Friday, June 12, 2009

A fundamental distinction

At time of writing, it appears that Marian Lupu may head the Democratic Party list going into the anticipated elections. His presence, together with the lowering of the hurdle to 5%, should be enough to get the DP into the next Parliament, possibly holding the balance of power.

The DP is an uncertain commodity. Its leader, Dumitru Diacov, has in the past betrayed his electorate, the most notable example being his support for Voronin's 2005 presidential candidacy. Diacov's lieutenants, Oazu Nantoi & Oleg Serebrian, have somewhat stronger democratic credentials, however doubt still remains about how this party would behave if given the balance of power. They talk a lot about 'mediating' between liberals on the right and communists on the left. Potentially, this means they could be bought off by the Communists.

Here, the Democrats need to draw a distinction between normal political debate and fundamental democratic norms. Normal political debate concerns things such as economic policy, foreign policy etc. Here the DP should feel free to vote with the PCRM if that is what its electorate wants.

Fundamental democratic norms are a different matter. They are not a subject of left-right debate and should be adhered to by all parties. They are codified in both the Moldovan constitution and in the European Parliament's resolution. On these issues the DP needs to be staunch and align itself with the liberals.

Accordingly, the DP should not support the presidential candidacy of any person whose track record on defending democracy is compromised. That basically means the entire PCRM, together with Lupu and Diacov themselves. If the DP wishes to prove its commitment to democracy, it should come out before the elections in support of an Urecheanu candidacy.

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