“Government”- Opposition, scoreline 1:1. Overtime or penalty shootout? IPN analysis

„So, the scoreline of the political confrontations between the government and the opposition on important issues, especially the presidential elections, seems to be 1:1.  What’s next, overtime and/or penalty shootout?...”

The “Government” or former government, if we use strictly juridical terminology, insists on the assumption of responsibility for four bills, including the rise in salaries for doctors and allocation of allowances for persons with low incomes. For the purpose, the third Parliament sitting in a row was planned for today. If the opposition, all the segments present in the Legislature, has been sincere until now when it explained its unwillingness to accept the assumption of responsibility, we can presume that today’s sitting will again not have the quorum. The “Government” realizes perfectly this, but yet insists. Let’s try and understand why.

Why “government” remains government?

Let’s first of all explain why we continue to use the notion of “government” even when such practice does not exist in the classical meaning of the world. Firstly, because the government continues to maintain control over the administration of Parliament, the Standing Bureau and the parliamentary commission. In this regard, the PSRM-PDM duo continues to support or to even direct the Chicu Government’s actions. That’s why, for example, the problem of the assumption of responsibility migrates from sitting to siting, as long as the former government needs this.

Secondly, the former government informally includes such a very important political player as President Igor Dodon, who also has many instruments for keeping or modifying the spheres of influence of the former government. It is evident which ”bear” Igor Dodon supports and will support and not only in favor of the former government and the current Government. Respectively, until the opposite is proven, we must continue to speak about the same parliamentary majority, with or without the inverted commas. 

Government with electoral laurels on head

Why does the Government (and administration in general) continue to knock at a closed door? Because of a well-determined political calculation. If the opposition or a part of it votes to assume responsibility, all the laurels will be evidently won by the government, which this way can count on the extension of the electoral poll and this November’s presidential elections are the first occasion in this regard. In the future elections, the doctors, who meanwhile became a very influential category in society, matter a lot in this regard, as will continue to matter the persons with low incomes, which are many in number and are politically oriented mainly to the components of the current government, which will take care to explain to everyone who made sure that these allocations are provided.

The Government and its informal element lose this benefit if the mentioned laws go through a normal parliamentary procedure as it is not expected that one of the components of the opposition, again for political reasons, will not vote them and the merit then will be of all the parties represented in Parliament. This state of uncertainty is rather in the interests of the government, which will use all its administrative, media and propagandistic potential to “draw” the profile of the opposition as “the people’s enemy” and “alliance of billion stealers”.

For the same political reasons, the opposition does not allow the government to exclusively win the laurels, even if it partially suffers because of this defensive position. Voting would mean recognition of the more important role of the government and this would cause even more harm to it. Also for political reasons, the opposition does not come to the Parliament sitting when the assumption of responsibility is on the agenda.

Motion against the Government in favor of administration

This because another reason why the administration behaves as it behaves could be its interest to force the opposition to propose and vote a motion of no confidence against the current Government. Normally, the motion is proposed in a legal and normal way if the assumption of responsibility by the Government does not pass Parliament or the dismissal of the Government occurs automatically if Parliament officially rejects the assumption of responsibility. In the current situation, when there is no classical parliamentary majority, the administration, with all its formal or informal components would rather want the dismissal of the Chicu Government, which, for various reasons, cannot be replaced with another one. The current Government thus remains functional, with reduced but sufficient powers to maintain the administrative resources needed to organize in a particular way the presidential elections. Even if the varied opposition identifies a possibility of appointing a new government, the President has enough instruments to significantly put off the installation of this, exactly until close to the presidential elections. It is known that the things important for elections are done not on the election day, but long before this. Meanwhile, the administrative, media and propagandistic instruments will not miss the opportunity to criticize, to put it mildly, the opposition for “throwing the country into chaos”. The principle “the worse, the better” will work in favor of the administration, with all its components.

Trap of Constitutional Court

The administration could have the third reason for insisting on the scenario of assumption of responsibility. It could try and take revenge for the failures it experienced when assuming reusability at the start of the pandemic, when the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of the opposition, including as regards the lending agreement with Russia, which caused serious image problems to the administration inside and outside. If the opposition goes to the CC with this assumption of responsibility too, it could lose something at electoral level as, no matter what decision the Court takes, the practical procedure for allocating money can be delayed. The opposition will lose even if the CC declares the assumption of responsibility unconstitutional and this is rather probable as a functional Parliament has exclusive prerogatives in the adoption of laws, such as the amendment of the budget. Can the opposition wish for such a victory in such conditions?

So, the scoreline of the political confrontations between the government and the opposition on important issues, especially the presidential elections, seems to be 1:1.  What’s next, overtime and/or penalty shootout?

Valeriu Vasilică, IPN

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