Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A response to Vlad Socor

Vlad Socor has outdone himself this time. The lies and misinformation are there for all to see. You can read his latest pearls of wisdom at[tt_news]=35156.

Here is my response to the Jamestown foundation's principals:

Your banner is entitled "information without political agenda", and yet you continue to allow Vlad Socor to misinform about events in Moldova and pursue his own agenda in relation to that country.

Let me give you some examples from his "Moldova embarks" article of June 22.

1. He classifies the opposition as 'nominally liberal'. On what basis is their liberalism considered 'nominal'? From what I can make out it's very real.

2. Mr Socor describes Moscow's position as 'benevolent neutrality'. It's nothing of the sort - by offering a $500m credit and by appearing together with Voronin at a remembrance day parade, Medvedev is strongly supporting the communist election campaign.

3. Zenaida Grecianai is not 'politically unaffiliated'. She is a member of the communist party and a loyal servant of Voronin.

4. The opposition deputies boycotted the vote because they feared that if they put a ballot paper in a box, the parliamentary election commission (all communists) would falsify the outcome. The only way to avoid this possibility was not to vote at all. Why did Mr Socor fail to mention this and instead invent all his other hypotheses?

5. Mr Socor claims that opposition rhetoric incited the violence. In fact, the weight of hard evidence now available suggests that the violence was incited by Moldovan secret services and the communist-allied PPCD.

6. Mr Socor suggests that the opposition have failed to condemn the violence. In fact, during the April 7th demonstrations V Filat and other opposition leaders made strenuous attempts to calm the crowds. They have subsequently condemned the violence in the context of it being a communist-instigated ruse to permit subsequent human rights violations.

7. The FINAL report of the OSCE election monitoring catalogues very serious breaches of democratic norms and demands a full investigation into allegations of vote rigging that 'appear credible'. The OSCE has never made any statement saying that the elections were 'correct on the whole' or 'reflected voter's choice'. Mr Socor appears to be quoting the OSCE's initial report that was rushed out under dubious pretences hours after the ballots closed.

8. That the EU initially requested the opposition to recognise the results of a fraudulent election is shameful. The European Commission had unfortunately been receiving most of its information about Moldova from the communist government and from its special representative Kalman Miszei, who is known for his pro-Russian, anti-Romanian sympathies and who had a lot personally invested in the communist regime. As good information reached other European leaders the tune changed however, with the European Parliament calling for an investigation into fraud allegations and for the Moldovan government to urgently address many other democratic deficiencies.

9. The opposition's view of any negotiation with the communists as being 'treacherous' is justified by the numerous constitutional and human rights breaches committed by the communist party during their eight years in power and before & after the election. This is a party which is a threat to democracy.

10. The solution to ending the political strife is not the 'emergence of a centrist force', but the immediate re-establishment of democratic norms such that the election is carried out in a truly free and fair manner. If the communists were to win 'fair and square', and were to show utmost respect for democratic principles, opposition supporters would respect the result.

11. In order for the elections to be free and fair, the communists must immediately relinquish their control over Teleradio Moldova, which is currently poisoning the electorate with nightmarish stories about the opposition. They must not use the resources of Government in their campaigning. Voronin and Grecianai need to be clear about when they are speaking as President and PM, and when they are campaigning. All political prisoners must be freed and a full independent investigation into the violence of April launched. The European Union must be invited in to participate deeply in and verify all aspects of Moldovan democracy.

In conclusion, I am stunned that a reputable organisation such as the Jamestown foundation continues to allow Mr Socor to disseminate his propaganda. You should be aware that Mr Socor is often quoted as a 'respected western political analyst' by the pro-government media in Chisinau. His comments give succour to those who are denying basic human freedoms in the republic of Moldova and may contribute to the continuation of totalitarian rule in that country.

If I were you I would remove Mr Socor from the Moldova file and offer it to another, truly independent analyst.

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