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May 18, 2022

Moldova from Left to Right

Communists have comfortably won the elections in the Republic of Moldova. If we don’t take into account the ethnic vote by Philo-Russians, one quarter of the population, the remaining 15 per cent got by communists is surprisingly low nonetheless, given Moldova being a country with a predominantly rural and poor population, and therefore prone to leftist leanings. Actually, the left, also represented by the Democrats led by former communist Marian Lupu, consequently collected half of the legislative seats. It was the Philo-European option that made the difference between the two parties, with communists being more ambivalent, more Philo-Russian, despite their taking a winding route.

The ethnic vote (the Philo-Russians, namely Russians, Ukrainians and the Gagauzian population) and the old voters were offset by their social counterpart (Europe seen as the salvation from poverty) and the unionist one (the Liberal Part of interim president Mihai Ghimpu showed more nationalist accents). ova from Left to Right

However, it is the ruling power, the three neo-communist parties able to forge a new majority, which hold the first chance. There is also the alternative of a Democrat-Communist alliance, but this too would be unable to pick the president. No matter the next governing alliance, it will most likely try to change the current modality that led to such a long a deadlock.

Yet, conjectural negotiations aside, it is interesting to look at the electoral map of the Republic of Moldova. From Left to Right. Communists could hardly be likened to their fellow comrades in the West, few as they still are. Communism however proves being a good camouflage for Philo-Russians, who opt not to assume a separate identity, in order that they don’t share the fate of their counterparts in the Baltic states, submitted to various forms of discriminations over the past two decades, and who would not be assimilated with the influence of a power that still offers its protection, since such association could strengthen, through consequent reaction under certain circumstances, a certain popular anti-Russian trend. They are joined by the Gagauzian population, willing to maintain the privileges of their autonomous status, who feel more secure under the ongoing geopolitical status quo. Towards the centre lie Marian Lupu’s Democrats. A former communist with a great drive for power, Lupu is a pragmatic opportunist, keenly aware not only that it is he who can tilt the balance of power, but also that he can inherit the leftist electorate, namely old voters and even a portion of the Philo-Russians, as they have been longing for Europe rather than Russia lately. Unlike the pensioners, reliant on the, humble actually, support from the state, the active rural population is not necessarily leftist, save for a rural proletariat unable to enjoy the benefits of land ownership.

Towards the right of the centre lies the PM’s party. Vlad Filat, who studied law and launched business ventures in Romania, parted ways with the damaging anti-Romanian policy of communist Voronin, putting emphasis on European, rather than Euro-Atlantic, integration. A pragmatist, he sees Romania as a gateway to the West and an economic partner, and not the “motherland”. Even more towards the right, Mihai-Ghimpu’s Liberals, who inherit the more nationalist and pro-unionist Popular Front voters, compromised by the-then surprising alliance with communists. Aware of the state corruption and the vulnerability of the post-Soviet system, the two centre-right parties are placing their bet on more liberal solutions, which they hope would give economy a boost and create a new political and economic elite.
The party led Chisinau Mayor proved unable to pass the electoral threshold, though its merging with one of the two closely related parties (of the premier and the president respectively) should not be ruled out, which could lead voters to migrate to one of the two, or both. At any rate, a Democrat-Communist alliance will consequently consolidate the right, which could make a strong performance in the next elections at least, that could be held before term, yet again, mainly if the presidential issue is not clarified.

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