“The determined actions of ex-President Vladimir Voronin against the Transnistrian leaders after these banned his access suggest that concrete actions should be now also taken to make the Transnistrian leaders learn something. It goes to the thorough regulation of the modality of voting for the citizens living in Transnistria so as to thwart eventual obscure agreements within the oligarchic diplomacy to which the head of the local branch of the Russian Imperial Movement aspires...”
The devil is in the details
The campaign prior to the snap parliamentary elections reveals all the older and newer flaws of the Republic of Moldova. One of them is related to the participation by Transnistrians in the national elections. No one questions the fact that the Moldovan citizens living on the left side of the Nistru should be able to take part in the national elections, but there are a series of problems created by the Transnistria leaders, which hamper the Transnistrians’ participation in elections. Among the impediments is the opposition to the establishment of polling stations on the left side of the Nistru and the very aggressive propagandistic indoctrination of the citizens against the Republic of Moldova. In the same connection, so that the brainwashing effect is not affected somehow, the election contenders registered by the Central Election Commission (CEC) of the Republic of Moldova are banned from communicating directly with voters from the left side of the Nistru.
Recently, the Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR), which was registered as an election runner, did an experiment to elucidate the aforementioned problem. The experiment revealed what was expected – the Transnistrian military didn’t allow the AUR bus with the party’s candidates to enter the region. Under such circumstances, the AUR notified the CEC, arguing its right to communicate with the voters was violated: “This incident represents a flagrant violation of the law as, given that the CEC decided to establish 41 polling stations for voters from the Transnistrian region, these should have the right to be informed about the election candidates and their programs. Otherwise, these voters are deprived of the right to know who to vote for and are hostage to an authoritarian, nondemocratic and illegal regime”.
Indeed, wherever there are Moldovan citizens, from Tokyo to Vancouver, the election contenders engaged in the election campaign can freely meet with voters, not yet with those from the left side of the Nistru. Under such circumstances, the AUR’s notification is as opportune as possible, especially because the leader of the branch in Moldova of the Isborsk Club, which is of the Russian Imperial Movement, MP of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) and candidate of the Electoral Bloc of the Communists and the Socialists (EBCS) Bogdat Țîrdea disclosed to the Russian audience the EBCS’s plan to win the snap parliamentary elections with the support of the votes from Transnistria: “The final results of the elections depend on the participation of the Moldovans living in Russia and Transnistria. In Russia, there are 17 polling stations and, if we multiply the figure by 5, we can have 70,000-80,000 participants there. In Transnistria, there are 200,000 citizens, and we will do our best to create conditions for them to vote”. This is how the optimistic calculations of the EBCS look like against the impossibility for the other runners to campaign on the left side of the Nistru.
As it is well known, the devil is in the details. Until recently, during about 20 years, the Transnistrians voted in the national elections in the Republic of Moldova in a very low number – under 1 percentage point of the votes given to all the election contenders. This way, until the parliamentary elections of February 2019, the voting by Transnistrians represented an ordinary problem. The ex-executive coordinator of the power in the Republic of Moldova Vlad Plahotniuc was the first who set the goal of massively exploring the vote of the Transnistrians. His efforts did so that the participation by Transnistrians in the parliamentary elections on February 24, 2019 increased about four times, to over 37,000! This happened owing to the oligarchic diplomacy (page 261), which enabled him to coopt two quasi-anonymous independent MPs, who were elected with the massive vote of the Transnistrians. To achieve such a result, the voters were transported to polling stations and there is evidence that they were paid. The PSRM tried to develop the electoral innovation of Plahotniuc in the president elections of November 2020, but this didn’t help Igor Dodon. In the current election campaign, they bank a lot on the support of the Transnistrians, judging by the assertions of the head of the branch in Moldova of the Isborsk Club.
The pot calling the kettle back
The AUR’s intention to campaign on the left side of the Nistru was commented on with maliciousness by the press affiliated to the EBCS: “The fact that the AUR car was not allowed to enter Transnistria should be perceived by the unionists as manifestation of good will or it would have been funny to follow how the Transnistrians react… to unionists’ calls to unite with their homeland, Romania. They would have kicked their butt… There are suspicions that the AUR didn’t even intend to get to Râbnița. They wanted rather to make noise”.
