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Hey kids, does anybody remember those Moldovan parliamentary elections that were held on November 30, 2014? Whatever happened to that?
Not much, to be honest. The voting took place, with an astonishingly high number of irregularities, but because the net result was favorable to the United States and the EU, it was deemed to be “good enough”. What’s happened since then is a whole lot of nothing, mostly because the parties are all fighting amongst themselves over who gets to be in power.
Short version: since 1994, the Communist Party has dominated the scene, which is a little weird for foreigners to understand, especially because a Communist party competing in democratic elections isn’t exactly the same kind of Communist as old-days-Soviet-style Communism.
Note: there are a total of 101 seats in the parliament
|Party||# of seats in parliament|
PCRM = Communist Party
PLDM = Liberal Democratic Party
PDM = Democratic Party
PL = Liberal Party
As you can see, while the Communist Party was by far the largest party (42 seats), the other three parties listed above united to form a “pro-European” bloc (61 seats). It was this pro-European bloc that signed Moldova’s accession treaties to join the EU and made plans to also join NATO somewhere in the near future.
Roughly put, the parliament was 60/40 with the majority being in favor of joining the EU, closer ties to Romania and the “West”, while the minority was in favor of closer ties to Russia.
November 30, 2014 Parliamentary Results
The voting was a close call, as the law requires that at least 50% of the electorate participate for the results to be valid. If less than half the electorate voted, they would’ve had to re-run the elections at a later date.
It wasn’t until later in the evening that the CEC (electoral commission) finally announced that a sufficient number of people had voted – the official total result was just 55.8%.
|Party||# of seats in parliament|
PSRM = Socialist Party
Now you can see that there’s been one huge change since 2010 – the Communist Party (PCRM) has been split. The majority of the technocrats of PCRM decided to branch off and re-brand their platform as the Socialist Party. This is because Vladimir Voronin, the long-time head of the Communist Party, decided to do an about face on some of his party’s core policies, something I’ve only seen before in politicians such as Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua.
Super short version – despite his Russian name (Voronin is “ethnically” a Romanian) and the fact that he speaks Russian, grew up in the Soviet era and was trained in Moscow, Voronin recently decided that Moldova needs to join the European Union, something he previously opposed. Because of this, and other ideological reasons, the majority of his party bolted and re-formed themselves as the Socialist Party.
Now you can see that no single party holds a majority, so what everyone in this country is waiting for is some of the parties to band together to form a ruling bloc. Originally it was expected that the old “pro-European” gang (PLDM, PDM and PL) would get back together and everything would be roughly the same as it had been from 2010-2014.
The problem is that these three parties have vastly different agendas, which has led to a clash. PLDM and PDM are committed to working together, but they can’t decide whether to unite with PL (13 seats) or PCRM (20 seats). Much more on this later.
Now let’s look at the ideological differences of these parties:
|Party||join EU?||join NATO?||join CU?|
CU = Russia’s “Customs Union”, a trade bloc in direct competition with the EU
So you can see there’s the confusing part where the Communist Party is now in favor of joining the EU, which means that it is now in talks with PLDM and PDM to form a ruling bloc in parliament to continue Moldova on the path of full accession into the EU.
But wait! If the Communists join with PLDM + PDM, then that will outrage the PL, which is vehemently opposed to the Communists. The PL wants to join NATO (the only party actively pushing for this) and is the party closest to Romania’s political leaders, who often talk about an eventual legal unification of Romania with the Republic of Moldova.
But if PLDM + PDM join with PL, as they did in 2010, then the Communist Party will feel slighted and has threatened to join with the Socialist Party in retaliation. If they do that, then PCRM + PSRM will have 45 combined seats, leaving the other three parties with 55 (1 member of parliament is independent) and it requires a super majority (61 seats) to elect the president, change the constitution and do many other key legislative acts.
Therefore, 2 pro-EU parties + Communists = 62 seats
3 pro-EU parties = 55 seats
Quite a sticky mess, as you can see!
Das ist not akzeptable
And that’s where the situation stands at the moment, which led to Romanian President Klaus getting very, very angry.
According to reports, Herr Klaus had scheduled a visit to Chisinau (sometimes written in Russian style as “Kishinev”) but then canceled it because he was so angry that his allies (the pro-EU parties PLDM and PDM) were holding talks with the Communist Party about forming a potential majority bloc in parliament.
