Beam in Maia’s eye… Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“The hidden funding of political parties in the Republic of Moldova represents a huge danger to the state interests, no matter what parties are involved and what their sources of financing are..”

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Secret party funding  schemes

The member of the parliamentary group of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), Bogdan Țîrdea, recently revealed the scheme used to finance the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), led by Maia Sandu. The given scheme allegedly works in four stages: (1) Maia asks the people to provide financial support; (2) Soros and the Adenauer Foundation transfer dollars to NGOs; (3) the NGOs transfer dollars to volunteers of these NGOs; (4) The volunteers of the NGOs (who are also volunteers of the PAS and DA) make donations to Maia’s party.

The scheme seems intricate, with a lot of involved organizations and volunteers who can leak information about the functioning of the described scheme. But we cannot ignore the assertions of a people’s representative and these should be examined thoroughly. If this scheme is really functional, things are serious. It would be interesting to know exactly: (1) the sums that are transferred and collected by the mentioned NGOs; (2) the number of volunteers involved in the scheme; and (3) the sums donated by volunteers to the PAS. Regrettably, the Socialist MP avoids making public such information that he presumably possesses. It’s strange that, forming part of the government coalition and discovering fraudulent party funding schemes, he didn’t notify the Central Election Commission (CEC) and the competent bodies so that the identified illegalities are stopped. The invoked things generate a series of questions:

  • What do the CEC, the Prosecutor’s Office, the SIS and the institutions empowered to supervise the legality of bank transfers do?
  • Why is the transfer of money from abroad to the accounts of NGOs allowed?
  • Why do the NGOs distribute money to volunteers?
  • Why don’t the fiscal bodies investigate the transfer of money to volunteers?
  • Why did the PGO drop the Open Dialogue case that involved the PAS leader?
  • Why didn’t the MP of the PSRM initiate the constitution of a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the phenomenon that he discovered, as it happened in the case of Open Dialogue?
  • Finally, why didn’t the MP of the PSRM design a bill that would break the vicious circle of illegal party funding when it is adopted?      

The formulated questions need rapid answers and solutions that could be implemented before the start of the election campaign.

Beam in Țîrdea’s eye

To answer the aforesaid questions, we must understand the context in which the Socialist MP makes revelations and the context is much more interesting than the invoked revelations. The truth is that the PSRM during many years has been in the center of resonant scandals related to the party’s financing:

Indeed, one should be very courageous to write about schemes and donations of volunteers when you yourself make donations of tens of thousands of lei, which is much more than the declared monthly incomes, from obscure sources? It’s a big sin to see the beam in the eye of a person that is next to you and not to see it in your own eye.

If he kept silent, he remained a patriot...

Even if the mission of the beam is impossible, the Socialist MP’s courage deserves to be appreciated. Revealing party funding schemes, the politician appeared in a double posture – of ordinary propagandist of the PSRM and of a person who takes revenge on the investigative press that published articles about the discrepancy between the declared incomes and the property possessed by the politician. The way in which the politician considered it is opportune to attack the press for its investigations can be assessed by anyone: “The same NGOs and the media outlets of Soros deal with counter-propaganda (hello TV8 and Jurnal TV!) They mercilessly kill their opoonents, pursue their families, write about their property (hello Ziarul de Garda), naming them corrupt. They polish the image of Maia in vain (read Moldstreet :)) All these things cost tens of millions of dollars!”

It would be good if only the media holding of the PSRM worked on the market as the people would be informed impeccably.

In fact, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova should be grateful to the unaffiliated press for what it does.  But they have also reasons to express their dissatisfaction with it. It’s good that the press reveals discrepancies between the incomes and property of statesmen, but it is regrettable that it does not yet have the potential to discover all the obscure sources of illegal funding. For example, the same Socialist MP could have incomes from the Isborsk Club whose branch in the Republic of Moldova he has headed since 2016.

It should be noted that the declared goal of the Isborsk Club is: “to contribute to the formation of a powerful political and ideological coalition of patriotic statesmen, of an imperial front that would oppose the manipulations from outside in Russian politics through “a fifth column” from inside the country.” The open involvement of Moldovan statesmen in such organizations generates a series of questions of major public interest:

  • Why did the imperial front open in Chisinau a branch that is managed by an MP of the PSRM?
  • Why is President Igor Dodon among the experts of the imperialist body and what kind of expertise does he deliver to the Russian backers?
  • Isn’t the $ 700,000-800,000 for the monthly maintenance of the PSRM, provided from the sources of Gazprom, actually payments for analytical contributions?
  • Don’t the President and Socialist MP Țîrdea know who their colleagues at the Isborsk Club are?

The questions are suggestive, but need yet to be clarified for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova. The truth is that the founders of the Isborsk Club are persons who are very well known in the Russian imperialist circles. For example, the Club’s president Alexandr Prohanov says he is the last soldier of the empire and struggles ardently for the imperialist ideals. Alexandr Dughin is a famous ideologist of Russian neo-imperialism,a leader of the Eurasian movement. Zakhar Prilepin is a practitioner who led a detachment of Russian combatants in the war in Donbass and recently recognized his comrades in the mission in Minsk. Prilepin is also the leader of the party For Justice, which pleads for the recognition of the independence of Transnistria and its inclusion in the composition of Russia, etc.

If the MP of the PSRM kept silent, he remained a patriot. He knows that revenge is a dish that should be served cold. He got angry and hurried to emphasize the beam in Maia’s eye, but actually underlined a number of beams in the PSRM’s eye. 

Conclusions

The hidden funding of political parties in the Republic of Moldova represents a huge danger to the state interests, no matter what parties are involved and what their sources of financing are.

The President and the MPs of the PSRM, who, as they assert, promote the Republic of Moldova’s independence, actually form part or cooperate with bodies that are hostile to the country’s interests. It is important to investigate the connection between the analytical activity of the representatives of the PSRM and the scandalous cases of party funding.

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