Pocket Parties in Moldova
Mr. Croitoru from Anenii Noi district, the center of Moldova, calls the newsroom once a week. The man reads Ziarul de Gardă on Thursday, compiles a list of questions, and seeks clear answers. One day, Mr. Croitoru complained that the Ministry of Justice did not give him necessary information about party registration. He says that together with about five neighbors, they want to set up a party, but the Ministry of Justice is uncooperative and seems to forbid them to do so. “As such, almost 50 parties were registered, but it does not accept to register another party and that’s it,” revolted Mr. Croitoru.
One day, I asked him why he thought we would need another party, in addition to the almost 50, which are registered in Moldova. His explanations were as clear as it could get. The man analyzed the list and the political platforms of the parties and he found that there are many inactive factions, which are revived only on the eve of the election, intended to play mainly into the left-wing political parties’ games.
“Our party would be different,” says Croitoru.
I browse the list of officially registered parties in Moldova and I agree with Mr. Croitoru. If we have parties such as the Workers’ Party, the New Historical Option Party, the “NOI” Political Party or the “Great Moldova” Party, the Party of Regions or the Romanian People’s Party, the Russian-Slavic Party of Moldova, or the Party Joint Action- Civic Congress, registered at the beginning of this year, parties that have their headquarters in the apartments of those who founded them and about which almost no one has heard anything, why not to set up a party in Croitoru’s house in Anenii Noi? Why Cavcaliuc, the youngest colonel in the history of the Interior Ministry can register a party this election year, and Croitoru, a suffering man, a man with a lot of life experience, could not do the same?
As a rule, new parties appear and the old, insignificant, occasional parties are brought back to life in the election years. No one has ever argued why they are founded, what money they are funded from. What do these men tell their children, young children, or teenagers about these electoral failures? Why did they rush into battle? To lose? To become losers?
The phenomenon of pocket parties is blamed every time it appears, but it is as constant as the pride in Moldovan politics. Recently, the Central Electoral Commission amended the Regulation on Presidential Elections.
Thus, starting with the election due this year, each candidate will submit the statement on own responsibility regarding the absence of legal/judicial restrictions to run or hold a public office; the non-existence of the final acts of finding regarding the regime of statement on personal assets and interests, the state of incompatibility and the confiscation of the unjustified property, acts that are not prescribed; e) the statement of assets and personal interests of the candidate for the last two years before the year in which the elections take place; the health certificate of the candidate for the position of head of state, issued by the medical institution.
If these provisions were observed indeed, starting with the elections this November, we could find answers to several questions that worry the voters. Where does the money of the parties without any chances come from? Where do the so-called poor disappear, who ended up in big politics without money, but enriched overnight without working? What do the losers of pocket parties tell their children when they ask them: why did you get involved, to lose?