EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

West Should Offer Mentorship In Good Governance To Whoever Wins Sunday’s Election In Moldova

Posted by Info on 23/11/2010

Next Sunday, Europe’s poorest country will head to the polls for its third election in two years.
The elections could trigger an ersatz popular revolution, thanks to an impatient young generation, eager for the economic benefits of EU membership.

This is a country where the Communist Party could prove democracy’s greatest hope—and pro-Western youth its greatest threat. In April 2009, mobs of young protesters stormed the Parliament building, chanting anticommunist slogans and waving EU flags. They could do it again this Sunday if things don’t go their way.
These protesters may be looking to Europe, but don’t call them democrats. The elections they rioted against were declared free and fair by international observers.

Moldova’s liberal forces, now in power, have perhaps the hardest slog. Supporters are split between two major leaders: Vlad Filat, the prime minister, and Mihai Ghimpu, the country’s acting president. Their feuding has been an asset to the communists in the past. It could become an additional liability for establishing democratic legitimacy through governance.

That leaves an unlikely champion for Western values: Vladimir Voronin, Europe’s first electable communist since the fall of the U.S.S.R, held the Moldovan presidency for eight years straight until they lost in late 2009. While maintaining the Kremlin’s favor, Voronin proved himself to the West by saying yes to trade and a firm no to Russian-backed separatists. In fact, the blessings of Moscow should be another plus for Europeans. Georgia became unstable thanks to Russia’s perception of Mikheil Saakashvili as a satellite threat. Germans thought twice about supporting Ukrainian independence after Viktor Yushchenko’s friction with Moscow shut off Ukraine’s gas-transit pipelines.
The Moldovan communists could evolve into garden-type social democrats. No matter who comes to power Sunday, Moldova may not soon resemble a worker’s paradise.

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