The lessons of Moldavian elections for Ukraine

Recently, Moldova has held regular parliamentary elections. It was nearly like in Ukraine but as for me, our people are used to coming to elections without physical fear and the fear to protest the rigged votes. Perhaps, that is why we are so brave because we crossed the point of no return – Maidan and the war.

So, shortly about the results of elections in Moldova and what to bear in mind so that not to step on the same rake. I’ll remind that Moldova has a mixed electoral system (that is, from 101 deputies – 51 majoritarian and 50 deputies are elected on the list);

Уроки молдовських виборів для України

– This time socialists got the vast number of mandates, as many as 35. Their leader – the president of Moldova, Igor Dodon. This is the pro-Russian force, similar to our Party of Regions which is for the hugs with Putin and disrupture or termination of the collaboration with EU.

– The ACUM anti-corruption bloc (Now!) has received 26 mandates, the co-directors of which are Maia Sandu, former education minister who received 48% of the vote in the last presidential election, and Andrei Năstase, who won the election of Chisinau in June 2018 whose results were canceled due to the call to come to the polls on election day that was decided by the judges behind closed doors as agitation.

– Democratic party got 30 mandates. It is headed by the Moldovian oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc. The party controls the government and parliament and 80% of the bodies of local self-government. It is formally pro-European.

– Ilan Shor (oligarch, the mayor of Orhei city, the husband of the Russian singer Jasmin) – ShOR garnered 7 mandates. The header is somewhat similar to our Chernovetsky.

– There were also 3 independent candidates to the Parliament. There are the talks that they are close to the Plahotniuc’s Democratic Party.

– Approximately 20-22% of voters from Chisinau and settlements around the capital are advocating for the accession of Moldova to Romania. At least, such data was promulgated by the social organization “Public Opinion Fund” at the request of the Timpul newspaper. The political scientists state that this is predominantly ACUM electorate.

Уроки молдовських виборів для України

Agitation on the day of elections and the day before them is allowed. And this is complete trash. Since the voters are deprived of time to stay in calmness and let the brain analyze the promises and programs, all that is left – succumb to non-stop attack of election technologies, manipulation and indirect bribery.

Taking into account the upcoming election, it is desirable to consider the lessons of election and political process of the neighbor-Moldova so as not to bump our own heads.

First Lesson. I’ll remind that there are 12% Ukrainians in Moldova who densely inhabit the north of the country and vote for the left-wing pro-Russian parties for all 27 years. In this way, they express the will of geopolitical union with Russia and the complete nonacceptance of accession to Romania what scares them so much. Unfortunately, they don’t have Ukrainian agenda. There is no Ukraine due to different reasons, mostly short-sighted, in Moldovian political discourse. And this is a huge common gap in either the government or the people’s deputies or civil society. Instead of offering and lobbying the Ukrainian political narrative, our politicians are not interested in a neighbor. For example, only in the second year of the war, Ukraine denounced an agreement with Russia on the transit of its military formations to Transnistria through its own territory. And it can use force and influence of 12% of Ukrainians living in Moldova – as if we forget about the existence of the part of the body, which one day will rebel and resist to such ignorance.

Second Lesson. It’s a shame to admit that frankly pro-Russian forces have won the largest number of mandates in Moldova, and this is a third of the parliament. Moreover, more than 50% of citizens in 2018 voted for their leader Igor Dodon. This is a bad sign for Moldova moving towards the pro-Russian vector.

It’s good that Ukraine has defined with pro-European and pro-NATO direction but we can’t get too relaxed: we have a task how to take southern and eastern regions out of the “opposition-bloc” discourse. And we have this puzzle so that not to repeat one day the history of presidential elections 2010 when Yanukovych won or even worse – not to let the creation of new quasi-republics.

Уроки молдовських виборів для України

Third Lesson. Rotation of political forces is better than being in the office for a long time (for two or three terms) and sweet promises about improvements and European country. Democratic Party and Plahotniuc get scathing criticism from the opposition. Corruption component is proved for the umpteenth time and Moldova itself is interesting for an oligarch only by draining the resources. And it is felt a lot in Moldova. How Ukraine will pass this exam can be seen already at the end of March.

Fourth Lesson. Mass supplying of the Transnistrians with Moldovian passports to the polling stations. Apart from this all, it looks like the fight for a sausage with screams, shouldering in a queue, irritation, and anger. Public activists say that it was done under the lists, control and for money. I myself saw tens of buses which brought people to vote. In fact, in this way Vlad Plahotniuc with Democratic Party which organized this process opened Pandora’s box – the one in power and with money uses the electoral resource in this or that way.

Уроки молдовських виборів для України

Is it possible in Ukraine? With all respect to the passport of Ukrainian citizen, such election tours will lead to the obvious pro-Russian choice which mustn’t be allowed.

Fifth Lesson. Unfortunately, parliamentarian elections in Moldova demonstrated a very weak civil society. There were critically few people at the polling stations, and I haven’t seen the police at all.

I am convinced of the importance of involving citizens in monitoring and preventing violations at polling stations. Here we can put a tick for the representers of our civil society but how the police will serve its duty, we’ll see already on March 31.

Уроки молдовських виборів для України

The most important thing is to ingrain all this in the core of our minds so that not to say later that the enemy tip-toed unnoticed. Moldova is important for Ukraine not only because it is our neighbor but also because there are all chances of opening the southern front from the side of the Russian Federation.

Solomiia Bobrovska

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