As we all learned in school, a democracy is only permitted by the West if the results are to their liking.
The efforts of PD and PDLM to come to an understanding with the Communist Party to form a political alliance has been met with a stern rebuke by Bucharest.
Thusly, just a few days after the official announcement that Romanian President Klaus Johannis would be visiting the Republic of Moldova, the visit has been canceled. These kind of political gestures are only used in extreme situations, which the tentative talks to open a dialogue with the Communist Party are considered to be.
On the same day that Klaus’s official visit was canceled, his political counselor Dan Dungaciu explained to the public the reason for the cancellation.
Dan Dungaciu said that “The Communist Party’s (new) strategy of supporting closer ties to Europe [i.e. joining the EU] is all just a lie because the party is well known for being anti-Romanian and anti-European.”
He [Dungaciu] accused the journalists in Chisinau of being “foolishly naive to believe that the Communist Party could ever change their stripes.”
Yes, the poor foolishly naive Moldovans, who don’t know what’s good for them, and should continue to listen to Romanians tell them what to do.
Dungaciu went on to explain that only the PL properly understands the situation and is on the right path to do everything to ensure that Moldova’s future will be all rainbows and unicorns.
The PL is the party of Chisinau’s current mayor, Dorin Chirtoaca, who isn’t just political “friends” with Romanian ex-president Traian Basescu, but extremely close personal friends who attend each other’s family weddings, baptisms and birthday parties. Basescu and Chirtoaca (and the PL) have made numerous public statements over the years that their greatest goal is a legal unification of Romania with the Republic of Moldova.
The vast majority of Moldovans DO NOT WANT a political union with Romania
Furthermore, the PL is stridently and vehemently in favor of Moldova joining NATO, directly engaging in a military alliance that Russia considers to be a threat to their sovereign independence.
The vast majority of Moldovans are in favor of military NEUTRALITY
And to top it off, PL is famous for using extremely anti-Russian slogans in their political advertisements and on the billboards they place all over town, regularly talking about how “all Russians are liars” and the like.
The vast majority of Moldovans are not anti any group, ethnicity, religion or cultural identity
You can speak (and act) Russian around here fine, or deck yourself head to toe in Romanian national dress, or be Gagauz (as is the lone independent MP, Irina Vlah* or be Polish or Ukrainian or American and nobody really gives a crap.
* First of all, Irina Vlah is awesome. Secondly, her family name “Vlah” is awesome, because it’s where the word Wallachia comes from. It’s originally from Greek and, per the usual Greek racism, the name “Vlach” or “Vlah” means means “funny talking bastard”. #lovesit
Therefore, Klaus performed an extremely harsh political gesture by announcing, and then canceling, a state-level visit to a “brotherly” country simply because two centrist political parties want to make an alliance with an ideologically compatible third party (the Communists) instead of re-uniting with the extremely racist PL party.
Really, Klaus? That’s how you respect democracy, the verifiable will** of the people? Oh right, I forgot you’re a crooked politician, convicted of corruption in your own country who shouldn’t have even been allowed to legally run for office, yet somehow were.
And you’re going to teach Moldovans a lesson in democracy? Really? Pouting and hiding because your racist allies lost half their seats in parliament because nobody can stand them anymore?
** As with all democracies, there were huge problems with the vote. First, the ruling 3 pro-EU idiots did their best to squash the vote of Moldovans living/working in Russia, on the theory that they’d vote Socialist or Communist. The ruling 3 pro-EU morons suppressed several other voting blocs, such as the elderly, based on the same strategic theory.
Secondly, one party (PRO PATRIA) was legally excluded just two days before the election, a decision made behind closed doors and is thus without any credibility whatsoever. The entire party is one guy’s vanity project but he’s considered to be pro-Russia so the ruling 3 pro-EU parties hate his guts.
Third, only 55.8% of eligible voters participated, which legally means almost half the country doesn’t give a shit about any of the political parties.
So in the end, what did we all learn, kids?
We learned that a few people voted somewhere for someone, and a bunch of officials sat in a room and stamped it legal, so it is what it is. And Father Klaus, who loves his little brown Moldovan children, decided to stay home to teach us all a lesson about the dangers of getting too friendly with the wrong people.
AND NOW YOU KNOW!
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