As I end my two weeks here as a guest blogger, with events turning dramatic in Kyrgyzstan, the revolution that didn’t happen is fizzling out in Moldova. (See today’s RFE/RL Newsline, which unusually has no less than five stories from the forgotten republic.)
Those few of you who have been following the story may recall that the ruling Communist Party won the recent elections with 56 seats out of 101 in the parliament. However, President Vladimir Voronin will require 61 votes to get re-elected by the parliament on 4 April. The leaders of the two opposition factions who between them won the other 45 parliamentary seats pledged that they would boycott the vote, thus ensuring that no president would be elected and triggering new parliamentary elections.
Well, it’s not difficult to work out the political mathematics. If you’re an opposition MP, do you vote for new elections in which you might lose your seat, or see if you can get a deal from the President?
Former speaker of the parliament Dumitru Diacov has found an answer to the equation by splitting with the larger coalition as part of which he was elected, and now leads a faction of 8 MPs. It would be very foolish at this point to bet against President Voronin’s re-election in ten days’ time, probably by 64 votes to 0.
It is probably for the best. President Voronin is not the rabid anti-democratic Communist painted by the Moldovan Christian Democrats, the PPCD, any more than he is the enlightened pro-Western ruler depicted by Vladimir Socor in his Wall Street Journal columns (or by the Russians, if with a slightly different nuance); he is a not especially talented apparatchik who happens to have been in the right place at the right time and ended up running the country. He is not especially good at it, but fresh elections would almost certainly not have brought a better government to power.
Moldova will almost certainly sink back into torpor, with occasional sabre-rattling across the Dniester. And I’ll continue to read A Fistful of Euros for insights and information into what’s going on in this crazy, complex continent of ours.