Moldova can’t call its 27th year of independence successful. On the contrary, many would say that Moldova has turned away from democracy and towards authoritarianism. Such is the opinion of politologist Ion Tăbârță, requested by IPN to highlight the most relevant events and actions that have strengthened or, conversely, harmed the statutes of democracy, independence, and rule of law since Moldova’s last independence anniversary.
According to the expert, after the Government led by Pavel Filip had succeeded in 2016 to stabilize the internal political status and even, to some extent, development partnerships after signing the memorandum with the IMF, in the summer of 2017, the controversial change in the election system has again worsened Moldova’s ties with the EU. European officials have all the reasons to assume the Chișinău government hasn’t changed the election system in an attempt to improve it, but rather to secure power after elections.
Ion Tăbârță mentions that in the past year the EU has pointed out a series of issues that Moldova has to solve. They request a solution to the lack of independence in the judiciary system, the investigation of the banking fraud incidents, the electoral reform, mass media security and freedom. In reality, that is, not only on paper. Ultimately, the EU has decided to suspend macro-financial assistance to Moldova, further funding depending on political circumstances.
The politologist has added that this summer Moldova’s relations have worsened dramatically with other development partners as well, not only with the EU. Initially, this deterioration was caused by the invalidation of the Chișinău Mayor elections, and consequently by the adoption of a set of laws on fiscal reform and capital amnesty. Following these decisions, development partners started asking questions about the degree of Moldova’s democracy, and to express concerns regarding it’s political future.
According to Ion Tăbârță, Moldova’s current development perspectives are confusing and gloom. Elections will be held at the beginning of next year. The first, since gaining independence, to be organized under the mixed election system. Taking into account recent political developments, these elections raise various kinds of suspicions, mainly regarding their degree of fairness and representation.
Furthermore, potential post-electoral coalitions are hard to project, yet Moldova’s development route depends on the political palette of the future government. At its next anniversary, Moldova may find itself in democracy’s “grey zone,” the expert says.
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Ion Manole: Moldova backsliding from democratic principles