EDITORIAL: Is Dodon’s Escape being Postponed?

EDITORIAL: Is Dodon’s Escape being Postponed?
24 October 2021 | 14:12

The old Romanian saying “Running away is shameful, but useful” has, of late, become commonplace among our politicians. Plahotniuc fled and Shor fled, as well as Platon and many others. Will Dodon run away? He says he won’t, although the circumstances require that he should.

If you are not happy with the amount you owe or want to steal more than you normally can, you go into politics, become a party member, pay the “dues” and, getting to power, you get complete freedom to line your pockets and bank accounts. To hedge against any risks, you pass the fortunes on to your relatives. And when you feel the noose is tightening, you flee and get lost. The press will write about you for a while, that you are a thief, a charlatan, a bandit, a murderer, a corrupt official, and a coward, that Interpol is looking for you, while, in fact, no one will look for you, and if they do, they will not find you. Money solves everything. At least, it has been this way until now.

In 2019, the great adventurer Vlad Plahotniuc, this Ostap Bender of Moldova, the leader of the Moldovan oligarchy, then a member of Parliament and leader of “Party Switchers Coalition”  within the ‘PDM and others’ governing, left Moldova in utmost secrecy. Plahotniuc left Moldova after the Democrats lost power, following the parliamentary elections of February 2019. On June 16, 2019, the Filip Government surrendered and, on the same day, Plahotniuc was gone. 

The great “puppeteer” who in three years of PDM rule cut into the flesh and ruined whatever did not suit him and built his own business at his will, fled in secrecy. Plahotniuc never denied himself anything neither in politics nor in business. He has been accused of involvement in acts of corruption, robberies, and all sorts of dubious transactions, including “the billion theft”. Shortly after leaving, he resigned as deputy and head of PDM. Declared a fugitive and wanted internationally, he remains untraceable even after two years of searching. And they probably won’t find him, although they know his whereabouts. And this is because fugitives like Vladimir Plahotniuc do not run away ad hoc.

Plahotniuc had planned his escape three months before it happened. I mean, he set it up, he secured it. As in the case of Ilan Șor or, more recently, of Veaceslav Platon, only that, unlike Plahotniuc who fled to the USA and later to Turkey, Șor sought a place of refuge in Israel, and Platon – in the UK. However, no matter which ways they went and where they took refuge, all three are fugitive criminals, who left Moldova for the same reasons: fear of justice which intensified after the July 11 snap elections. Stoianoglo’s arrest and the resignations which followed in the General Prosecutor’s Office left the leaders of the mafia and political and economic sabotage defenseless. The Socialists and former Democrats are confused. Dodon is panicking.

Troubled by the war that the Action and Solidarity Party has declared on injustice and high-level corruption, Igor Dodon, who is targeted in several dirty cases (the “Bahamas” and “Kuliok” cases, treason, etc.), announced earlier this week that he resigned as deputy and as leader of the Socialist Party of Moldova. The announcement was made at a briefing on Monday, October 18. Well, fear does not only harm, it can also do good. Dodon motivated his decision by saying “I see no reason to be in this Parliament” in which his position no longer matters. He said he wanted to be closer to the people (after becoming a landowner in Sadova and not only) and that he could be “more efficient in other positions” than in that of party leader. A month ago, however, Dodon declared that for the December 15 Congress the Socialists have no better candidate for the party leadership than him. He is the only one who is more experienced and more versed in politics and in the administration of state affairs. What has gone wrong? 

It just so happened that on October 5, the same day that the Prosecutor General Alexandru Stoianoglo was detained, Dodon was summoned to Moscow, where he was most likely asked to secure Stoianoglo’s release from custody and to help him escape from Moldova, a familiar scenario. Dodon, apparently, reported readiness to execute the order.

While still in Moscow, he asked PAS to release Stoianoglo, otherwise, he would take the people out into the streets and provoke early parliamentary and presidential elections. On his return home, he tried to disrupt the situation in Comrat but failed, just as the protests in Chișinău failed. Stoianoglo remained in custody, while other heads of the prosecutor’s office were arrested or dismissed. Dodon failed. This was probably his last chance to redeem in the eyes of the Kremlin, after a major defeat in two election campaigns (presidential elections in 2020 and parliamentary elections in 2021), which undermined Russia’s influences in the region. Moscow realizes that it can no longer rely on Dodon in Chișinău, that they need something different and someone else who can serve its interests here, in the new political situation after the last parliamentary elections. 

Under these circumstances, it is clear that the statement Dodon made on Monday does not belong to him. The statement on his resigning from the party leadership should be understood as Moscow’s forced dismissal of him. Obviously, having served Putin for years in slavery, Dodon could not be left without work. Putin appointed Igor Dodon as President of the Moldovan-Russian Business Union Public Association. It’s not a big favor for a former head of state. However, in the case of Igor Dodon, who came into conflict with the law several times during his tenure, it matters. Dodon, as well as Moscow, probably, hopes that his new position could protect him from a possible repeat of Stoianoglo’s fate if prosecutors follow up on the cases in which he is targeted. Will Russia get involved?

On October 19, Dodon left for Moscow again. Is he seeking new guarantees? Is he preparing to flee?

AUTHOR MAIL

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