What is good and what is bad... Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“The snap mayoral elections of November 21, 2021 highlighted that it is very bad when the opposition is weak and inefficient owing to its discredited leaders. In such cases, the impertinent evil can win against the shy evil, as it happened in Bălți. We will yet see how swiftly the Foundation for Bălți will be registered for repeating the successes of the Foundation for Orhei.”
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Evil beat good?

The local elections are primarily administrative elections, the political factor having a lower weight in them. However, the ruling parties have the big advantage of attracting local leaders on their side, whom they register candidates for mayor representation them. The snap mayoral elections of November 21, 2021, which were held in 15 localities, weren’t an exception. The elections showed the ruling party, the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), maintains a particular level of popularity, probably out of inertia, and it managed to field candidates in all the localities. On the other hand, the main opposition force, the Bloc of Communists and Socialists (BCS), put forward candidates in only eight of the 15 constituencies. This is probably the impact of the public scandals involving the BCS leaders.

The biggest surprise at the November 21 elections was not the overwhelming victory of the candidate of the Șor Party (PȘ) Marina Tauber in the municipality of Bălți (~48%), but rather the crushing defeat of the common candidate of BCS Alexandr Nestereovschi (~14%). The truth is the municipality of Bălți is the fief of the political forces of the left, the Eurasian ones. That’s why the defeat of the candidate of the Communist-Socialist bloc is an additional signal showing that after the public scandals involving one of the BCS leader, Igor Dodon, the party and its allies can no longer overcome the handicap. Moreover, the irony of fate made so that the PAS representative gained by two votes more than the BCS candidate. This is at least curious as PAS beat BCS in Bălți! After the double defeat in Bălți, Igor Dodon and his party behave taciturnly even if in the election campaign they were very voluble, showing to be confident about victory.  

In fact, the defeat of the Communist-Socialist candidate was predictable. Recently, public opinion witnessed several stages of ranks breaking inside the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM). During the last half a year, this happened in the districts of Soroca and Ialoveni, while during the campaign prior to the current elections also in Bălți, where  PSRM was abandoned by a group of influential members who showed their dissatisfaction with the work done by the party’s leaders. However, against such worrisome events, the party’s leader showed himself confident about winning and ready to free Moldova.

The results of the elections in Bălți point to the fact that the residents of this town preferred to vote massively for a candidate who is close to the main executor of the billion theft Ilan Șor, to the detriment of the candidate proposed by Igor Dodon, who appeared to be begging by $700,000-800,000 from Vlad Plahotniuc a month for financing PSRM or who designated Cornel as messenger for transmitting the money. In this connection, the channel PUBLIKA TV showed Marina Tauber as saying: “Evil beat good”. In fact, it would be correct to say that an extremely impertinent evil beat the relatively shy evil.  

PAS vs. BCS competition at snap mayoral elections

BCS broadly exploits the difficulties faced by the PAS government owing to the energy, pandemic, inflationist and other crises. And does well as PAS made enough mistakes in its triumphal march. What bothers in the criticism leveled at PAS is the untruth propagated by the BCS leaders. For example, the leader of PSRM Igor Dodon said that: “It is for the first time in the Republic of Moldova that the rating of a party that takes over government falls in polls after the first 100 days”.

The truth is the first party whose rating fell not only in polls, but also in elections during fewer than 100 days was the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) on whose ticket Igor Dodon entered Parliament. This way, the Government of Prime Minister Zinaida Grechanyi, which was invested on June 10, 2009 by PCRM after gaining 49.5% of the vote, lost the snap parliamentary elections of July 29, 2009, polling only 44.7% of the ballot. And that defeat had a major impact on the political developments in the Republic of Moldova. So, it is very important to follow the eventual records for the Guinness book!

In this connection, it should be noted that the Grechanyi-Dodon Government lied to the citizens not only once, including by the government program, asserting (see page 5) that: “the country’s integration into the Euboea Union represents the irreversible and natural priority of the domestic and foreign policy of the Government of the Republic of Moldova. The major goal of the Government is to continue to transpose the principles of the Community acquis that can be found in multiple normative documents of our state”. For the citizens, it is unpleasant to realize that those who proclaimed the European integration an irreversible and natural priority turned out to be just political weathercocks.

Returning to the recent snap mayoral elections, of November 21, it is interesting to compare the results obtained by the ruling party PAS and the main opposition force BCS that, as it was mentioned, maximally exploits the difficulties experienced by the government owing to the aforementioned crises, primarily the imported inflation that has a major impact on the perception and behavior of the citizens. The table below shows that PAS managed to win the elections in five of the 15 constituencies and will compete in the runoff vote in another four constituencies. BCS won only in one constituency and will have candidates in the runoff in two constituencies.

Constituency

Post vacated by

Post won by

Runoff

PAS vs. BCS

Bălți municipality

PN

-

48% PȘ – IC 21%

PAS 14% – 14% BCS

Bălceana

Hîncești dist.

ACUM

-

47% PAS – PPDA 27%

-

Camenca

Glodeni dist.

ACUM

PAS – 70%

-

-

Călinești

Fălești dist.

PDM

IC – 52%

-

-

Cneazevca

Leova dist.

PN

-

45% PAS – BCS 38%

-

Cupcini

Edineț dist.

PSRM

-

36% IC – BCS 27%

PAS 12% – 27% BCS

 

Hîrtop

Cimișlia dist.

PDM

-

38% IC – PAS 37%

-

Opaci

Căușeni dist.

ACUM

-

43% IC – PAS 39%

-

Hlinaia

Edineț dist.

PLDM

PAS – 55%

-

PAS 55% - 42% BCS

Ișcălău

Fălești dist.

PȘ – 69 %

-

PAS 29% – 2% BCS 

Negurenii Vechi

Ungheni dist.

PSRM

PDM – 53%

-

PAS 7% - 36% BCS

Palanca

Ștefan-Vodă

ACUM

PAS – 54%

  •  

PAS 54% 23% BCS

Pîrlița

Fălești dist.

ACUM

PAS – 78%

  •  
  •  

Ștefănești

Florești dist.

ACUM

BCS – 60%

-

PAS 40% – 60% BECS

Ucrainca

Căușeni dist.

PLDM

PAS – 81%

-

PAS 81% – 19% BCS

 

Conclusions about what is good and what is bad...

The snap mayoral elections of November 21, 2021 highlighted that it is very bad when the opposition is weak and inefficient owing to its discredited leaders. In such cases, the impertinent evil can win against the shy evil, as it happened in Bălți. We will yet see how swiftly the Foundation for Bălți will be registered for repeating the successes of the Foundation for Orhei.

It is very bad when an opposition party that says it is revolutionary and is ready for struggle reelects as leader its 80-year-old founder who no longer makes a difference between the political currents and who, when his rating was at its height, conceded the power that he held without any struggle.

It would be very good if PSRM, at its congress of December 18, 2021, elects a new leader who can reinvigorate the opposition. According to the most recent opinion polls, the mayor of Chisinau municipality Ion Ceban is the most suitable candidate for this post. The absence of a powerful and well-organized opposition is an unchallengeable handicap for the normal development of society.  

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