Yet another anarchy awaits Moldova

Yet another anarchy awaits Moldova

The ruling coalition of Moldova, represented by the pro-presidential Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) and the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM), has lost a majority in parliament. From now on, it will not be able to pass laws and ensure the effective work of the government without additional votes of other factions. Moldova has already been in a situation that paralyzes the legislative branch, and, as a result, the executive branch. The early election is on the table once again.

The period of new anarchy in Moldova was brewing before for a long time. More than a month ago, President Igor Dodon, noting the first symptoms of such development, turned to the deputies, urging them not to forget about the honor, both political and, most importantly, human. He meant the transfer of members of parliament from one party to another, which results in a regrouping of forces in the country's highest legislative body.

In his other statement, Igor Dodon was more specific. He spoke about the money of a runaway oligarch, the recent informal ruler of Moldova, Vlad Plahotniuc, which he invested in the Moldovan politics by giving bribes to deputies. According to the president, the fugitive oligarch, put on the wanted list, was engaged in reformatting the parliamentary forces with the further goal of changing the political system and creating favorable conditions for his return.

There were several more similar appeals to the deputies. But judging by the recent events, the president was not heeded. The alignment of forces in the parliament changed after MP Stefan Gatcan announced his withdrawal from the PSRM faction, and therefore from the ruling coalition. Thus, 36 deputies remained in the PSRM. Thus, taking into account the 13 deputy mandates of the PDM, the ruling coalition has 49 votes left, while the necessary minimum for adopting laws is 51 votes (out of 101).

Observers note that Gatcan only drove the last nail in the coffin, and the coalition had been experiencing serious problems for the past few weeks - there weren’t enough votes to make any decisions. The PSRM managed to negotiate with independent deputy Alexander Oleinik, and he provided the necessary voting result for the coalition. But after Gatcan’s departure, this mechanism also ceases to work, unless the coalition finds at least one more ally.

The leader of the PSRM faction Corneliu Furculita said that Gatcan took part in the meeting of the PSRM faction, at which he announced his decision “to abandon the deputy’s mandate, but remain a member of the Socialist Party to devote himself to a professional career in medicine”. He announced that he "remains a part of the PSRM team and will actively participate in the work of the social group of our party in order to use my professional experience in the development and promotion of projects related to health policy."

“The PSRM faction took into account this decision and encouraged Stefan Gatсan to participate as actively as possible in the PSRM’s activities,” Furculita said. But it seems as an attempt to save face, because earlier Furсulita had accused Gatсan of betrayal, specifying that he "received at least a million euros" for leaving the PSRM, and there is evidence of this. Gatcan, in his turn, criticized the socialists and announced his transfer to the Pro Moldova group, which, according to rumors, has links with Plahotniuc. The situation became even more complicated when several deputies from the Pro Moldova group stated that Gatcan had changed his decision to join their party under the pressure of the PSRM.

One way or another, the coalition cannot firmly count on Gatcan’s voice in any case. And here it’s worth recalling that in a situation of political split and creeping anarchy the PSRM came up with a completely illogical initiative - on June 24, on the day, when the parade dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Victory was held in Moscow, in Chisinau, the PSRM, which positions itself as a pro-Russian party, proposed to ban communist symbolism. The Socialist deputies introduced an amendment in the law “On Freedom of Expression” prohibiting the use of the symbols of the “totalitarian communist regime” (hammer and sickle) for political purposes and placed it on a par with fascist, racist and xenophobic symbols. The piquancy of the situation is that at a meeting of the legal commission, deputies from the right parties opposed these amendments, though anti-communism is one of the important provisions of their ideology. And at the same time, President Dodon was standing on Red Square in Moscow next to the Russian leadership who hosted the parade. The consequence is a likely decrease in the rating among the pro-Russian oriented population, complications in finding an ally among the left forces. The only logical explanation for the very strange decision of the socialists can be found in the fact that the leader of the Moldovan communists, ex-president Vladimir Voronin, announced his readiness to participate in the presidential election scheduled for November 1 this year. Maybe Dodon was “scared” of such competition, and thus the pro-presidential PSRM rush ahead to “press” the Communists? However, experts, assessing the situation, are inclined to consider Voronin as a weak competitor, able to avert no more than 3-5 percent of the votes from Dodon. In certain situations, this, of course, can turn out to be a lot, but not now, when the consequences of an attack on symbolism can be more of a nuisance for socialists. “It seems that shooting its own foot 100 meters before the finish line is becoming a bad tradition among the left parties in Moldova,” Moldovan historian and political scientist Zurab Todua says.