Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube LinkedIn Telegram

Editorials

DEMAGOG 2021. The Chisinau Report, No.1: The Battle Of The Three Presidents

Demagog
©  |  

A new election campaign is underway in Moldova, the third in 2 years. The 2019 campaign was marked by efforts to overthrow the regime of the oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc. The one for the 2020 presidential elections was a confrontation between Igor Dodon, an exponent of the Moldovenist left, a trend that emerged since the very founding of the Republic of Moldova, and Maia Sandu, a new type of politician with a technocratic background and a pro-Western and anti-corruption discourse.

The current campaign can be described as a confrontation between three presidents, representing the main political forces in Moldova. The pro-European Action and Solidarity Party relies on the image of its founder, Maia Sandu, even if, officially, she is a neutral figure in this fight.  However, a victory for the PAS would lead to the formation of a government able to implement the reforms promised in the campaign by the current head of state. On the other side there stand two former presidents of the Republic of Moldova, the Socialist Igor Dodon and the Communist Vladimir Voronin. The two overcame a decade of misunderstandings (Voronin considered Dodon a traitor) and united their parties in an electoral bloc that advocates a closer relationship with Russia. In essence, as in most of the elections that have taken place since Moldova gained independence, what we see today is a confrontation between the so-called "Eastern and Western vectors". Russia openly supports the Eastern vector; The West promises funding for the reforms promised by the Western vector.

The election campaign, like most campaigns in recent years, is marked by an abundance of fake news and disinformation, usually launched by the left wing and the media affiliated with the Socialists or the Kremlin. The authors of the false narratives, however, seem to be running out of new ideas: most of them have already been used in the election campaigns that have taken place since 2016.

Fake News & Disinformation
FAKE NEWS: Under the leadership of Maia Sandu, Moldovans are leaving, and Syrians are coming (Mariana Vasilache)

Maia Sandu grants Syrians the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, while Moldovans are leaving the country, writes Komsomolskaya Pravda, which publishes a presidential decree granting citizenship to nine people. Thus, a narrative is resumed from the 2016 presidential elections when fake news was spread that 30 thousand Syrian refugees would be brought to the Republic of Moldova.

FAKE NEWS: Maia Sandu is preparing a wave of arrests, with support from the West (Cătălin Gomboș)

Maia Sandu has created an “anticorruption” structure in order to eliminate from public life and the administrative apparatus the politicians and officials that are inconvenient, according to a false narrative spread by Sputnik. The said structure - the Independent Anticorruption Advisory Committee – is allegedly controlled by the West.  

FAKE NEWS: Maia Sandu closed 120 schools and laid off more than 5800 teachers (Cornel Ciobanu)

Maia Sandu closed schools and laid off teachers, according to the Socialist Bogdan Țîrdea, one of the main promoters of disinformation in Chisinau. The narrative, which is contradicted by statistics, has been used before and is being reactivated now, in the context of the election campaign, in order to destabilize the party founded by Maia Sandu, PAS, which, according to opinion polls, is the favorite.

DISINFORMATION: A victory for the right wing in the election would spark mass protests in Moldova (Mariana Vasilache)

A potential victory of right-wing parties in the parliamentary election will spell economic and social disaster for the Republic of Moldova, leading to protests, Socialist leader, Igor Dodon, has said. The narrative has been disseminated and amplified by Ria Novosti press agency.

Narratives
  • While Moldovans are leaving the country, Maia Sandu grants Syrians the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova.
  • Maia Sandu created a structure in parallel with state institutions, in order to eliminate the inconvenient opposition.
  • The Independent Anticorruption Advisory Committee is under the control of the West, which seeks to undermine the institutions of the Republic of Moldova.
  • Maia Sandu is guilty of closing schools in the Republic of Moldova, of reducing the number of pupils / students. Maia Sandu left teachers without jobs.
  • Pro-Western parties will destabilize the Republic of Moldova if they win the election, and the country will face economic difficulties.
  • Society is unhappy with pro-Western parties and protests will be staged. 
Editorials & Analysis
Zero hour for the Republic of Moldova: the battle of the three presidents (Cornel Ciobanu)

Seven months after a complicated presidential election, the Republic of Moldova is again in the grip of election fever. This time around, the country will be hosting snap parliamentary elections, but the background, protagonists and stakes are mostly the same. The main battle will be pitting the center-right pro-Western Action and Solidarity Party (PAS), previously led by president Maia Sandu, against the center-left pro-Russian Party of Socialists (PSRM) led by the former president Igor Dodon.

The geopolitics of lending: Moscow’s concocted counteroffer to the EU’s financial assistance to Chișinău (Mădălin Necșuțu)

With the early parliamentary election in the Republic of Moldova around the corner, the political and economic chatter is again focusing on the benefits for Chișinău. The matter has again sparked a polemic: would it be better for the Republic of Moldova to head east or west? A persistent question which Moldovan politicians have been juggling with for three decades, while Moldova remains one of Europe’s poorest and most corrupt countries, with one of the largest shares of population migration.

