I realize that most people, even folks in Moldova, rarely pay any attention to politics in the Republic of Moldova, and most of the time, that’s fine.
Myself, I can barely keep track of all the backroom deals, shenanigans, surprise last-minute tricks, illegal hijinks, and other bullshit that happens, quite literally, on a daily basis, but Moldova has really topped itself during the past year.
To begin with, last summer (in the year 2020), the parliament lost its ruling coalition.
The law quite clearly states that if one party holds majority control of the seats in parliament (51 out of 101), then it can rule independently, but if no party controls a majority (as is the case right now), then two or more parties have to agree to work together as the Ruling Coalition. The other parties then become the Opposition.
Last summer, the Socialist Party’s alliance with the PD (Plahotnyuk’s old party) and Maia Sandu’s PAS party (together with perennial loser Nastase‘s handful of folks) had a ruling coalition, but then it was dissolved after the parties disagreed on a number of issues.
This should have led to either to a) the formulation of a new ruling coalition, or b) new elections.
Instead, everyone in the parliament just pretended as if nothing happened, and so virtually no new laws or legislation were passed except, of course, for “temporary” emergency powers granted to “combat” Covid-19 that seem to be awfully permanent.
In December 2020, the presidential election was held, which Maia Sandu won. This further fractured the parliament, and Sandu (rightly) called for new parliamentary elections.
However, the biggest parties (Socialists and PD) have calculated that they will lose ground if a new election were to be held, so they have successfully blocked any allocation of funds to hold an election. And without the money to hold an election, one can’t be held, thus “freezing” the current parliamentary make-up and leaving anti-Sandu forces with a lot of power.
Or maybe it’s Sandu’s forces that secretly don’t want new elections. It really is that hard to tell.
Furthermore, after Sandu was elected president, the sitting prime minister, Ion Chicu, resigned. The normal procedure is for the president to nominate a new prime minister, and she did, a woman named Gavrilita who is a close personal friend.
Unfortunately for Sandu, the parliament voted against installing Gavrilita as PM. So what did Sandu do? She immediately re-nominated Gavrilita (which, btw, Romania also pulled this same BS with their PM a couple of years ago).
This was then challenged in court, and after several weeks, it was ruled that President Sandu had to nominate someone else.
Since then, there have been a ton of negotiations between PSRM/PD/Shor (you remember him, right? The guy who stole a billion dollars and got away with it) et al and Sandu to try and find a compromise candidate that everyone can live with, but these have all failed, including the nomination of the dangerous lunatic Igor Grosu, the head of Sandu’s PAS party and the leader of that party’s bloc in parliament.
Normally, if thirty days pass and no PM can be agreed upon, new parliamentary elections are called. But, of course, that didn’t happen either.
Therefore, right this minute, Moldova has no operating coalition in the parliament, no money to hold a new election, and no prime minister. Instead, Chicu and his cabinet are all serving as “interim” ministers while Chicu is openly talking about forming his own political party (🇲🇩).
So that is who is “running” the country right now – a bunch of fighting parties (and Sandu, who must loathe waking up every day since she spends more time negotiating with her political opponents than ever before) with zero legitimate political authority.
As I wrote about a few days ago, Moldova has lathered itself into a frenzy over rising case numbers, rising death numbers, and overcrowding in hospitals (albeit only in Chisinau, although 50% of all urban people in the entire country live in Chisinau).
Strangely, however, for the past four days, infection and death rates have steeply declined, but the “government” of Moldova has refused to embrace this. Of course not! Team Apocalypse never celebrates good news.
Instead, the train of calling for “new lockdowns” proved to be impossible to stop, and every day for a couple of weeks, politicians from all parties (and President Sandu) have been screaming about how Moldova needs a “new lockdown.”
Literal Romanian translation: noua lockdown
But, as we already know, Moldova has no money for elections, and the country certainly does not have any budget to pay shuttered business owners, unemployed people, or other people forced to stay home due to new lockdown restrictions.
Therefore, when the “government” announced a new lockdown effective until May 30 (i.e. two whole months), most people thought it would be primarily cosmetic in nature.
And it is, mostly.
But when you read the fine print (🇲🇩), a couple of truly disturbing things come to light.
