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Competition of Igor Dodon vs. Maia Sandu. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin


https://ipn.md/public/index.php/en/competition-of-igor-dodon-vs-maia-sandu-op-ed-by-7978_1080965.html

“Anyway, to be able to report a successful activity, it is enough to provoke snap parliamentary elections. These elections have yet to be won by a coalition of parties that would agree to implement the provisions of the presidential program. It would be very hard to do this amid the pandemic and economic crises…”
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Progress reports in the absence of concrete accomplishments

President Maia Sandu’s report on the results achieved during the first 100 days in office didn’t impress. Examining the Report on the first 100 days, we reach the conclusion that the President is well-intentioned, devoted and able to attract all kinds of assistance from the development partners for satisfying the current needs of the Republic of Moldova. But these ordinary accomplishments do not arouse enthusiasm and do not open up perspectives for the dynamic development of the country. In fact, it is hard to imagine that a President without powers can do more than: to note the existing problems; to convene meetings to discuss the solving of the given problems; to state opinions on the made efforts. The persistence of the question – was it worth returning to the direct election of the President if this remained deprived of real powers? – derives from here.

The aforementioned question is not trivial. We convinced ourselves that Maia Sandu’s predecessor Igor Dodon during four years delivered almost nothing of what he promised in the direct elections of 2016. Why should we believe that Maia Sandu will manage to fulfill the electoral program that was supported by the citizens in 2020? From what we saw, we can deduce that a President elected directly by the people creates problems in the relations between the presidential institution and Parliament rather than contributes to solving the pressing problems of society. Moreover, the tendency is to engage foreign states and international institutions in the internal conflicts between state institutions. It happened so in June 2019 and the same is noticed at present.

Efficiency of activity of President Igor Dodon

At first sight, there is seen no difference between the efficiency of President Maia Sandu’s actions from the actions of her predecessor. Igor Dodon published his Report on accomplishments during the first 100 days, saying that: ”we managed to substantially advance in fulfilling all the six commitments stipulated in the electoral platform we communicated to the citizens in the election campaign”. To refresh the citizens’ memory, we will remind the six commitments that were to be fulfilled during the first 100 days by Igor Dodon:

  • restoration of the strategic partnership with Russia. During a short period of time, I will make sure that the Moldovan products return to the Russian market;
  • organization of snap parliamentary elections;
  • launch of country reunification actions;
  • constitution of a trilateral commission with the participation of the U.S., the EU and Russia so as to ensure international guarantees for the neutrality of Moldova;
  • banning of unionism;
  • starting of the process of revitalizing the country – holding of all those to blame for the “theft of the century” and destruction of the country accountable.

Knowing how things developed in reality, we have to only ascertain that neither during the first 100 days nor after 1,500 days were any of the six commitments fulfilled. On the contrary, things even worsened in the reference areas:

  • the Moldovan products’ access to the Russian market became a banal political business that the leaders of the PSRM exploit year by year, especially before the elections. Recently, the leader of the PSRM, Igor Dodon expressed his regret at the fact that “Maia Sandu didn’t even ask to have the duty-free export to the Russian market extended”. Probably, Maia Sandu believes that the given problem was solved during the first 100 days of her predecessor’s mandate and therefore does not go to Moscow to negotiate the concessions. In fact, she wouldn’t have succeeded anyway as this is the privilege of the leader of the PSRM;  
  • Igor Dodon didn’t manage to organize snap parliamentary elections throughout his mandate. He was close to achieving this desideratum on the very last day of his presidential mandate, managing to persuade Prime Minister Chicu to tender his resignation so as to bring the snap parliamentary elections closer, but then changed his mind.
  • the country unification actions ended with a resounding failure. Igor Dodon and the PSRM had to renounce the own project to federalize the Republic of Moldova and to return to the Primakov Memorandum of 1997 to create a common state, which is to create a confederation with Transnistria;
  • the constitution of a trilateral commission with the participation of the U.S., the EU and Russia so as to ensure international guarantees for Moldova’s neutrality remained an unfulfilled dream. All the efforts to this effect were reduced to the presentation of the so-called Comprehensive Package that actually reiterated the provisions of the Kozak Memorandum;
  • the promise to ban unionism also turned out to be unachievable. On the contrary, during the presidency of Igor Dodon, the number of citizens who are for the Republic of Moldova’s union with Romania has doubled, rising from ~20% in 2016 to over 40% in 2021;
  • holding of all those to blame for the “theft of the century” accountable was substituted by the formation by the PSRM of a parliamentary majority with the Shor Party whose leader is considered the main executor of the billion theft by the Prosecutor General’s Office. Moreover, the PSRM even addressed the Council of Europe, insisting that the dissolution of Parliament in which the PSRM-Shor majority was formed is an act of usurpation of the state power.   

These were the promises made by President Igor Dodon, who was elected directly by the citizens in 2016, and they were to be fulfilled during the first 100 days in office. We showed that not even after four years of tenure, did he deliver any of the promises. Instead, during his four-year tenure, Igor Dodon was suspended from office for five times for incapacity to fulfill his presidential duties. This highlights again the uselessness of the direct election of the President. 

Efficiency of activity of Maia Sandu during first 100 days in office

If we return to the efficiency of the activity of President Maia Sandu during the first 100 days in office, we should yet wait until April 15, 2021 to see the Constitutional Court’s decision on the dissolution of Parliament. In fact, President Maia Sandu didn’t promise to do something special during the first 100 days in office. An occasion for reporting something during the first 100 days in office was offered to her by her opponent Igor Dodon, who insisted on the resignation of the Chicu Government so as to provoke snap parliamentary elections. As Igor Dodon and the PSRM  changed their mind, preferring to form a parliamentary majority with those whom they labeled representatives of the mafia and the bandits (min.07.00-15.21), to the detriment of the delivery of the promise to trigger snap elections, Maia Sandu was this way entrusted with the task of being consistent in clearing Parliament of the mafia and the bandits.

This way, paradoxically, about particular efficiency of the activity of President Maia Sandu, we will be able to speak if the Constitutional Court, examining the President’s application, ascertains the circumstances that justify the dissolution of Parliament and calling of snap parliamentary elections. At least, what her predecessor didn’t manage to do during four years and what he recently abandoned for the sake of the PSRM’s coalition with the Shor Party could be attributed to Maia Sandu as intermediary success in the harsh competition with renegades Igor Dodon and the PSRM.

Anyway, to be able to report a successful activity, it is enough to provoke snap parliamentary elections. These elections have yet to be won by a coalition of parties that would agree to implement the provisions of the presidential program. It would be very hard to do this amid the pandemic and economic crises.