Why two swords together can’t fit into the same sheath. The main reasons for the discord among unionist forces in Chisinau (Mădălin Necșuțu)

The unionist movement in the Republic of Moldova has always benefited from the contribution of some intellectuals and could count on the votes of about 10% of the electorate. This electorate has become increasingly fragmented in recent years, amid differences between unionists, who have split into competing parties. The centrifugal trend has worsened over time and it is very likely that not even for the snap elections of July 11 the unionist forces will be able to coagulate.

Demagog 2021 is the Veridica project for monitoring the election campaign for the early legislative elections in the Republic of Moldova. The Chisinau Bulletin is a weekly synthesis of the main fake news, disinformation and narratives used in the campaign, but also of the editorials and analyzes written by our team.

A project supported by the Canadian Embassy in Romania, Bulgaria, and the Republic of Moldova

Propaganda de Razboi - Razboi in UCRAINA
Other articles
Hybrid high voltage. Ukrainian oligarchs powered by Russia

Hybrid high voltage. Ukrainian oligarchs powered by Russia

The world is actively looking for opportunities to use hybrid engines to protect the environment. However, in the Ukrainian version, the problem with electricity has primarily a political focus. Energy relations with Russia and Belarus confirm this.

What we can learn from Russia’s war against Ukraine (I): Romania should avoid militarization of the state

What we can learn from Russia’s war against Ukraine (I): Romania should avoid militarization of the state

Putin's invasion of Ukraine is first and foremost a warning to all those who are convinced that the shortcomings of democracy, especially there were it’s still in a process of consolidation, can be combated by a kind of transfer of expertise from authoritarian regimes. With the example of China in mind, but paying close attention to Putin's propaganda, many Romanians, including politicians, were convinced that, despite its “shortcomings”, authoritarianism was effective.

Russia and its people in Chisinau obsessively speak of Moldova’s neutrality, but they have been violating it for 30 years

Russia and its people in Chisinau obsessively speak of Moldova’s neutrality, but they have been violating it for 30 years

The Republic of Moldova’s neutrality is one of the favorite topics of Russian and pro-Russian propaganda. It is discussed when it comes to adopting measures that do not suit Moscow, but the reality of the presence of Russian forces in Moldova, which means a violation of its neutrality, is constantly ignored. Other narratives are switched depending on the needs; neutrality, however, has been a constant one.

Cătălin Gomboș

12 Jun 2021

Updated at: 12 Jun 2021 11:45:29
Cătălin Gomboș

Follow us on Google News

4 minutes read
The Russian world, or the limitrophes of the 21st century
The Russian world, or the limitrophes of the 21st century

The withdrawal by Lithuania of the License of the Russian television station Rain TV, brings to attention an older issue regarding the liberal Russian opposition: is it willing to abandon the imperialism at the core of the various autocrat Russian regimes? Lithuanian journalist Nikadem Szczygaowski writes that from the Tsarist era reformists to contestants of the Soviet system as Mihail Bulgakov to Putin opponents like Alexei Navalnîi, the support for the empire - described, euphemistically, as the "Russian world" - seems to remain the same.

Confronting Memories
Confronting Memories
24 Jan 2023
The capture of fugitive oligarchs – a test of strength for Moldova’s judiciary. Chișinău relies on the West, while oligarchs rely on the system they helped shape
The capture of fugitive oligarchs – a test of strength for Moldova’s judiciary. Chișinău relies on the West, while oligarchs rely on the system they helped shape

When it came to power, the pro-European government promised to reform the judiciary and bring to justice the oligarchs who embezzled state funds and are now hiding abroad. Vladimir Plahotniuc, Ilan Shor and fugitives from “the London group” seem to continue to enjoy protection from the system they helped build and are supporting efforts to oust the current pro-European administration. On the other hand, the authorities also rely on the support of the country’s Western partners, who seem to have understood that oligarchs are pressing for closer relations with the Russian Federation.

Mădălin Necșuțu
Mădălin Necșuțu
19 Jan 2023
The Commonwealth of Independent States, a doomed Russian project
The Commonwealth of Independent States, a doomed Russian project

Between December 26 and 27, 2022, the informal Summit of the leaders of the CIS states took place in the city of Sankt-Petersburg. The meeting should have shown that this Russian-dominated organization, which for years has been trying to present it as an alternative to the more attractive EU and NATO, is relevant and viable, that Moscow enjoys the support of its ex-Soviet partners even in the conditions of the war in Ukraine. Speeches about cooperation cannot mask the reality: the CIS is an outdated organization, in crisis, which has no serious long-term prospects.

Angela Grămadă
Angela Grămadă
11 Jan 2023
“The kid started to stutter and pee the bed in terror”. The war still haunts Ukrainian refugees in Moldova
“The kid started to stutter and pee the bed in terror”. The war still haunts Ukrainian refugees in Moldova

The war still haunts the refugees, even though some left Ukraine months ago. The memory of Russian bombing is still alive for them. They speak all the time to their relatives back home, who give them regular updates on what’s happening. They keep thinking of going back home. A few tens of thousands out of the millions of Ukrainian war refugees chose to stay in the Republic of Moldova. Mariana Vasilache spoke to some of them at her childhood school, which is now their new home.

Mariana Vasilache
Mariana Vasilache
29 Dec 2022