Iulian CHIFU // The day after tomorrow: Dodon is president
The President-elect of Moldova, from Sunday evening to Monday, is Igor Dodon. Every citizen of Moldova likes it or not, supported him or not, voted for him or not, must recognize him as president. That is democracy. It does not mean to believe in him, to applaud or to caution him in any way. No. Just to agree that he is president-elect of the state. Otherwise, everyone is free to remain critical of the part of Igor Dodon and penalize drastically (and even vocally) each deviation from the Constitution, from the common sense or the options for which all the citizens have voted.
After the thrill was shattered and vindictive impulses, sorrow and discontent faded, in Chisinau remains the democratic reality of installation, through direct vote of a declared pro-Russian president. And, at the international level, especially for the neighbors across the Prut, in Romania, but also for the second neighbor of Moldova, Ukraine, the concern is inherent, and the method of approach of the new president is still undefined. Naturally that depends on his behavior, and the ability to re-balance and to become - as he promised - the President of all his countrymen, dealing effectively with the tasks devolving upon the state. Lucidity, calm, judging by actions, not by campaign words - this is how will pass the first period, in which the new president-elect, undoubtedly, will be under everyone's attention.
Also, the monitoring is profound, deep and meticulous. It cannot be otherwise until the answers to the fundamental questions of Moldova and those of any capital are formulated: the continuity of the European path, the decision regarding the reforms, the use of power tools to determine possible early elections. Next the key question: whether there have been discussions on new submittal based on commitments towards Moscow, concerning the pressure of tearing the EU Association Agreement (which means reintroducing visas).
However, it will be hard for anyone to be convinced by Dodon's reorientation from the campaign. Acceptable safeguards are few and the legitimacy of the new President of the Republic of Moldova to the West is reduced. Now the dilemma is: he will change his position and maintain the pro-European path, thus, tricking his voters (but keeping instead, the strategic orientation), or he will be consistent with his electoral program and he will break the Association Agreement?
However, this is still the simplest question that the new president must answer. There are other things more important. How will he relate with the Parliament, the Government, with Plahotniuc? You can desire to change everything, but at first you must collaborate with state institutions and be careful what you are doing. As for Mr.P, things are much more confusing.
Is there or not an understanding and money between the two main actors of the political scene in Chisinau is less important than the - obvious - fact that the two represent distinct mentalities. And they will face each other as any holders of real power: Dodon, from his position of president and leader of an opposition party, became the most powerful today, and Plahotniuc, from the master and owner of a large part of lucrative business from Moldova, a man with entrepreneurial spirit (and not infrequently salesman) and who transformed Moldova into a company run by an authoritarian holder of a controlling interest of the shares.
Sunday's election brought a new and fresh pole in the political life of the Republic of Moldova: Maia Sandu, the current official leader (and symbolically, at the same time) the right wing opposition from the street. Difficult choices in which were used all less clean means. Yet the PAS leader has obtained an unexpected second place with less than 5% from the votes behind the winner. Now this dowry must be institutionalized, and to strengthen a political force requires the access to resources after leaving aside the naivety, amateurism and romanticism for pragmatism and professionalism. Here's the big stake in this period of political construction in the 2018 general elections.
The three principles of power in Chisinau - Igor Dodon (the authority), Plahotniuc (the money and resources) and Maia Sandu (the opposition with the symbolic power of the prestige) - will settle down in the end. Will occupy the space of power, will take over seats and institutions and certainly will face each other in the future. Especially the first two. And this seems to be the struggle for power of the future. The stakes for Moldova's European path passes, also, through fragile balances and changes, we hope, not overly sharp. And, of course, through the opposition personified by Maia Sandu, the opposition has a duty to monitor the reforms of the Executive and to prepare for the next campaign.