS). This way we see that there are also inhibitory mutations. 

Among the political parties, the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) experienced the largest number of mutations. During about a year, the PSRM modified its ideological preferences for several times, changing democratic socialism for social conservatism, while recently, in the new edition of its political program, the PSRM informed its supporters that it intends to build Moldovan socialism that would be inspired by the Scandinavian model or by the Chinese model, even if the difference between the two versions is huge. Under the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (PRC):

  • The PRC is a Socialist state under the dictatorship of the people’s democracy led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants;
  • The administration of the Chinese Communist Party is the main feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics;
  • The undermining of the Socialist system by any organization or private individual is banned.

From historical viewpoint, the model of Chinese socialism is probably suitable for some Asian states, but not for all them, where, according to Karl Marx’s work “Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations” (1858), there existed the model of Asian production in which state ownership over land prevails, while the power belongs to the despot that rules relying on strictly hierarchized bureaucracy.

The model of Scandinavian socialism (Denmark, Norway, Sweden) excludes any dictatorship and despotism of a political party, laying emphasis on: the rule of law; representative democratic governance; political pluralism; civil rights and social status principles. In such circumstances, it is not clear how the PSRM, invoking the Moldovan tradition, got lost between the European democratic model, Putin’s Conservatism and Asian despotism? What is definitive yet is that this oscillation has a serious impact on the party that during the last two years lost the main electoral competitions: presidential elections, parliamentary elections and mayoral elections in the municipality of Bălți. Moreover, the mayor of the municipality of Chisinau Ion Ceban, who was elected to the post while running on behalf of the PSRM, recently preferred to detach himself from the party, announcing the launch of his own political project.

In the context of the aforementioned, we should refer a little to the mutations in the administration of the PSRM after the party’s congress of December 18, 2021. The effects of the congress were seen recently, in the meeting of the party’s National Council of January 29, 2022 – the senior administration of the party no longer includes the co-villagers from Sadova Igor Dodon and Corneliu Furculiță. This holds interest given the PSRM’s inclination to copy foreign model. From this viewpoint, it is curious that until recently the PSRM actually followed the model of party administration of the Democratic Party of (PDM), which was managed by the co-villagers from Grozești Vlad Plahotniuc and Constantin Botnari. The recent mutations caused by the National Council and the mayor of the municipality of Chisinau were probably aimed at getting rid of the defective inheritance.

Programmatic changes and their effects

A series of programmatic changes that occurred after the recent congress of the PSRM inspire moderate optimism. Even if the PSRM insists on a balanced foreign policy, emphases were changed substantially. This way, the relations with the close neighbors – Ukraine and Romania – became priorities. Anyway, after getting rid of the domination of Igor Dodon, the PSRM will have to work a lot to erase the shameful page from the party’s history related to the support given by the party’s ex-president, Igor Dodon, to the annexation of Crimea by Russia, inviting the latter to contribute to the re-conquering of the Moldovan historical territories. It went to the unhidden pleading in favor of the Novorossiya Project with all the consequences for the independence of the Republic of Moldova.

It is important that the new edition of the PSRM’s program puts the multilateral cooperation with the European Union and its member states and with the United States of America higher on the list of priorities than the improvement of the strategic relations with the Russian Federation. The PSRM’s foreign policy preferences do not exclude the Republic of Moldova’s entry in the Customs Union or the Eurasian Economics Union (EEU).We can presume that this is the effect of the PSRM’s appropriate reaction to the phenomena that have been witnessed the past two years in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, where the consequences of the authoritarian, oligarchic and kleptocratic governments manifested themselves.

As important is the modification of the PSRM’s attitude to the Transnistrian settlement. The new edition of the political program excluded the clause concerning the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict based on the so-called Primakov memorandum signed in May 1997, which envisioned the constitution of a common state with Transnistria, which is including based on federalist or confederate bases. This is a big progress. However, the naivety of the new senior administration of the PSRM is not less dangerous than the intentions of the previous administration. This way, under the new political program: the common values shared by the largest part of the population from both sides of the Nistru River should represent the basis for solving the Transnistrian dispute: the Moldovan identity, mutual respect, a joint linguistic and cultural code and those values and goals that aim to ensure the wellbeing of the whole society. The experience of the last few years showed that the joint values actually do not have any value. In the Ukrainian Donbas, there were all the values to which the PSRM makes reference, but the Russian citizens who staged the rebellion share entirely different views. For them, Russia without  Kiev is Moskovia (min 2.00) and this is what matters for them. Therefore, the independent Ukrainian state should be destroyed. This is only way of rebuilding the empire. 

Another serious change in the PSRM’s political program refers to the fight against corruption – the PSRM is convinced that corruption is a widely spread phenomenon that undermines good governance, destroys the rule of law, hampers economic growth and the attempts to eradicate poverty and distorts the  competitive business environment. Why is the modification of the PSRM’s view on corruption so important? Because, until the recent congress of the PSRM, there was a n extensive opinion that was insistently promoted by the main propagandist - that the fight against corruption is an invention of the Sorosists and the West, which was designed to contribute to the colonization of the post-Soviet space. It is now curios to see how the pro-imperialist propagandist of the PSRM will comply with the anti-corruption provisions from the new edition of the political program. There are also other things in the PSRM’s new program that deserve attention. It is important that, unlike the pro-European political parties that seem to have gone into hibernation, the PSRM at least tries to rebuild itself.


The changes seen after the recent congress of the PSRM in the party’s political program are anyway welcome. The ideological oscillations, even if they have persisted, are much lower in size than those from the period during which the party was led by the co-villagers from Sadova. The changes in the senior administration of the party and the modification of programmatic provisions concerning very sensitive political issues are most probably aimed at persuading the mayor of the municipality of Chisinau Ion Ceban not to fully detach himself from the PSRM. This argument is based on the fact, which was confirmed by opinion polls, that Ion Ceban is currently the only politician in the Republic of Moldova with an upward popular approval rating. In this connection, we can presume that the statements of the mayor of Chisinau concerning the launch of the own political project were made with the aim of influencing the clearing of the PSRM of dubious programmatic goals and toxic persons.

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