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Moldovan President Igor Dodon’s Hopes of Becoming a Dictator and His Party’s Authoritarian Program

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This opinion piece was written by Dr. Ionas Aurelian Rus, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College (USA). The opinion does not necessarily represent the opinion of the editorial staff of Moldova.org.

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Unfortunately, the Moldovan press and the American and European press in general have not paid attention to an article in an American publication, The Daily Beast, written by the Russian journalist Anna Nemtsova, “Igor Dodon is Vladimir Putin’s Moldovan Mini-Me”. In this article, the presidential candidate at that time, who is the current president of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon, was quoted as saying in an interview for the above-mentioned publication that he wants to be “A dictatorial leader, the same as Putin.” “The only difference between me and Putin right now,” he said, “is that I am not the president, yet, as soon as I become one in a few days, I will run Moldova just the same way Putin runs Russia, I assure you.” According to Anna Nemtsova, ‘But firmly, Dodon added, “In the current anarchy that we see around, Moldova immediately needs an iron fist, a strong vertical of power.” The fact that the Socialists are only a minority in the Moldovan parliament, and the fact that the Moldovan cabinet is officially pro-European Union explains why Dodon will not be able to implement his plans before the 2018 parliamentary elections. ‘
If the party whose official leader Dodon was and whose unofficial leader he still is, the left-wing populist, pro-Russian Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova will win a majority of the seats in the 2018 elections, Moldova will head in an authoritarian direction. A careful analysis of the program of the party, written before Dodon became president at the end of 2016, shows this. Interestingly enough, Dodon won the second round of the presidential elections on November 13, 2016 with 52.11% of votes after a campaign full of lies and calumnies against former Minister of Education Maia Sandu. The party wants to prohibit sex education as well as teaching in schools and universities from a national(ist) point of view. The Socialists do not believe in academic freedom and can not tolerate the criticism of Russian imperialism. The Socialists are advocating that the mass media institutions, including, of course, the opposition ones, should “benefit” from a citizens’ council that guarantees their “morality” (i.e. censorship). The West is presented in the party’s program as imperialist and corrupt, while Russia is presented in a positive light, as is, in general, the former Soviet Union. Naturally, the expropriation of some companies is threatened. The program promises a welfare state like in Belarus, not anything similar to what may be found in the European Union. The party openly declares that it is in favor of the “principles of democratic centralism”, just like the old Communist Party of the Soviet Union. This program with authoritarian tendencies of the party is necessary, but not sufficient, to facilitate Dodon’s plans, discussed above, to become the dictator of the Republic of Moldova.
While Dodon’s supporters did engage in electoral fraud during the two rounds of the presidential elections of October 30 and November 13, 2016, it can not be proven that Maia Sandu won the election, and Dodon’s popularity has not decreased. The electoral fraud during the elections of 2016 was probably at most only 2-3% of the votes, and is likely to be in the same range in the parliamentary elections of 2018. The long-term danger is not so much electoral fraud, but the Socialists’ schemes for the federalization of Moldova. According to their publicly available plan, the Senate will represent the three units of the federation, Moldova, the overwhelmingly ethnically Gagauz autonomous Gagauz-Yeri and currently secessionist Transnistria, which has a Russophone majority and a Russian ethnic plurality. The latter two units are overwhelmingly not only pro-Russian, but also pro-Russian imperialism. Since the cabinet and the composition of the Constitutional Court and of the Supreme Court will be approved by this Senate, which is designed to have a pro-Russian, Homo Sovieticus, large majority, the will of a potentially anti-Dodon, anti-Russian majority (even large majority) of the population could be contained and ignored on issues related to the executive and the judiciary.
The U.S. and European Union should indicate clearly, in a way that does not present corruption in Moldova as a worse danger than dictatorship, that Dodon, who opposes Moldova’s European Union membership and its association agreement with the European Union, and publicly argues that the European Union should disappear, is not “another democratic choice”. It should not, however, treat every single Socialist as an advocate of dictatorship. It should still talk to the party’s official leader, Zinaida Greceanii, Moldova’s potential prime minister.

