"For now, only the attempts to remove the Government are evident. It would be yet a too costly waste of money to buy MPs for €500,000 – €1.2 million each (the sums were made public by representatives of the PDM and PSRM – e.n.) only for the purpose of obtaining control over the executive, which is the most vulnerable body of the power and which can be easily dismissed and replaced. Evidently, the goal is much wider...”.
A fissure nevertheless occurred in the parliamentary group of the Party of Socialists (PSRM). It should be noted that MP Ștefan Gațcan announced his defection to the “Pro Moldova” group on the International Day of Parliamentarianism. The case was suggestive and also symbolical. It is the first defection from the Socialist parliamentary group while it has been present in Parliament since 2014. The deed actually symbolizes the passing of the political struggle to a new stage. The split inside the group of the Democratic Party (PDM) was only a preparatory stage.
From Hippocrates to Brutus
The defection of MP Gațcan from the group was met with vehement indignation by the Party of Socialists. The former colleagues named him “Brutus” and accused him of spoiling the image of parliamentarianism in front of the international community. The party activists asked that Gațcan should vacate the seat, while the Hâncești local organization advised him to donate the US$ 1 million of “the stolen billion” for fighting the coronavirus and to then disappear from the political arena.
“The received US$1 million” is a suggestion that the switching of one more MP from the PSRM-PDM coalition to the camp of the political opponents this time was also awarded generously. The invoked hypothesis that the destruction of the parliamentary majority is the result of blackmailing and corruption has been insistently promoted by the Democrats and the Socialists led by President Igor Dodon. Nevertheless, they cannot for now substantiate their suppositions. As the president of the PDM Pavel Filip said, the Democrats filed complaints to the Prosecutor’s Office concerning acts of corruption committed by MPs. The institution did nothing for now.
In other words, to oppose the resistance of the hammer that slowly, but insistently destroys the government coalition, the allies could only propose a statement that condemns party switching. They have yet in reserve the proposal to adopt, through the Constitution, the ban on switching from a parliamentary group to another one and to reduce the number of MPs. The President already stated that he will draft a bill to reduce the number of MPs from 101 to 71 or 61 and will submit it to the state constitutional reform commission that is to be created by a special decree. The Socialists hurried to say that they will support Igor Dodon’s proposal and meanwhile started to actively discuss the idea of switching over to the presidential form of government. According to them, such a decision will make party switching in Parliament useless.
Might makes right
The PSRM and PDM didn’t take into account only one thing: all their actions will necessitate time, but their opoonents, first of all the Pro Moldova Party and the Party “Dignity and Truth Platform” (PPDA), are determined to react swiftly. MP Igor Munteanu already warned that the problem of the new Government would be solved in July. The parliamentary group of Andrian Candu and the group of the Shor Party even held a first joint meeting where they discussed how to better remove the Cabinet of Ion Chicu.
Undoubtedly, the opposition will try to achieve its goal before the legislative body goes on the summer vacation. As, when the MPs return to Parliament, the campaign prior to the presidential elections will be in full swing in the country and this is another stage of a rather difficult game for whose sake, if we quote President Dodon, “Candu and the allies cause havoc in the country”.
For now, only the attempts to remove the Government are evident. But it would be a too costly waste of money to buy MPs for €500,000 – €1.2 million each (the sums were made public by representatives of the PDM and PSRM – e.n.) only for the purpose of obtaining control over the executive, which is the most vulnerable body of the power and which can be easily dismissed and replaced. Evidently, the goal is much wider.
Possible scenarios that do not come from President
Referring to different sources, experts, observers and analysts formulated a number of possible scenarios of the developments.
The first scenario: the formation of a new government is necessary for the PPPDA to remain on the political Olympus and as a basis for the future parliamentary majority that would be formed as a result of snap parliamentary elections that would be inevitably held after the presidential ones.
The supporters of this version are sure that the new Cabinet that will be formed by the PPPDA will help Andrei Năstase to restore the lost rating and to bring his party to Parliament once again. Then the PPPDA will become the driving force of the future majority that will also include the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) and “Pro Moldova”, pushing the Socialists to the opposition.
For now, opinion polls do not offer the former Democrats big chances of entering Parliament next spiting, but the political technologies and financial investments can change the situation and “Pro Moldova” could easily secure places in Parliament and the Government. By the way, Andrian Candu himself suggested this. “We now do not need ministerial portfolios, but in the future want to return to the Government”. It can be deduced that “Pro Moldova” will claim the post of Speaker in this case.
The second scenarios: the formation of a new government is necessary for not allowing snap parliamentary elections to be held after the presidential elections.
The supporters of this version are sure that “Pro Moldova” is only apparently for a parliamentary campaign in February-March 2021. Its real goal is to reset the parliamentary majority and to obtain the post of Speaker during the race for the office of President. For the purpose, it will continue to lure Democratic and Socialist MPs until the 67 votes needed to reelect the Speaker of Parliament are gathered.
In this case, no matter who wins the competition for the office of President, the parliamentary groups will be so demoralized that they will become a malleable material in the hands of crafty manipulators. “Pro Moldova” would ultimately get a majority representation in Parliament, the post of Speaker, the possibility of influencing the government and of improving its electoral chances for the ordinary parliamentary elections of 2023.
The third scenario: A new government will not be formed before snap parliamentary elections even if the Chicu Government will face a motion of no confidence.
Under this scenario, the PPPDA, PAS and “Pro Moldova” will continue the discussions and will even use the two attempts, authorized by the Constitution, to form a new Cabinet. As a result, the Chicu Government will continue to work, but will be limited in powers.
In this case, the task will be to maximally weaken the Party of Socialists, to diminish the resources of the PDM and to reduce the chances of the PPPDA and PAS to obtain a convincing representation in the future Parliament. So, the presidential elections and the parliamentary ones should be held because the current parliamentary parties are unable to reach at least a viable consensus. Meanwhile, “Pro Moldova” and other parties will secure a firm electoral strategy by which they will criticize those who had all the instruments to exercise power, but failed to use them.
It is highly probable that as a result of such elections, Parliament will look like rather a patchwork quilt that skilled craftsmen could easily alter at their discretion.
As under the previous scenarios, the goal will be the same – not only to come to power, but to also control all the branches of power.
Natalia Uzun, IPN