Fresh Air Is Now Illegal
First is a new ban on anyone being outside of their homes between 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM in Chisinau and Balti (the country’s second-largest city), except for people “going to work”, health care workers, or people going to “buy medicines” (don’t want any grannies getting arrested for buying pills at 4:00 AM, I guess).
Not sure how a curfew is going to do anything about an infectious disease, especially during the wee hours of the night when almost no one is about, but whatever.
Far more disturbing, however, is a total ban on going to a park, sports facility, recreational area, pedestrian zone, or any other “public venue.” Yes, that’s right. It is now illegal to go sit on a bench in the park, once again.
I don’t know about where you live, but in this part of the world, spring has just begun, and the temperatures are warming up, making it the perfect time to get outside, get some fresh air, get some sun, and get a little exercise.
How banning people from enjoying healthy outdoor activities helps “combat” an illness, is, as usual, so beyond the realm of medical logic that my mind cannot possibly hope to ever comprehend it.
Keep in mind that these rules prevent even someone all alone, with no one in sight, from going to the park.
Further, all citizens are now required to carry ID with them, and failure to do so is yet another offense under these emergency ordinances.
But this is even more sinister:
SIS va face lista website-urilor care promovează știri false și va lua măsuri.
In case your Moldovan is a little rusty, it says “SIS will publish a list of websites which promulgate false news and will then take measures [against them].”
SIS is Moldova’s intelligence and security agency, equivalent to the CIA or Romania’s SRI, by the way.
Mind you, Moldova has absolutely no control over social media platforms like Facebook (unless you’ve got a personal friend who works there, of course), so we’re not talking about that.
Instead, this seems to be about websites hosted in Moldova or registered with a .md name (Moldova’s internet address). It’s unclear what “measures” the SIS will take, but they could involve imposing stiff fines or shutting down the website entirely. Or maybe they’ll arrest the owners/authors as well.
As any lawyer in Moldova will be happy to tell you (and I know quite a few, unfortunately), there are plenty of laws already on the books that prevent slander and defamation. In addition, Moldova has strong laws prohibiting speech on topics such as fomenting a rebellion, plotting a crime, et cetera, so this new “emergency ordinance” isn’t about that.
This is censorship, then, plain and simple.
Until they publish the list, I have no idea which websites that the SIS (and the “government”) is so worried about, but the very fact that something deemed to be “false news” can be shut down by emergency ordinance is quite frightening.
If I owned a website in Moldova and published an article entitled “The world isn’t round – it’s a flat, two-dimensional disc, and the government knows it!” that would apparently be a fucking crime now.
And who is to decide what news is “false” and what news is “true”?
The SIS? The intelligence agency with a secret budget and an unelected director?
Fuck, man. Just how Soviet exactly, does Moldova want to be?
You might think that these new regulations must be benefitting someone in the government, or else they would not have been promulgated (they were not voted on – they are an emergency decree).
But one of Sandu’s own party members said that the new emergency regulations are completely senseless (🇲🇩) and illogical.
Likewise, members of two other parties, including the still-influential PD, said (🇲🇩) that the emergency measures are just “political theater.”
In addition, elections in Gaugazia (an autonomous region of Moldova with its own parliament) are being indefinitely postponed (🇲🇩), so nobody in Gagauzia is happy (they already friggin’ hate it when Chisinau tells them what to do).
In fact, everyone seems to think that only the Socialists want the emergency measures as they will help delay parliamentary elections in Moldova, despite Dodon saying “bring it on” (🇲🇩) when it comes to holding new elections.
Even weirder, the “interim” minister who promulgated the measures is Viorica Dumbraveanu, who is closely aligned with the PD faction.
Therefore, no one even really knows who in Moldova wants/wanted this new lockdown.
All we do know is that the next day, Sandu went and had a meeting (🇲🇩) with the American Ambassador Dereck Hogan (appointed by Trump and no signs that Biden wants to replace him), and all the two could talk about was how great it is that more people will one day (but nobody knows when) be vaccinated in Moldova thanks to help from the United States (actually just a measly cash donation to a UN-administered org that doles out vaccines to poor countries like Moldova, but, again, whatever).
These are the people we are supposed to trust to handle a health emergency and cannot criticize without being declared “false news”?
Give me a break 😂