When hounds growls, puppies also bark... Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“In fact, it is not surprising as the PSRM always acts according to the saying – when hounds growls, puppies also bark.  It is wise the one who knows that the dogs probably see puppies’ servility and accept these as pets...”

The calm before the storm   

Speaking and writing about the current government in the Republic of Moldova is a real effort. In fact, there is nothing new to be said about it and the same well-known things can be repeated: it is weak and insipid; quasi-hermetic; refractory to ideas and influences from outside; inexperienced; one that survives due to the support from the development partners that are forced to take steps to prevent a worsening of the socioeconomic and political situation in the country. Surely, the circumstances are marked by the war in the region and by the multiple crises caused by this. Despite the mentioned flaws, the current government for now pretends to be non-corrupt and to be focusing on the rooting out of corruption and to be empathic to the neighboring Ukraine and its sorrows caused by the Russian aggression. And that’s all!

Yet, there can be said a lot about the opposition, primarily the parliamentary one. At least it has color – red, with particular nuances, and green, if we remember the flag of the former Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR). This generates nostalgia. Furthermore, the Moldovan opposition is interesting because it has very specific leaders. Some of these are under arrest for alleged acts of corruption. Others are fugitives for the same reason, etc. What the Moldovan opposition lacks is a system of coordination, points of reference for determining the future movement direction to the future. In fact, the opposition has this last attribute, but is ashamed to admit it as this is condemnable. The good news for society is that the opposition in the Republic of Moldova is yet systemic. A proof is the fact that the opposition went on vacation together with the government. In fact, the opposition does not have where to hurry. It is about three more months until the cold season of the year starts. The forecasts of IMAS confirm that the opposite’s rating has been improving and this could relatively easy take over power in the future, evidently after the eventual destabilization of the situation, caused by an uprising of the citizens who are angry with the rise in prices of goods and services. We have the classical situation – the calm before the storm.

The vacation or pause taken by the opposition is absolutely necessary for combining forces and solving the leadership problem. Someone needs to assume the quality of center of attraction for the whole front of the opposition. This is not a trivial problem. The point is one of the leaders of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) Igor Dodon has been under house arrest for over two months and there are preconditions for the arrest to be extended for as many times as necessary until his conviction. On the other hand, the leader of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), 80-years-old Vladimir Voronin, is unable, in principle, to resort to determined actions. He showed this when he served as minister of the interior of the MSSR in 1989 and he also confirmed this incapacity in 2009, when, holding office of President, out of fear he yielded power in favor of a heterogeneous opposition. Moreover, the old Communist Voronin from ordinary wedding party guest turned into a caddy of a corrupt young man called Ilan Shor, who makes the ex-President mount protests whenever he considers it opportune. It is hard to imagine such degradation, but it is yet seen.

Ilan Shor’s pretensions

In the aforementioned circumstances, it is normal for the role of the leadership of the united opposition to be assumed by Ilan Shor. He recently expressed such a pretention without any ambiguity. He believes that he can negotiate the cheapening of the gas supplied to the Republic of Moldova with the Russian authorities. There is no doubt that the electors would massively vote for Ilan Shor if this has the occasion to speculate that owing to his efforts, the Republic of Moldova could save about 1 billion dollars, which is in recompense for the billion stolen from the Moldovan banking system that according to the Prosecutor General’s Office, was stolen by Vlad Plahotniuc with the assistance of Ilan Shor. There is yet one problem. For now, we cannot know if Ilan Shor will go to Moscow to negotiate with President Putin, or if the latter, who needs to show to the whole world that he is not in international isolation, will go to Israel to meet with fugitive Shor.

So, the government of the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) should take into account the fact that an eventual meeting of the opposition leader of the Republic of Moldova, MP Ilan Shor with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin implies imminent risks that cannot be yet done away with. However, in the future, given that PAS undertook to adopt a new Electoral Code, it should reactivate and develop an idea of Vlad Plahotniuc – the necessity of attending physically the registration of candidates for eligible posts. It is absurd for a fugitive who has been hiding form justice for four years to be able to gain a seat of MP and to aspire to the status of opposition leader. PAS should just have the courage to admit the own mistakes and should appropriately treat opponents’ ideas even if this were earlier rejected. It should be noted that the banning of the registration of candidates for eligible posts in the absence of these was supported by the current opposition in 2017. PSRM cardinally contributed to the promotion of this idea when it voted, while ex-President Igor Dodon promulgated the bill instantaneously so as not to allow the opposition of that period to realize the situation. Shor Party has never opposed the ingenious initiative of Vlad Plahotniuc as he was the protégé of this. So, we will yet see if PAS has the instinct of self-preservation.

