The invalidation of the mayoral election outcome by the court is a real ‘political shock’ for those who voted for Andrei Nastase. Consequently, neither the extraparliamentary opposition nor the Socialists control the Chisinau City Hall and the previous situation that favors the Democrats continues, IPN quoted expert in political sciences Dionis Cenusa as saying.
In a posting on Facebook, the politologist said attention will be now devoted to judge Rodica Berdilo, who adopted a really controversial decision in a country where the justice system is among the least trusted. The most recent Public Opinion Barometer (2018) shows that over 70% of the respondents slightly trust or do not trust at all Moldovan justice. This negative perception is of the whole system and has a long history to which multiple cases tried in a litigious way, such as those of April 6-7, 2009, the Domneasca Forest and the banking frauds, are added. Therefore, the court decisions will be suspected of political influence and cheating.
“The first reactions of the extraparliamentary opposition and representatives of civil society oppose the court decision and tie this to the political influences and calculations of the Democrats, together or without the Socialists. This only confirms the suspicions around the judicial system that destabilize public confidence in what the foreign partners what to see in Moldova – rule of law,” stated the politologist.
Dionis Cenusa also said the extraparliamentary opposition promises large-scale protests that will be interrupted by the vacations season. “But this counts less for the opposition, which considers it is its duty to react to this injustice caused by a dubious decision. Many candidates resort to campaigning on the election day in different ways, but is this a sufficient reason for invalidating the elections that involved 248,946 persons?” asked the politologist.
As to those who benefit from the created situation given that no new elections can be held in 2018, the expert noted that this enables Democrats’ allies in Parliament, Iurie Leanca’s European People’s group, to hold the post of mayor of Chisinau on an interim basis until the ordinary mayoral elections of 2019. The Democrats could have benefitted even if Nastase managed the Chisinau City Hall, even if they preferred Ceban. “But how the Democrats can benefit from this twist? First of all, the capital city will be again on neutral grounds and will not be connected to the political agenda of the PPPDA. This means that the polls commissioned by the Democrats do not show major success in their electoral extension. That’s why they have to minimize the risks that can come from the too big popularity of the extraparliamentary opposition,” noted Dionis Cenusa.
“Secondly, the invalidation of elections will create public pressure on the aforementioned judge and on Ion Ceban, who are actually the visible characters in this situation. The Democrats made a number of post-election statements, signaling they will support Nastase and were even ready to help him in his new post. Therefore, it will be harder to challenge the Democrats’ duplicity, even if it’s clear, than the guilt of the Socialists, who accused Nastase of electoral agitation and provoked thus the invalidation.
“Thirdly, the large-scale protests promised by Andrei Nastase are a new occasion for the Democrats to test the Moldovans’ capacity to mobilize and protest efficiency. The protests will take place in a not at all simple period and will have to overcome the obstacles, such as the summer period, when a part of the population is on vacation, while another part is involved in agricultural works. This way, on the one hand, the Democrats will be able to let off some steam so as to anticipate eventual large protests in the future. On the other hand, the protests will be aimed at the Socialists who are used by the Democrats as ‘internal enemies’ to strengthen the own rating. It will surely be difficult balancing for the Democrats, but these apparently take the risks as they understand that this year’s parliamentary elections are really important.”
The politologist concluded that now that the municipal mayoral elections were invalidated, the question is, won’t the results of the parliamentary elections become the victim of justice if they do not suit someone?