The Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia no longer seems to want to be the exclusive electoral estate of the “left”. At least, the people there do not want to vote exclusively for Ig. Dodon or V.Voronin any longer. Is the “right” ready, in the new situation, to take its place in the political market of the Moldovan Budjac?
On September 19 and October 3, ordinary elections to the People’s Assembly were held in two consecutive rounds in the UTA Gagauzia. One hundred and twenty-three candidates (100 independent candidates, 21 from the Bloc of Communists and Socialists and 2 from the Party We Build Europe at Home) competed for 35 seats in the autonomy legislative assembly. This is categorically an insignificant political diversity to change the rhetoric in Chișinău’s relations with Comrat, given the fact that there is still some reluctance between President Maia Sandu and Governor Irina Vlah. Whatever explanations may be found, it is difficult to understand that not a single serious political party in Chișinău, including the ruling one, has shown interest in the election held in an area continually disturbed by the “red hyenas”.
Until September 19, Dodon was confident that, just as he covets in chess, the “white horse” will be his, and that the Block of Communists and Socialists has every chance to win the elections in the next People’s Assembly and keep UTA Găgăuzia under political control. The confidence probably came from the fact that in the early parliamentary elections of July 11, the Socialists and Communists accumulated in the region over 80% of the votes. Ironically, out of 35 seats in the People’s Assembly, the Block of Communists and Socialists got only 9 seats, one mandate went to We Build Europe at Home Party (?!), and most mandates – 25 – went to independent candidates. What matters now is what political masks the independent candidates are wearing and whose games, combinations, and transactions they will get involved in. An indisputable fact, however, is that, as expected, after the July early elections the number of votes expressly cast for socialists and communists declined.
Before the early elections, the Socialist Party of Moldova and Dodon controlled the Parliament and the Government and could easily manipulate public opinion. After the catastrophic loss in the elections, they turned into second-hand political actors, whom nobody wants any longer, except for those who robbed and screwed this tiny country of Moldova, with its Gagauzia and the handful of people that still live in it. Evidently, a party that is off the game is not as interesting as one that is in the game. Yet, the Gagauz are not ready to radically change their political and geopolitical habits in a few months. For 30 years, they have been brainwashed and humiliated and left prey to the “left” forces. The Gagauz, however, do not live on a different continent, and Comrat, Ceadîr-Lunga or Vulcanești are not thousands of kilometers away from Chișinău. They must have heard or suspected that the July 11 early elections were more than ordinary elections; they marked the beginning of the end of a system of political-mafia government, which included Dodon and the Socialists.
In the Gagauz and in the Moldovan environment, as well as in the Russian environment, the more or less intelligent people could not help but understand that the Socialists lost the elections with a catastrophic and irremediable result. It is probably due to this that the elections for the People’s Assembly were, according to some area experts, the most anemic in the region so far. It proves that the Gagauz are sick and tired of the traditional domination of the “left” which, for 30 years, has held them as electoral hostages while pursuing their interests. It also shows that the Gagauz probably want something else, now that Dodon and Voronin were “devalued”. And if they want something else, is the “right” ready to give them this chance and get actively involved in the political life of the region? The question remains unanswered for now.
Since the Russian-backed uprising in Comrat in1990, when Moscow sought to persuade Chișinău not to leave the USSR, no “right-wing” political party has shown interest and involvement in the political life of the region. The Gagauz territory (due to lack of visions or betrayal) was left to the discretion of the “left”, and the “left”, orchestrated by Moscow, always provoked Comrat into disloyalty to Chișinău. In consequence, UTA Gagauzia is closer now to Russia than to Moldova.
It is the merit of Turkey, not of Chișinău that, unlike in the breakaway Transnistrian region, Russia suffered an administrative and territorial failure. When late President Suleyman Demirel visited Moldova during a period of instability in Comrat, he advised the Gagauz, like a good parent, not to look for a country elsewhere, as their country is where they live. Years have passed, Demirel passed away, but the problems remain. Thirty years later, UTA Gagauzia is still under the influence of the “left”, that is of Russia. The “right” has always justified its non-involvement saying it is not a profitable enterprise to work in an area where people have predetermined preferences. Okay, but who sought to offer them other electoral opportunities? It is not the fault of the Gagauz people that they vote the way they do. It is the blunder of the political “right” in Chișinău. In Comrat, Vulcănești or Ceadîr-Lunga, people only know about two parties, the Communist Party and the Party of Socialists, and the Gagauz who go to the polls vote as the kolkhoz presidents tell them.
The Gagauz are tired of the “left”. What alternatives can the “right” parties offer? Who will cut this Gordian knot? The Action and Solidarity Party? The Political Platform Dignity and Truth? The Party of National Unity? All of them together? Or we’ll just leave the problem to the Gagauz?