Spiral of Socialists’ evolution, all around the left up to Marxism?

No one should imagine that PSRM is ready to easily lose ground to Ilan Shor. If the latter undertook to exploit the Republic of Moldova’s dependence on Russian gas, PSRM seems to be ready to subscribe to the Chinese ideology with much more promising eventual benefits. In this regard, it should be noted that in the recent meeting of the leaders of PSRM with the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), one of the secretaries of PSRM, Vlad Bartîncea, was invited “to deliver a speech at the CPC and World Marxist Political Parties Forum”. Out of respect for the great Chinese civilization, there should be someone who should remind the Ambassador of the PRC that PSRM has never been a Marxist party. Betting on PSRM is unproductive. However, the Chinese’s disappointment with PCRM, which claims to yet be a Marxist party, can be understood. Namely for these reasons, last year the leader of PCRM Vladimir Voronin was invited to deliver a speech on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC).  But after it recently turned out that Voronin became the caddy of a corrupt young man, this honor cannot longer be given to him.   

Returning to PSRM, it should be noted that during its existence the party has shown to be lacking principles as it embraced a series of ideologies: democratic socialism, which is all kinds of anti-Marxist revisionisms; conservatism – full abandonment of the ideas of the left; but now PSRM proclaims itself a national Social-Patriotic party. The natural question is: where are the Marxist ideas here – establishment of dictatorship of the proletariat; non-admission of continuous pauperization of the proletariat; proletarian internationalism; word revolution; fighting of religion as the opium for the people, etc. The question, what is actually the difference between the national patriotic socialism of PSRM and national-socialism, is of great public interest. The internationalism of PSRM is out of the question as its leaders are engaged in the Russian imperial network and tacitly support the aggression against Ukraine. For now, it is definite that PSRM became a Moldovan nationalist party as it publicly manifested its anti-Romanianism. Moreover, the Chinese counterparts should take into account the fact that in order to strengthen the Moldovan-Chinese bilateral relations, the methods applied in China towards the corrupt persons should be at least welcomed as methods of prophylaxis in the Republic of Moldova too. In this regard, we will remind that over 10,000 persons were executed in China over the past ten year for acts of corruption, while 120,000 were sentenced to long jail terms, which is about 0.01% of the population. If, for example, Igor Dodon, Ilan Shor and Marina Tauber are convicted, the percentage in the Republic of Moldova would be of only 0.001%, which is about ten times less. So, there is a lot of space for really fruitful Moldovan-Chinese cooperation. Given the aforementioned, the inviting by the Chinese people to events held under the Marxist flag of representatives of PSRM, which is a party that lacks principles and has a leader who is investigated for acts of corruption, is somehow unsuitable. But we will see how events develop further.  


In the last part of summer, the politicians in the Republic of Moldova, those from the government and those from the opposition, prefer to cool down so as to become involved in confrontations up to incandescence when the cold season comes. It is hard to forecast how things will go when the government remains hostage to the circumstances, while the opposition has corrupt, compromised and fearful leaders who are unable to generate any plan or alternative project different form the one concerning submission to imperial and aggressive Russia.

However, we must admit that PSRM tries to formulate an alternative idea as it wants to become involved in an eventual Chinese project. For the purpose, PSRM should once again renounce its fluctuating principles so as to embrace Marxism. For now, the leaders of PSRM fawn on the Chinese counterparts, pleading the principle “The One China”, as if someone pleads against the given principle. The U.S. also supports this principle, on condition of peaceful unification. This is how PSRM pleads in the case of the Transnistrian conflict. Anyway, PSRM decided to publicly manifest its attitude to an international platform, condemning the dangerous games around Taiwan, which it describes as a new round of escalation and provocation against world security. Has anyone heard PSRM condemning Russia’s involvement in the Transnistrian conflict or Russia’s aggression against Ukraine? God protect! Something like this is impossible. It should also be noted that when it adopted a position on Taiwan, PSRM avoided saying who is to blame for the escalation and provocation. This is how courage and principality are manifested. In fact, it is not surprising as the PSRM always acts according to the saying – when hounds growls, puppies also bark.  It is wise the one who knows that the dogs probably see puppies’ servility and accept these as pets.

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