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy. Inquiries at [email protected]

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Opinion

Analysts about the vote in the European Parliament: “The document is extremely critical and attests to serious conflicts”

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The resolution adopted on Moldova in the European Parliament yesterday definitively closed the page on what was called the “honeymoon” of the Republic of Moldova’s relationship with the European Union.

This is the opinion analyst Anatol Ţăranu, who declared that this position has put a definitive end on what is called “The Republic of Moldova – a success story” in relation to the EU. The public debates were organized by the IPN agency, ZiarulNational writes.

According to Ţăranu, the document adopted by the MEPs is extremely critical and attests to the serious skirmishes that have occurred based on the functioning of the democratic institutions.

The analyst says that the resolution was received, naturally, with satisfaction by the Moldovan society as well as by the opposition political forces. And vice versa, for the time being, the government does not have very prompt reactions.

“The European Union is the main development partner for the Republic of Moldova and the worsening of relations with the EU would mean nothing but the diminishing of the economic, political and other relations. And this can not be manifested, including at the level of life, to the quality of life of citizens of the Republic of Moldova. ” concluded Anatol Ţăranu, quoted by IPN.

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Transnistrian Minister of Foreign Affairs: There were many delusions that the conflict between Moldova and Transnistria is very easy to resolve

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The head of the Transnistrian diplomatic mission told about what is slowing down the negotiation process.

The First Transnistrian TV channel took an interview from the Transnistrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vitaly Ignatiev, who claims that the Transnistrian side is trying to focus on concrete matters, on a specific agenda within the conflict negotiation process.

Ignatiev drew attention to the fact that the position of President Vadim Krasnoselsky, who previously declared that it makes no sense to meet with Moldovan counterparts without a specific agenda, is connected with this.

According to him, over the years of the negotiation formats on the Moldovan-Transnistrian settlement, various visions, plans or approaches that took place, there were many delusions that the conflict was very easy to resolve.

However, the Transnistrian diplomat refuses to recognize Transnistria as part of Moldova.

“We have absolutely legitimate international legal, historical grounds for recognizing the independence of Transnistria. We have a generation of Transnistrians who have not lived a single day in the Soviet Moldova. Any settlement should be based on the will of the people. We rely on the will of the population, which has already determined its fate within referendums,” the minister added.

He stated that Transnistria lives in accordance with its Constitution, and Moldova, in turn, lives within its legislative space.

“There is not a single signal about the eagerness of the Moldovan authorities to deal with these issues seriously, although there are a lot of statements about the issue. Sometimes these statements create an unnecessary background and interfere with the dialogue,” the diplomat concluded.

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Opinion

How critical is the upcoming European Parliament resolution on Moldova?

For the first time, the name “Plahotniuc” will be mentioned in an official act of the European Parliament. Possibly, soon enough that will close his door as a politician.

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According to cprmd, the upcoming European Parliament resolution on Moldova, on November 13-14, 2018, should be more critical.

After a draft report on the implementation of the European Union association agreement with Moldova was submitted on July 19, 2018, by MEP Petras Auštrevičius to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, amendments were tabled by diverse MEPs in the Committee on September 11, 2018. Moreover, the Committee has further approved its report on the basis of the Rapporteur’s draft report and of the amendments.

Nevertheless, some of the measures proposed initially oppose us as an attempt to hide the real problems Moldova is dealing with and tone down the justified evaluation of the recent democratic downslide of our country under the present government.

According to cprmd, the content of some draft amendments may designate that their authors have deviated from their declared objective of supporting Moldova and are devoting their efforts to helping the present regime withstand. Under the pretext of “keeping Moldova in the EU’s orbit”, corruption, crimes, injustice, and state capture are permitted.

There is no explanation for the increasing attack on the Moldovan democracy and the constant violation of human rights by the current government. The Moldovan authorities declared themselves pro-European though ceased almost irreversible to authoritarian reflexes: cancellation of the results of the mayoral elections, limitation of the freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, obstruction of the right to access to information, suspicious arrests of opposition activists. This way of governing is kicking our country further from the EU.

On the other hand, the Moldovan people are grateful to the European Parliament for not dismissing the harsh reality of Moldova and address openly about the 27-year-old country’s problems.

The European Union has invested over a billion euros in the last ten years alone in order to develop the Moldovan democracy and reforms, yet it always risks to be compromised.

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