- The communists are playing hardball, whining about the AIE's 'abuses', proposing a referendum to censure the government and abandoning parliament in favour of campaigning in the countryside.
- Other elements of Russia's political complex in Moldova are becoming more active and hardening their positions. Klimenko, as usual, is trying his hardest to start a civil war. Gonchearova has established some sort of race-relations NGO to attack the AIE's minorities policy. RIA Novosti keeps holding conferences with pro-Russian themes. Turcan continues to vacuum up folks roughed up by the communists into his ideologically identical Moldova Unita. Lupu maintains his view that 7/4/09 was a coup attempt and doesn't see any need for Romanian help in the EU accession process etc. etc.
- Russia's hand can also be seen in the recent pronouncements of the Venice Commission and the concerted 'advice' coming from various parts of the Union's machinery (and very possibly orchestrated by our good friend Kalman Miszei) that the Commission's view on not holding a referendum must be adhered to. No democracy please, we're European (and we don't want to upset you-know-who).
It verges on the criminal that in this environment, Moldova's liberals are permitting themselves all sorts of ego-driven luxuries:
- Veaceslav Untila's walkout from AMN and takeover of MAE
- Seraphim Urechean's failure to modernise, democratise and find a role for his party (the ethnic moldovan centre-left is still wide open!)
- Ghimpu's dogged determination to continue with the referendum idea (correct in principle, but politics is the art of the possible...)
- The continuing lone-ranger act of Pavlicenco and her national liberals.
- The formation of 'Democracy at Home' by a group of young people (I understand their frustration with the slow pace of reform / justice, but this is not the solution)
- Filat's somewhat machiavellian maneuvering for the best position ahead of anticipated elections.
Folks, you can't afford this. If you go into the next elections as a fractious, argumentative rabble, you will lose. Moldova will end up with another Rusofile authoritarian government made up of the Democrats, Moldova Unita and the Communists. All of the good done over the last few months will be undone and Europe will be able to go back to sleep, untroubled by the prospect of 4m Moldovans demanding to enter the bloc.
Here are my demands:
- Go into the next election as no more than two parties, centred on the 'pro-Romania' Liberal Party and the 'conservative' PLDM. Pavlicenco, Untila, Urechean and the 'democracy at home' folks need to pick their team that is closest to their views, get on board, take orders and work hard.
- Ghimpu and Filat need to work hard on rebuilding trust between their two organisations, which has been broken by the referendum issue.
- Focus on governing for the good of the country, rather than electioneering.
Otherwise, the centre-right is just playing into the hands of its opposition. If Moldova was a normal country with normal politics I wouldn't care so much. Here, however, we are talking about a choice between a democratic, prosperous future and continuing poverty and authoritarianism as a Russian backwater. The stakes are too high to mess around.