Exaggerated capacities of Maia Sandu... Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“It is an absolutely gross exaggeration to say that President Maia Sandu and the ruling party PAS have the capacity to efficiently plot against the opposition so as to split it. The sad part of the reality is that the current government is unable to appropriately solve the own problems and the problems of public interest, not to mention the capacity to influence the processes that involve the opposition and its custodians…


Maia Sandu’s blame for dismemberment of PSRM

The dismemberment of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), which is considered the main opposition force, has deepened. For about three years, the party has witnessed a constant decline and recently the phenomenon acquired the character of an avalanche, after a series of mayors and MPs who formed part of the PSRM separated themselves from this party. In such circumstances, the leaders of the party had to take attitude to the disintegration of their political organization, but the announced measures didn’t have any impact. On the contrary, the PSRM’s attempts to combat party switching have inverse effects.

It is noteworthy that the first notorious party switcher of the PSRM was the member of the previous legislative body Ștefan Gațcan, who in June 2020 decided to leave the parliamentary group of the Socialists, who were then in power, and to join one of the opposition groups. The leaders of the PSRM realized then that the gesture of MP Gațcan would have unsuspected repercussions and therefore took a series of intimidation measures against the expected switcher, which were hard to be imagined in the case of a respectable political party. The repression against Gațcan was accompanied by a furious activity aimed at persuading the legislative body to adopt, on June 11, 2020, the Statement of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova concerning the condemnation of party switching and political corruption. Moreover, the leaders of the PSRM announced their intention to amend the Constitution so as to make party switching impossible in general. “We consider the multiple acts of corruption and prostitution in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova seriously affected the image of the legislative body. The Republic of Moldova does not have any chance to survive and develop at a time when some of the MPs consider that they can put up for sale the citizen’s mandate”.

Amidst the start of the dismemberment of the PSRM, the party’s leader, Igor Dodon, decided to renounce the seat of MP, in November 2021, and later detached himself from the senior administration of the party, pleading in favor of the title of president of honor. However, given the avalanche of defections, Dodon resurfaced to express his own viewpoint on the given phenomenon: “The opposition parties should discuss, show character and create a common front and should not compete against each other and hit each other in the back, playing covertly the government’s games. I regret that some of the PSRM MPs became victims of scenarios that are also in favor of the PAS government. After destroying the forces of the right, Maia Sandu, the PAS and their foreign custodians want to cause the split of the left.” So, Igor Dodon, who deserted when he realized that the party entered the dismemberment phase, accuses President Maia Sandu and the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) of being the cause of defections from the PSRM.

Effect of the beam in the own eye...

In fact, Igor Dodon and Maia Sandu have been in a kind of political competition for almost a decade, which the first lost most of the times. Anyway, it is hard to imagine that Maia Sandu is somehow behind the avalanche of defections from the PSRM, which became a victim of party switching namely because it cardinally contributed to the spread of the given phenomenon. There is no doubt that party switching always existed in the Republic of Moldova, but Igor Dodon is the politician who for the first time practiced it in a culminant, decisive moment, when the party of which he formed part and that promoted him in politics – the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), was close to taking revenge for the loss of power in 2009, having the first chance to gain political power in 2010 – 2012. No other act of party switching in the history of the Republic of Moldova had the impact of Igor Dodon’s betrayal that was also absolutely perfidious.

What is more serious is that the current de facto leader of the PSRM, executive secretary of the PSRM, Vlad Bătrîncea, who harshly criticizes the party switchers, predicting their political death, is a party switcher himself. In 2003, when he was only 22, he joined the ruling party PCRM in a move to build a political career, but after eight years of membership in the PCRM, he decided to defect from the party to Igor Dodon’s political project. That’s why the executive secretary of the PSRM should not accuse his party switching mates of political corruption and prostitution even if these are party switchers indeed. That’s why, against the betrayals of the Socialist leaders, the criticism leveled at the recent Socialist defectors: Alexandr  Nesterovschi; Irina Lozovan; Gaik Vartanean; and at the ten Socialist mayors, generates ironical smiles and appropriate comments. In fact, the PSRM reaps exactly what it sowed! Or the party’s leaders believe that what is permissible for Jupiter is not permissible for cows...? But we yet see that the latter do not agree with such an approach.

Everyone judges others by himself...

