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Electoral confusions. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin


https://ipn.md/public/index.php/en/electoral-confusions-op-ed-by-victor-pelin-7978_1082482.html

“To be correct in relation to the symbol of the EBCS, we must admit that there is yet an element that makes it different from the Soviet Army’s symbol – the hammer and sickle from the red pentagram are not golden, for now!”

Defilement of memory of victims of deportations

During election campaigns, the contenders sometimes resort to reprovable actions in a move to attract voters’ attention. Such an action was also taken by the Electoral Bloc of the Communists and the Socialists (EBCS), which occurred exactly on the 80th anniversary of the first wave of Bessarabian deportations staged by the Soviet regime. In response, heavyweights of the Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR) dismantled and destroyed three electoral banners of the EBCS that were placed on a truck parked in front of the Monument to the victims of deportations of the Communist regime. The defying element was the fact that the banners of the EBCS contained the electoral symbol of the EBCS – the hammer and sickle against a red pentagram. Namely under this symbol, in 1941-1951, there were staged three waves of criminal deportation of over 60,000 Bessarabians.  

The EBCS leaders surely reacted to the incident, but did it somehow lethargically, threatening that if such acts repeat, they will come with an appropriate response. In fact, the EBCS realized that it defiled the memory of the deportees and therefore didn’t inform the law enforcement agencies about the destruction or intentional damaging of foreign goods. The EBCS’s wish to faster forget the given incident can be understood. However, it is hard to understand the lack of interest in the AUR and other parties to bring things in order not only as regards the prevention of defilement of the memory of the victims of the Communist regime, but also as concerns the protection of intellectual property, regardless of the attitude to particular concrete symbols.

There is a whole theory of symbols that shape the wishes and intentions, modeling the behaviors of the people. That’s why the interpretation of symbols and guaranteed protection of these as intellectual property deserve an elaborate approach and to be in the center of pubic opinion’s attention. From this viewpoint, the incident between the AUR and the EBCS, the insistence that the symbols should be interpreted and their appropriate use would improve the Republic of Moldova’s prestige as a state that respects intellectual property. 

Necessity of protecting intellectual property and legal framework

When attentively examining the symbol of the EBCS, we see that this fully coincides with the symbol of the Red Army that was approved by order No. 1691 on July 11, 1922, as a result of a contest staged by the Revolutionary Military Council of the Red Army. In 1945, this name was replaced with the Soviet Army that kept the symbol unchanged until 1991, when it disappeared together with the USSR.

In this connection, it is interesting to clarify if it is legally and morally right for a symbol worked out as part of a contest, which was approved and used during 69 years, can be plagiarized arbitrarily and used without permission. The subtleties of this problem should preoccupy the experts in the field of protection of intellectual rights. Until a competent response is obtained, the given symbol should not be used, if the Republic of Moldova considers itself a civilized European state, especially because the EBCS leaders were among the main promoters of the European integration of our country.

Besides, there is also the ethical aspect of the problem. In fact, we should wonder what message the EBCS wants to transmit to the citizens of the Republic of Moldova. The EBCS uses this symbol in the campaign prior to the snap parliamentary elections of July 11, 2021, when it will be exactly 99 years of the approval of the given symbol. This symbol is associated with the occupation of territories from the composition of six European states by the Red Army in 1939-1940, in accordance with the Ribbentrop-Moldova Pact. The Nations League excluded the USSR from its ranks for the Red Army’s aggression against Finland. Later, under the same symbol, Hungary and Czechoslovakia were invaded in 1956 and, respectively, in 1968, etc.

Ultimately, there is a topical element that cannot be overlooked. On May 2, 2017, the Constitutional Court (CC) adopted decision No. 14 concerning  the interpretation of Article 11 of the Constitution (permanent neutrality) by which it stipulated that “the Soviet/Russian occupation hasn’t stopped in the Eastern part of the country even if the independence of the Republic of Moldova was proclaimed. The Russian Federation recognized it, but withdrew its army only from the Western part of the Moldovan territory (11% of the Republic of Moldova’s area remains occupied)”. Evidently, the foreign occupation that still persists, according to the CC decision, took place under the symbol used in the current election campaign by the EBCS. As the texts of the CC decisions have the status of laws, a question appears - how appropriate is it for the symbol under which a part of the country’s territory was occupied, and this continues to be occupied, to be used by a political party that struggles for state power?

Conclusions

The independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova is the supreme accomplishment of our nation. The given assertion was included in the manifesto that was designed and adopted as a government program 12 years ago by the current leaders of the EBCS. That’s why the electoral symbols used by the election contenders that struggle for political power should not suggest the perpetuation of the occupation of the country’s territory. This refers primarily to the election contenders that chose as slogans such words: We do not concede country to foreigners!

According to research in the field of symbols, these imply both the idea of separation and of union, expressing figuratively the wish or the conflicts. That’s why the authorities and the EBCS should clarify if they really want the whole country to be under the established symbol of the Red Army. We recently convinced ourselves of this truth as the EBCS’s symbol caused a real conflict with the AUR.

The incident between the EBCS and the AUR contains also a big curiosity. Both of the parties are conservative, with very similar political programs as regards the fight against globalism and liberalization, protection of the traditional values, family, Orthodox faith, etc. One essential thing makes them different – the EBCS is the promoter of Moldovenism, while the AUR is the promoter of Romanianism.

To be correct in relation to the symbol of the EBCS, we must admit that there is yet an element that makes it different from the Soviet Army’s symbol – the hammer and sickle from the red pentagram are not golden, for now!