The European Parliament finally delivered the bacon today. In a lengthy and clear statement, it denounced the violations of human rights committed by the communist regime and set out the democratic standards it expects Moldova to display. It also called on the European Commission and the Moldovan state to set up a number of working groups to oversee the strengthening of Moldova's democratic institutions.
One punch was pulled however - there was no clear statement regarding the rigging of the election, even though the original text developed by the EP's liberal democratic fraction had demanded this. I suspect the Socialist fraction (with which the PCRM is affiliated) required the elimination of this wording.
In this regard (but only in this regard), the EP's resolution follows a sorry stream of statements by European leaders about the election. The first was obviously the OSCE's appraisal of the election as 'meeting a large number of democratic norms'. This was shortly followed by Ms Ferrero-Waldner's 'warm congratulations' to the Moldovan people on the conduct of their election and the repeated calls of Kalman Miszei to a dialogue based on the acceptance of the fraudulent election result by the opposition.
What on earth is going on here? The evidence for fraud is overwhelming, and yet European leaders are ducking and diving all over the place. Why is it so important that a blind eye be turned to this issue, when it would seem that recognition of the fraud is a necessary first step towards national reconciliation?
I look forward to your comments - hopefully some of you can shed light on this puzzle.