“The current parliamentary opposition cannot, in principle, offer a decent, acceptable alternative to the PAS government with horse eyeglasses. That’s why a strong extraparliamentary opposition force is needed to contain the recklessness of PAS and to prevent the revenge of the Communists and Socialists, who envy the Russian and Belarusian people because they live under authoritarian regimes…”
Shortly after the elections of July 11, 2021, we can compare our elections with Russia’s State Duma elections of September 17-19 and with the German federal elections to choose the Bundestag members of September 26. The comparison is opportune as the main political forces in the Republic of Moldova, which are in power or in the opposition, identify themselves as pro-European – the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) – or as pro-Russian – the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM).
The elections in the Republic of Moldova were assessed by the OSCE observation mission as appropriate. In Russia, the OSCE refused to observe the State Duma elections for the reason that the Russian authorities imposed conditions as to the observation method and also placed a series of unacceptable obstacles. Germany, as most of the states of the European Union (EU), provides a model for the organization of free and fair elections. That’s why the OSCE and the Council of Europe do not stage election observation missions there where they know that all the participating political forces usually accept the final results.
So, the recognition of the elections by the opposition is the main criterion of the free and fair elections. In the case of the snap parliamentary elections of July 11, 2021, the elections are free and fair not because they are classed as such by the OSCE Mission, even if the opinion of this matters, but because the results were recognized by the parties that lost the competition. In the case of the State Duma elections of Russia, the situation is the opposite: the main opposition force – the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) – challenges the election results, mounting protests against the stolen elections. This way, we realize that the OSCE Mission’s refusal to oversee the State Duma elections in special conditions actually anticipated the non-recognition of these as free and fair.
What conclusions can we draw if we compare the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova, Russia and Germany? These seem to be suggestive:
- in the Russian Federation, unlike the Republic of Moldova and Germany, the elections are held during three consecutive days for the administrative factor to have time to correct the election outcome;
- in the Russian Federation, voting is also allowed in places that are not specially set up, about whose location the observers cannot know beforehand and where the electors can be remunerated if they vote correctly;
- in the Russian Federation, there was introduced electronic voting whose results are opposed to those of the traditional voting at ballot boxes, ensuring the necessary election outcome.
These artifices were tested successfully in 2020 for amending the Constitution of Russia so as to ensure Vladimir Putin holds the post of President throughout his lifetime. After the successful testing, the artifices were also used in the State Duma elections where President Putin’s Party Edinaya Rossia (United Russia) won an absolute or even a constitutional majority of votes for the fourth consecutive time.
For what concrete results the citizens of Russia vote for United Russia
If we admit that the State Duma elections were free and fair, we must also admit that the Russian voters approved of the following accomplishments of President Putin and his party United Russia:
- reduction by over 30%, from $2.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion, of Russia’s GDP during the last two mandates, in 2012-2021;
- 230% depreciation of the exchange rate of the Russian ruble against the dollar during the last two mandates;
- lowering of the retirement age by five years;
- closing of about 30% of the kindergartens and preschool education institutions, of about 39% of the schools, of approximately 50% of the hospitals etc. during the past 20 years while Vladimir Putin and United Russia have ruled.
Given the enumerated successes, we cannot realize why the citizens of the Russian Federation vote constantly for President Putin’s party United Russia. An explanation is that the Russian citizens are proud of the fact that President Putin committed himself to withdraw the presents of the Russian nation offered to the ex-Soviet republics - Crimea, Donbas, Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Northern Kazakhstan, etc. It can be so, but we should not ignore the fact that the elections are simply rigged and stolen, as the opposition – CPRF – insists.
Danger of political servilism
The comparing of the elections in Russia and Germany with those in the Republic of Moldova is also useful for the development of the electoral process in our country. The ruling party PAS named its members to the Central Election Commission (CEC), who want to introduce electronic voting in the Republic of Moldova too. In Germany - a country with a developed democracy and with enviable technological potential – there is proverbial opposition to electronic voting. If the utility of electronic voting was fully proven in the Russian Federation, why shouldn’t we also try it?
If leaving the jokes aside, it is very important for the electoral legislation in the Republic of Moldova to be amended, for introducing electronic voting too, by a national consensus. In this regard, it is interesting to find out the opposition’s attitude to the introduction of electronic voting. The truth is one of the leaders of the parliamentary opposition Igor Dodon expressed his satisfaction with the recent State Duma elections and congratulated United Russia on its historical victory. It would be logical to presume that the Socialist leader is also satisfied with the methods by which the given results were achieved. The other leader of the parliamentary opposition – Vladimir Voronin – keeps silent, avoiding making common cause with the comrades from CPFR, who claim that their victory was stolen in a series of constituencies in large cities. In fact, Voronin and his party express solidarity with the Communist Party only on the occasion of holidays so as not to anger Putin.
The Moldovan Communist-Socialist opposition’s attitude to the recent elections held in the Russian Federation is nothing else by an expression of political servilism to Vladimir Putin and his party. This is not surprising as Dodon envies the Russian people for having Vladimir Putin, whose regime steals the elections, as President. The problem is that such a flattering attitude is much more dangerous than the alleged manifestation of Russophobia that is unjustly imputed to many for their critical attitude to the authoritarian regime of Putin. What is more serious is that this is not all. The leader of PSRM also envies the Belarusian people for being led by Lukashenko. That’s why we can anticipate that after the exceptional results obtained by United Russia owing to electronic voting, this type of voting will also be used by Lukashenko to strengthen his power in the future constitutional referendum. Later, e-voting can be also useful to our Communist-Socialist bloc. Why not?
The recent elections held in the Russian Federation show that the introduction of electronic voting in the countries with authoritarian regimes or in countries with defective democracies is a serious danger. The welcoming of the recent victory of United Russia and of Lukashenko a year ago by the parliamentary opposition of the Republic of Moldova shows that this opposition would like a similar regime to be established in the own country. In such circumstances, e-voting in the Republic of Moldova should not be introduced until there is no certainty that we do not have parties that openly sympathize with authoritarian regimes, flattering these.
The current parliamentary opposition cannot, in principle, offer a decent, acceptable alternative to the PAS government with horse eyeglasses. That’s why a strong extraparliamentary opposition force is needed to contain the recklessness of PAS and to prevent the revenge of the Communists and Socialists who envy the Russian and Belarusian people because they live under authoritarian regimes.