According to the media affiliated with the Socialists, 85% of the Action and Solidarity Party candidates in the early parliamentary elections are members of PLDM and the real head of the party is the former prime minister convicted of corruption, Vlad Filat, who is also guiding Maia Sandu. The source of this news is a statement by the communist Vladimir Voronin, who has recently returned to the forefront of politics. Only seven PAS candidates have previously competed on the PLDM lists, but former PLDM members can be found in over a third of the lists of candidates in general. This phenomenon of party-switching characterizes other parties as well. Even communists, for instance, are currently running on the lists of other parties, including some that have diametrically opposed political views.
NEWS: “The Action and Solidarity Party is neither the party of Maia Sandu, nor of the Nazi Igor Grosu [the interim president of PAS]. This is Filat's party. This is PLDM. Look at the PAS list, 85% of them are members of PLDM. And all its actions and steps are coordinated by this fixer”, several media outlets in Chisinau wrote, quoting the leader of the Party of Communists, Vladimir Voronin.
He made the statements in the context in which he’s accused Maia Sandu of not caring at all about the interests of the Republic of Moldova and has done nothing to oppose the involvement of foreign ambassadors in the country’s internal affairs, as she also holds the Romanian citizenship.
“Maia looks as if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. This non-president with two passports in her pocket, Moldovan and Romanian, is doing nothing.”
NARRATIVES: 1. Maia Sandu and the Action and Solidarity Party (PAS) are controlled by the former prime minister Vlad Filat. 2. PAS and Maia Sandu are not independent in their actions and are easy to corrupt.
LOCAL CONTEXT / ETHOS: Trying to promote the idea of a close link between PAS and Maia Sandu on the one hand and PLDM and Vlad Filat, on the other, is one of the electoral strategies of the Electoral Bloc of Communists and Socialists (BECS), but one that is pursued by other candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections, too.
On several electoral occasions, the Liberal Democratic Party played the role of the most important center-right party, the strongest pro-European force that achieved major successes, such as the liberalization of the visa agreement with the EU and the Association Agreement, the Republic of Moldova being the first state in the Eastern Partnership to sign such documents.
PLDM came to power in 2009 and stayed until the end of 2015, during which time it held the office of Prime Minister in several governing coalitions. But the wars within the governing alliances and the clashes with the former leader of the Democratic Party, Vlad Plahotniuc, led to the arrest of Vlad Filat in October 2015 and his subsequent conviction for acts of corruption and influence peddling.
PLDM has practically dismantled after that. It became a party associated with corruption, which has disappointed its electorate, and left-wing forces often use the image of this party to associate it with pro-European governments and parties.
Maia Sandu became Minister of Education in 2012, in a government led by Vlad Filat. In 2014, she publicly announced that she was joining the party, but later claimed that she had not filed the application as such. In 2016, Maia Sandu founded PAS.
PURPOSE: To promote the idea of a close cooperation between PAS and Maia Sandu with PLDM and Vlad Filat, who are associated by many citizens with corruption; to undermine PAS by discrediting the main message used by Maia Sandu and her party: the fight against corruption.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: Most PAS candidates in the current parliamentary elections are either members of this party, or have no political affiliation, according to the list published by the Central Election Commission.
If the main factor taken into account were that PAS also includes former members of the Liberal Democratic Party, that would be true, but members of the same party have migrated to other parties as well. In fact, there are only seven candidates on PAS’s list, out of a total of 98, who have previously participated in parliamentary elections on the part of PLDM, and three more ran for other parties. The Electoral Bloc of Communists and Socialists has 16 candidates that used to be members of other parties. Most “party-shifters” are on the list of the Alliance for the Union of Romanians, 25, which means almost a quarter of the total, according to the Association for Participatory Democracy, which made the candidates’ profiles.
In fact, former PLDM candidates are on the lists of eight of the 22 political parties running in the current election, as are other former candidates of the Communist Party, the Democratic Party and other parties, which have lost some of the value they had enjoyed before.
GRAIN OF TRUTH: The PAS list of candidates for the parliamentary elections includes people who have previously run as representatives of other parties, PLDM in particular. In fact, all parties running now have such candidates.
THE NARRATIVES BENEFIT the right and center-right and right parties, which might take over part of the PAS electorate, but the “final beneficiary” is the main opponent of PAS: The Electoral Bloc of Communists and Socialists.