We can admit that the AUR planned its action, obtaining the planned result. If so, the comments of the supporters of the EBCS are ridiculous. The irony of fate is that this is what happened to the current leader of the EBCS Vladimir Voronin. The difference between the status of AUR heavyweight and of EBCS leader resides in the fact that the latter held the post of President of the sovereign and independent state Republic of Moldova, which includes the territories from the left side of the Nistru. The point is it was recently 20 years since President Vladimir Voronin was banned access to the region when he wanted to visit the monastery Noul Neamț on the sovereign territory of the country he headed. It happened one month after signing protocols that recognized a series of powers of the separatist regime in its relations with the Republic of Moldova. Moreover, Voronin was not allowed to enter the Transnistrian region despite the approaches and requests made by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. In this connection, so as to humiliate President Voronin, the Transnistrian security bodies issued a press release by which they accused him of intentionally causing the incident, without asking the Transnistrian leaders for permission to enter the territory controlled by them.
But the climax of humiliation to which President Voronin was subject was witnessed several years later, in 2008, when the Transnistrians banned his access to his native village - Corjova. Then, the visit had been negotiated indeed, but he was again not allowed to enter. These incidents had a major impact following a series of initiatives of Voronin:
- there were withdrawn the Moldovan customs stamps with which the unconstitutional regime from the left side of the Nistru could take part in international trade;
- there were announced the replacement of the Eurasian course with the European one and the introduction of the EUBAM Mission on the border with Ukraine;
- the Transnistrian conflict was profoundly frozen under the supervision of the international format “5+2”.
The aforementioned happened after the Transnistrian settlement formulas of President Voronin turned out to be unaccomplishable, including the three projects to federalize Moldova. Having the total support of Russia ensured, the Transnistrian leaders preferred to turn the region into an authoritarian, closed enclave without development chances. Under such circumstances, the raison d'être for Transnistria is to keep the Republic of Moldova anchored in Russia’s zone of interests. This strategy was also promoted by Moldova’s ex-President Igor Dodon, the second current leader of the EBCS, who prefigured the start of a new term in office as President with a new project to federalize Moldova and then continued with the so-called compressive package, etc. However, as in the case of Voronin, he could not solve any of the problems related to the Transnistrian conflict.
In general, during the past ten years, the only progress in the Transnistrian settlement was made as part of the so-called oligarchic diplomacy of Vlad Plahotniuc: restoration of direct telephonic communication, repair of one of the bridges on the Nistru, recognition of higher education documents, etc. It was already noted that Plahotniuc instead obtained two seats of independent MPs.
The AUR’s experiment as regards the access to the Transnistrian region is a kind of remake that after 20 years reminds of the humiliation to which the current leader of the EBCS was subject by the Transnistrian leaders. From this angle, the malicious comments of the press affiliated to the EBCS only cause damage to this, showing that neither Vladimir Voronin nor his pupil Igor Dodon were able to solve the Transnistrian dispute.
The determined actions of ex-President Vladimir Voronin against the Transnistrian leaders after these banned his access suggest that concrete actions should be now also taken to make the Transnistrian leaders learn something. It goes to the thorough regulation of the modality of voting for the citizens living in Transnistria so as to thwart eventual obscure agreements within the oligarchic diplomacy to which the head of the local branch of the Russian Imperial Movement aspires.
The Moldovan citizens from the left side of the Nistru should be treated with respect and their rights, including the right to vote in national elections, should be ensured. At the same time, the practice of bribing voters while taking them to polling stations in an organized way is unacceptable.
As the Transnistrian citizens cannot communicate with the candidates in the national parliamentary elections, they can familiarize themselves with the electoral programs of candidates only through the Internet. Also in the Internet, the citizens from Transnistria can find relevant information about the fate of other separatist enclaves – presents of the Russian nation - that were created to anchor also Georgia and Ukraine in the interests of the Imperial Movement.