We must admit that many of the pretensions of the recent Socialist defectors with regard to the administration of the PSRM are pertinent. Indeed, the PSRM is now in full decline, has discredited leaders who are unable to formulate a clear position on the dramatic events in the region and on the concrete action program for the immediate and more distant future of the Republic of Moldova. In such circumstances, the leaders of the PSRM prefer to criticize the PAS government, labeling it in different ways and accusing it of being a marionette of the foreign custodians.  

The irony of fate is that the leaders of the PSRM who venerate Vladimir Putin can be perfectly characterized through one of the preferred sayings of the Russian dictator: “Everyone judges others by himself”. It is impossible to imagine that the leaders of the PSRM have the courage to challenge any of Putin’s assertions. It is also impossible to imagine the existence in the Republic of Moldova of another political party than the PSRM that can better play the role of marionette of foreign custodians. The point is the PSRM, which in March 2014 had a popular approval rating of only 0.5%, for the first time managed to become a parliamentary party in November 2014, after Putin allowed this to use his image on electoral posters. This was the recompense for the open support for the annexation of Crimea and the destabilization of Donbas. Evidently, the PSRM at the moment cannot dare to condemn the Russian aggression against Ukraine, which it supported in 2014. Respectively, the PSRM does not have the courage to openly support the Russian aggression as long as it is not sure that Russia will win.

In fact, the status of marionette of the custodians from the Kremlin was regularly confirmed by the PSRM, especially immediately after the elections, when it was to project its activities. It happened so after the validation of the seats of MP in 2015, when the parliamentary group of the PSRM, in its full composition, was detached to Moscow to make plans alongside the speaker of the State Duma Sergey Naryshkin who is now Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation. Four years later, in April 2019, at the start of the new parliamentary mandate, the whole parliamentary group of the PSRM again travelled to Moscow to again make plans. This practice of meeting with the custodians was interrupted only after Igor Dodon revealed the source of financing of the party in which Russia, through the agency of Gazprom, invested by about US$1 million a month. In fact, the sources of financing of the PSRM have been known long and these sources were made known by the leader of the PCRM, Vladimir Voronin, who even insisted on the arrest of Igor Dodon.

Socialist party switching towards Shor proletarians...

The PSRM and its leaders probably fell from Moscow’s grace because they could not justify the spending of the colossal financial resources invested in the party. The point is that despite such generous financing, the PSRM lost the presidential elections of 2020 and also the parliamentary elections of 2021. Respectively, the financial support was redirected and most of the Socialist defectors justify their behavior by joining in an organized way the protests mounted by the Shor Party, which is full of money and can pay the protesters for shouting slogans and blocking streets. There is no doubt that the goal of the paid events is namely to destabilize the political situation in the country, especially because the Shor Party, as the PSRM, refuses to adopt an attitude on the Russian aggression against Ukraine and does not have a political program for the immediate future or a medium- and long-term program.

In such circumstances, it is absurd to discuss the capacity to discern of the Socialist defectors who join the Shor Party’s protests. Anyway, it is surprising that they are not bothered even by the fact that a large part of the Shor supporters are proletarians who behave like declassed persons. The surprise amplifies if we remember that the Socialist defectors declared to be faithful promoters of the enshrining of the role of the Orthodox Church in the Constitution. Respectively, they should have shared the doctrine of creation not the theory of evolution according to which humans are descended from monkeys. Nevertheless, the Socialist defectors are not ashamed to join a movement that similarly discredits the tradition and the created human beings. The truth is the new comrades of the Socialist defectors from the Shor movement behave exactly like some of the monkey species, publicly demonstrating the place through which metabolic waste leaves the body.

In fact, it is nothing unordinary here. The political projects of the leader of the PSRM, Igor Dodon, had been earlier financed by the same Ilan Shor whose wedding party Dodon had to attend. The Socialist defectors also have the right to benefit from Shor’s money. We should this wait conclude that the Socialist leaders know best if the party switching of their mates should be classed as political corruption or prostitution.


It is an absolutely gross exaggeration to say that President Maia Sandu and the ruling party PAS have the capacity to efficiently plot against the opposition so as to split it. The sad part of the reality is that the current government is unable to appropriately solve the own problems and the problems of public interest, not to mention the capacity to influence the processes that involve the opposition and its custodians.    

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