OPINION: Political Experts About Moldova’s 2020 Presidential Elections: “Russia Has Not Lost Its Positions in Moldova.”
Maia Sandu defeated Igor Dodon in the second round of the presidential election. The final preliminary results show that Sandu won with a difference of over 250 thousand votes. ZdG tried to find out the experts’ opinions regarding the results recorded on Sunday, November 15.
Political scientist Dionis Cenușă, a researcher at Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, claims that Maia Sandu’s victory was predictable, based on the first round results. The political scientist also claims that Maia Sandu will have to face problematic relations with the Parliament and the Government.
“No one will boycott her, as long as she does not put pressure. For the public interest, the subjects must be prioritized, and the element of political competition must be excluded.”Political scientist Dionis Cenușă
The political scientist thinks that the removal of Igor Dodon from the equation would be premature.
“Dodon will return to the helm of the Socialists’ Party and will continue his political activity, including becoming someday president again or, at least, prime minister,” says Cenușă.
According to the expert, in Moldova, early parliamentary elections can most likely occur if the Socialists’ Party and Solidarity and Action Party, together with other parliamentary parties, agree to dissolve Parliament.
The expert thinks that any parliamentary majority that does not include Solidarity and Action Party will not serve Maia Sandu’s interests as president, as possible inter-institutional tensions. Asked if Russia lost Moldova because the pro-European candidate Sandu won the presidential elections, Cenușă claims that “Russia has not lost its positions in Moldova.”
“The first round elections results show that the center-left pole is more numerous and has pro-Russian sympathies. Likewise, polls clearly show that only a pro-EU-oriented party, Solidarity and Action Party, has the political capital to cross the electoral threshold. Therefore, Moscow has no reason to panic,” specified expert Cenușă.
Analyst Cornel Ciurea believes that the 2020 presidential election results are conditioned by “the inability to give a message of unity on the left, due to Our Party presidential candidate Usatîi’s diversion and also the diaspora mobilization.” The analyst claims that Maia Sandu enjoys a very high credit of confidence and is somewhat in the situation of Ukraine’s President Zelensky at the beginning of his term.
“She will try to force the dissolution of the Parliament, although this mission is much more complicated than in the case of the Ukrainian president. In case of failure, Maia Sandu will enter a war of attrition with the Parliament and the Government controlled by the Socialists, in which the Constitutional Court will assist her. Like President Zelensky, Maia Sandu will have to decide on the tone of the relationship with Russia and, despite the good intentions, this connection may not work,” stated analyst Ciurea.Analyst Cornel Ciurea
The analyst believes that Igor Dodon will not only try to become Prime Minister but will try to maintain “control over his party, Parliament, and Government.”
“There are real chances that anticipations will be avoided, as most parliamentary factions and groups do not want such a thing,” added the analyst.
Asked if Igor Dodon can create a parliamentary majority, Cornel Ciurea claims that there are real chances.
“Even without the Democratic Party, he can deal with all factions except Solidarity and the Action Party. However, PAS has a moral obligation to ask in advance to return Usatîi’s debt. Besides, this suits them politically,” Ciurea added.
The IDIS “Viitorul” expert, Ion Tabîrță, admits that there could be a political conflict between the institution of the Presidency and the Parliament in the next period.
“This is because the Presidency aims at the early parliamentary elections, and the Parliament will try to preserve those political forces that now dominate in it,” specified expert Tabîrță.
The analyst claims that Maia Sandu must take the first step to establish a schedule in three directions: politics, economy, and foreign policy. At the same time, he claims that it is difficult to say what the political fate of Igor Dodon is.
“It is not known whether he will continue to represent Russia or whether Russia will already focus on other political projects, and Igor Dodon will gradually become a secondary political player for Russia’s interests in Moldova,” Tabîrță added.
The expert argues that parliamentary elections can occur in two cases, and in no case can the president play proactively.
“The president can tax or punish Parliament. In the first case, Parliament should not be operational for three months. The second moment is related to the fall of the Government,“ also stated the expert.
Maia Sandu, the candidate of the Action and Solidarity Party for the position of president, obtained the most votes in the second round of the presidential elections, organized on November 16, and will be the first woman president of Moldova.
The final preliminary results show that Maia Sandu accumulated 57.75% of the votes, while her opponent Igor Dodon- 42.25%.