Spectacolul ideilor pe hartă

02/dec/2009 EURAST recomandă o excelentă analiză: Vl. Socor – Cum „pescuieşte” Rusia în apele politicii de la Chişinău


by Vladimir Socor  

(The Jamestown Foudation, December 1th, 2009)

Moldova’s parliament, a product of the repeat elections in July and deadlocked since then, has scheduled its fourth official attempt this year (technically the fifth attempt) to elect a head of state for December 7.

The governing Alliance for European Integration (AEI) officially supports Marian Lupu, leader of the Democratic Party (third-largest in the four-party Alliance) as its collective candidate for head of state. However, Lupu has gone far in courting Russian support and risks being abandoned by the AEI. Unofficially, some AEI factions are considering ways to scuttle Lupu’s candidacy. The nominally Communist opposition has refused to designate a candidate thus far. The Communists, in power from 2001 to 2009, hold more than enough seats to block the election of the head of state in parliament and force new parliamentary elections.

While the tug-of-war between the Communists and the AEI captures public attention, a parallel contest is ongoing within the AEI itself. Behind the Alliance’s façade of unity, certain leaders have not conclusively given up their own presidential ambitions, which they had seemed to renounce when nominating Lupu as joint candidate. With the presidential election turning into a long-drawn-out process, and Lupu’s chances consequently looking more uncertain, internal rivalries are recrudescing in the AEI.

The incumbent prime minister, Vlad Filat (Liberal-Democrat Party leader), and the leader of Moldova Noastra (AEI’s smallest party) Serafim Urecheanu, had announced their presidential ambitions prior to AEI’s nomination of Lupu. The parliament’s incumbent chairman and acting head of state, Mihai Ghimpu, has repeatedly announced his readiness to continue as acting head of state for as long as necessary to change the constitution.

The gathering threats to Lupu’s candidacy have forced him to seek Russian and local Communist support (see EDM, November 4, 30). Lupu unveiled his predicament publicly for the first time in his November 24 news conference. Alluding to „differing positions and voices [within the AEI] regarding the presidential election”, he could not predict „whether these would unify or would divide even further.” Lupu warned against the intractable situation that would result „if the principles, adopted at the Alliance’s foundation [i.e, the presidential nomination], are not respected.” If the presidential election fails again and new parliamentary elections are held, Lupu said, the Democratic Party might run separately from the other AEI parties, seeking „ideologically compatible” allies in and out of parliament (Moldpres, November 24). He went on to characterize Moldova’s nominal Communist Party as largely compatible (Timpul, November 30, citing Pro-TV, November 27).

Concurrently, Lupu has proposed a 12-point platform for cooperation with the opposition Communist Party. Initiated by him and said by him to carry AEI’s endorsment, the platform is subject to further negotiation with the Communist Party, as a possible basis for Lupu’s election as president with that party’s support (Basapress, NewsIn, November 25).

Lupu’s AEI rivals have seized this opportunity to threaten his candidacy openly. On November 30 the Chisinau newspaper „Timpul,” closely linked with Filat’s Liberal-Democrat Party, vehemently attacked Lupu’s platform and sharply questioned whether it carried the AEI’s endorsment. The attack focuses on perennial, emotional issues of national identity. It rejects the Lupu platform’s planks about „creating conditions for ethnic groups’ active participation in political life,” „a balanced approach to the teaching of history,” and „combating irredentism.” It interprets these three, semi-coded planks as implying a privileged treatment to „Russian-speaking” ethnic groups, renouncing the teaching of Romanian history, and resisting Romanian influence („irredentism”). And it takes equally vehement issue with Lupu’s recent statement (Pro-TV, November 27) about strict observance of Moldova’s permanent status of neutrality and Moldova being a „multiethnic and multicultural country.”

Those parts of Lupu’s platforms read like a desperate attempt to secure Russia’s and the local Communist Party’s support. „Timpul” is almost certainly accurate in its interpretation of Lupu’s planks. This influential newspaper speaks for Romanian-minded Chisinau circles across party lines, including Filat’s latent rival, the Liberal Party of parliament chairman and acting head of state Mihai Ghimpu. With six days to go until the presidential election, „Timpul”‘s assault on Lupu indicates that AEI leaders are seriously considering abandoning Lupu’s presidential candidacy and prolonging Ghimpu’s acting presidency for an undefined period of time, in breach of the admittedly flawed constitution, and pending changes to that document by referemdum.

Thus, Lupu’s tactical rapprochement with Russia is playing into the hands of his rivals within the AEI. His tactics risk squandering his reputation as a Western-oriented politician, favorably regarded in Brussels and other European capitals, and with no personal links to Russia thus far. Unlike the other AEI leaders, Lupu has no personal links to Romania either. He and a few other AEI politicians of Lupu’s generation (now in their early 40s) represent a cultural leap from the post-Soviet era into the European integration era for Moldova. Nevertheless, feeling cornered inside the AEI, Lupu has reached out recklessly close to Russia and the Communists.

Russia would prefer a Moldovan leadership that modifies the existing, unambiguous European orientation by introducing a two-vector policy between Europe and Russia. By the same token, Russia would welcome a Moldovan leadership that sets limits to Romanian influence in Moldova.

Moscow’s optimal solution would be to support a respected Moldovan politician with a European face, who would preside over a two-vector policy. Furthermore, such a Moldovan president would have to operate in alliance with one or several political groups amenable to Russian influence. Moscow apparently hopes that it could embed Lupu into such an arrangement. However, the Kremlin’s attempts to persuade the Moldovan Communist Party or at least a part of it to break the deadlock and support Lupu’s election as president (see EDM, November) have not borne fruit thus far.

There are no pro-Russia elements in the AEI; and few such in the opposition Communist Party’s leadership (which had distanced itself dramatically from Moscow in recent years). All Moldovan political leaders including Communists subscribe to the goal of European integration (despite differences of degree in their understanding of that goal). The Communist Party, however, has switched from a pro-Europe stance to an equidistant stance between Europe and Russia in its electoral rhetoric this year.

While some AEI politicians feel close to Romania, and some are prone to Romanian national irredentism, no significant Moldovan politician is oriented toward Russia. Even among Communist parliamentarians, political Russophiles (as distinct from cultural ones) are a few passive backbenchers. Russian direct political influence in Chisinau had been nil during the nominally Communist Vladimir Voronin’s presidency (2001-2009). Pro-Moscow groups operate outside the Communist Party, on the left fringe of „Russian-speaking” ethnic groups.

However, Chisinau’s intense partisan, factional, and personal rivalries–coupled with the urgency of external economic support to the new government–impel some leaders and groups to reach out not only to the European Union or Romania, but also to Russia. In this situation, presidential aspirants and government leaders responsible for the economy are engaging in tactical fence-mending with Moscow.

Consequently, Moscow sees an opportunity to build political influence in Chisinau for the first time after 1991. It has started this effort almost from scratch in recent months. The Kremlin and the Russian government are approaching Moldovan political groups and key contestants for power, seeking to shape the outcome and create a basis for working with a post-crisis government. However, the Communists are not readily amenable, and Lupu is overplaying his tactical hand.


(click pe imagine pentru o rezoluţie mai bună)

 by Bill Schorr, 05 nov 09


2 decembrie 2009 - Posted by | caricaturi / comics, Geopolitica, Intelo | , , , , , , , ,

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