All the electoral contenders competing in the presidential elections of November 1 say that they want to be elected President. Besides the made promises, the candidates resort to all kinds of practices so as to appear more convincing before the voters and these put the stamp “Voted” against their names on the ballot. IPN News Agency contacted a number of experts and asked them to analyze the behavior of the eight aspirants for the office of President, in the order in which they were registered, and the actions to which they resort to build a favorable image: No. 2 Andrei Năstase, candidate of the Political Party “Dignity and Truth Platform” (PPPDA).
Political commentator Ion Tăbârță said we got used to the fact that Andrei Năstase is an active politician who permanently is at the forefront of the political life. His more volcanic character has an impact on his political activity. “He always states, and quite reasonably, that his political project is the emanation of street protests. He started his political activity by struggling against the regime of Plahotniuc. And he continues to promote the same ideas. He continues to emanate dynamism,” stated the expert.
As regards the videos where celebrities state their support for this candidate, this is an action to widen his pool of voters. He thus tries to attract more celebrities from the Republic of Moldova, such as composer Eugen Doga. “He makes effort to restore the pool of voters that he lost as a result of particular events on the political arena. We should admit that at a certain moment, the voters of the right were divided between Maia Sandu and Andrei Năstase. And this division was proportional, but gradually, starting with 2016, most of the voters of the right, the pro-European ones, leaned toward Maia Sandu. As the ranks of Andrei Năstase’s supporters contracted, he is now trying to restore that pool that he had in 2015-2016. And he uses those strong points that he considers he has. Some of them are really strong,” explained the political commentator.
As to the “spears” against the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), these form part of the tactics aimed at attracting back the supporters he lost as a result of the cooperation between the PPPDA and PAS. Năstase considers that this way he will entice them back, but it will be clear in the elections if he succeeded. Andrei Năstase insists on the idea that the PPPDA was the one that proposed forming the ACUM Bloc and keeping the unity between the two components. There are two separate groups in Parliament because the PAS wanted so, not the PPPDA. Andrei Năstase suggests that this division of the pro-European voters of the right is due to the PAS and Maia Sandu, not to him.
“WatchDog.MD” expert Valeriu Pașa considers that compared with other campaigns, this year Andrei Năstase’s campaign is much better funded. The party can now cover much larger costs. Those banners, videos of a higher quality show that he has a group of consultants. “So, the costs are evidently much higher than in the previous campaigns. As to his stance, he tries to deviate slightly from his classical message of fighter for justice towards the conservative zone of the voters, including of the right,” noted the expert.
According to him, this way the politician or his consultants thought they could obtain favorable points to the detriment of Maia Sandu. This effort is supported by his speech that is about 90% aimed against Maia Sandu. “He tries to create a kind of contrast with Maia Sandu so as to attract votes form the undecided votes of the right and probably from those who initially wanted to vote Maia Sandu. So, this way he builds his campaign, first of all like an antipode, an alternative to Maia Sandu, for the voters of the right,” stated Valeriu Pașa.
He considers Andrei Năstase targets a very wide spectrum: as messages favorable for the unionist, centrist and ultraconservative voters. He tries to attract voters, especially the undecided ones, from the unionist right up to the moderate pro-Russians.
Media expert Aneta Gonța said Andrei Năstase portions his appearances in the media. In some of the cases, his appearances are planned and served at particular intervals. In other cases, the editorial offices decide themselves hether to present his activities, statements or replies in relation to other candidates or not. The candidate appears both as a protagonist and as source of the journalistic content disseminated by the most popular TV channels and online publications, being primarily presented in a neutral manner, with some of the media outlets tending to favor him and with others tending to disfavor him partially.
“The media often place the stress on the confrontation between Andrei Năstase and Maia Sandu, the attention being focused on the messages, calls, replies and anger of the PPPDA’s candidate in relation to his opponent. Whenever he appears in the media, Andrei Năstase alludes to Maia Sandu’s behavior in the current presidential race,” stated Aneta Gonța.
According to the expert, Andrei Năstase seems to be more temperate in his appearances in the media, less categorical and obsessive in the general media communication and more attentive than in the previous election campaign. For their part, the media outlets that earlier had a rather hostile attitude to Andrei Năstase, expressed also through evident attacks on person and presentation in eminently negative context, now present him in a neutral way and even in a positive light in parts. Consequently, this tendency to keep a balance in the media appearances of Andrei Năstase could persist until the end of the election campaign. This will be in line with other communication elements that he uses, primarily online.