The non-governmental organizations funded from the West are directly involved in the election campaign in the Republic of Moldova, according to an article published by Rubaltic.ru, which largely takes over the theories used in the presidential campaign by the Socialist Bogdan Țîrdea. The attack on civil society is in fact targeting the Action and Solidarity Party, the Socialists' main contender in the early parliamentary elections of 11 July.
NEWS: “A network of non-governmental organizations, set-up in the Republic of Moldova by Western states, plays a decisive role in the early parliamentary elections. Western-funded political NGOs are directly involved in the election campaign carried out by pro-Western candidates. The President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, and her party, PAS, come from a non-governmental background and follow the instructions of that network. The situation in the Republic of Moldova can be considered a soft occupation of the country by non-profit organizations, whose activity undermines the foundation of the nation and of the Moldovan state”, a comment published by rubaltic.ru and taken over by several media institutions in the Republic of Moldova reads.
The author claims that non-governmental organizations are involved in a hybrid war and organize propaganda attacks and protests.
“Only a few political parties in the Republic of Moldova are ready to oppose the occupation and fight for the real independence of the country”, the author concludes.
NARRATIVES: 1. Externally funded civil society is a danger to the Republic of Moldova, and Maia Sandu and PAS are representatives of civil society. 2. (indirectly) The Party of Socialists is one of the very few that fight to defend the interests of the Republic of Moldova.
LOCAL CONTEXT / ETHOS: Civil society in the Republic of Moldova is often criticized by some politicians, Socialists in particular. In the campaign for the 2020 presidential elections, the Socialist deputy Bogdan Țîrdea (who distributed the article on his Telegram channel) published a book in which he attacks Moldovan civil society and its donors from abroad. Attempts are being made, as in other states, to instill the idea of a “parallel state”, formed by right-wing parties and civil society. This is allegedly supported by a “parallel electorate” as Igor Dodon called the voters settled outside the Republic of Moldova.
A new election campaign is currently underway in the Republic of Moldova, and some politicians have resumed attacks on civil society, media outlets and the West, whom they accuse of getting involved in the election campaign. These politicians stand as defenders of statehood and traditional values, and one of the campaign messages conveyed by the Bloc of Communists and Socialists reads: “We do not give our country away to foreigners”.
PURPOSE: To bring back to public attention the topic of “externally funded NGOs” which they present as a threat to the Republic of Moldova. To prepare the ground in case the authors of such messages won’t like the results of the election and will therefore challenge them.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: So far, despite the attacks and accusations against civil society, it has not been possible to prove in any way that there is a hidden donor agenda, that NGOs are a postmodern army built by certain states, that they violate the laws of the state and conspire against the legitimate power.
On the contrary, a large number of journalistic investigations have been published showing that the Party of Socialists and Igor Dodon are the ones who have received black money, including from abroad, have undeclared expenses and received direct support from outside (Russia), in election campaigns.
GRAIN OF TRUTH: Non-governmental organizations in the Republic of Moldova are funded, for the most part, from abroad because, given that this is is one of the poorest countries in Europe, there are no internal resources for them.