EDITORIAL: The Party Caught Between Shadows
It’s easy to promise, but hard to keep the promise. The Voronin era did not end with the November 7 congress, as expected, the Voronin era continues. The Communists remained with the same president as before the congress. Voronin (for whatever reason) did not keep his promise to retire from the Communist Party leadership. The change did not happen … “I decided – I am leaving the position of president of the Communist Party. Changes already need to be made. The whole country is making changes, and we must keep up with it. I think I will be understood by my communist colleagues. It’s time … “, the “father of communists” solemnly confessed to the press before the congress.
What was that? Did Voronin fool us again? Or, at the age of 80, he confused the declarations (like the confused Leonid Brezhnev in his time) and, instead of reading the resignation text, he has read the text slipped (supposedly) in his hands by Oleg Reidman, his secret adviser, who remained with him from the old times of his reign. Had Reidman interfered in the president’s business? In any case, during the break between the congress meetings, there were voices among the delegates according to which all the script and arrangements in Sunday’s congress would have been made by Reidman. And that Oleg Reidman would also be the one who would have convinced Voronin to give up his resignation and to be re-elected to the Communist Party leadership. Why? Because he was aware that, if the issue of Voronin’s resignation had been raised, he would have had little chance of becoming his successor at the helm of the party, and Reidman does not want to admit another outcome.
One way or another, the ninth congress of communists at which Voronin was preparing to demand his resignation, to put it mildly, failed. And not because Voronin didn’t leave. With or without Voronin as president of the Communist Party, it doesn’t matter for Moldova. The communists no longer influence the future of Moldova. First, they disappointed the electorate and they are no longer elected, (out of 435 delegates to the congress, 138 were absent). Second, they have nothing to do with communism and are just ordinary crooks who have speculated and held power for years on behalf of Lenin, the socialist revolution, and communist symbolism. And third, they do not identify, as they have never identified, neither historically, nor culturally, nor spiritually, with the origins of this piece of Romanian land. Voronin and the communists’ chances of remaining in big politics are exhausted. The Communist Party is no longer an alternative to either the right or the left. They had the chance in the past, but no longer have it. They would have the chance if Voronin had chosen not to be like everyone else, but he chose something else.
Voronin and the Communist Party had their heyday in politics. It was good for them, not for Moldova. In 2001, Vladimir Voronin brought the Communists to power. He is the only party leader, and the Communists – the only political party so far that has held state power at all levels for two consecutive terms, although the stakes have been high for many others. “We came to power for a long time, maybe forever,” said Victor Stepaniuc, one of the then leaders of the Communist Party, at Voronin’s inauguration ceremony. But the story ended earlier. Following the Twitter revolution of April 2009, the Communist Party partially loses, and in the snap elections of 2010, they lose completely the state power. After 2010, the communists no longer mattered to Moldova. What we could recognize as a great merit to Voronin, would be the failure to sign the Kozak Memorandum in 2003 and the rescue of Moldova from federalization (even if Voronin was waiting for Putin in Chișinău). And the second thing, which we cannot fail to recognize as merit, is the destruction of the Communist Party. In the 27 years since the party’s founding, Voronin has played down his resignation and succession to the party leadership, until he emptied it of all its potential and brought it to the condition that the only successor remained Oleg Reidman. And here we could applaud Voronin, but, the biggest regret (if we were to regret it) is that Voronin was a good administrator at the head of state, only that he administered it in interests other than the state. According to unofficial sources, the Voronin family now owns an entire hotel empire by the sea, in Montenegro, not to mention other fortunes. It is worth remembering that, in Voronin’s time, from Naslavcea to Giurgiulești, all the banditry on the highway was cleared. It was not liquidated but transferred to the government, the Interior Affairs, the Security and Intelligence Service, the army, customs, prosecutors, judges. Instead of the one on the highway, Voronin raised great state banditry with which he tied down Moldova.
And to say something about Voronin’s great sin. About April 7, 2009, about death corridors in police stations. About the lives that were destroyed and the blood that flowed… But nothing was said about this at the ninth congress, nor at the others. After all, the problem with Sunday’s congress is different, namely that Voronin, at the age of 80, despite being re-elected with a unanimous vote, is no longer the president of the Communist Party except formally – the shadow that was put forward, behind which another shadow remains – that of Reidman. Arrangements were made for this and several changes to the party’s statute were voted on, including a change in the party’s leadership format. The Communist Party will no longer have just a president, but also two vice-presidents, one of them – Oleg Reidman. And that’s not all. The procedure for electing the party president has also been simplified. He will no longer be elected, as before, in the congress, but by the Plenary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. That is, by a handful of people and at their discretion. What matters next is who will better control the Central Committee, which of the two shadows. As much as Voronin feared to get the party out of his hands, the chances for this to happen got real.