Moldavia

Police block the Moldovan parliament building during anti-government protests in 2016. Photo: Getty Images.

Moldova has long struggled with corruption in its politics, but a series of events over the course of the summer indicate that democracy and the rule of law are coming under increased threat. Western partners should take these red flags seriously and re-evaluate how they engage with the Moldovan government.

Warning signs

Firstly, after the second round of local elections in the capital Chisinau, on 3 June, opposition candidate Andrei Nastase appeared to have won the office of mayor. But, following a series of lower-court rulings, the country’s Supreme Court of Justice rendered election results invalid on 25 June after late-evening deliberations behind closed doors.…  Seguir leyendo »

If free and fair elections were held in Moldova today, the current ruling Democratic Party would win about 4 per cent of the vote. Under the country’s current proportional representation system, this would not secure them any seats in parliament.

But if they cannot secure a parliamentary presence through popularity, the party seems intent on securing it through technicality. They are proposing an electoral change to a ‘mixed system’ that would secure up to 40 seats out of 101.

The party claims the new system, introducing elements of first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting,  will ‘bring policy-makers closer to their constituents’. But the experience of other struggling democracies in Moldova’s neighbourhood, where clientelism and corruption also thrive, shows that such a system in fact inhibits political pluralism and cements corrupt networks of power.…  Seguir leyendo »

As far back as 2000, the World Bank had already categorized Moldova as ‘a captured state’. Parliamentary vote-buying, the sale of judicial decisions, mishandling of public funds and non-transparent party financing were frequent practices that highlighted the vulnerabilities of the democratic transition process in Moldova. Despite several nominally pro-European governments since 2009, the reality is that Moldova remains a state where vested interests have subdued state institutions and paralyzed independent decision-making. The absence of checks on the abuse of power and the widespread corruption in state institutions has led to the Association Agreement, signed with the EU in 2014, being the only remaining viable political accountability mechanism that can provide the necessary oversight for reforms to be implemented by the self-declared ‘pro-EU’ coalition government.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Republic of Moldova — a tiny country of just 3.5 million people — is at risk of becoming Europe’s next security crisis, with potential consequences far beyond its borders.

A former Soviet Republic sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova sits at the crossroads between Europe’s East and West. Since it declared independence in 1991, power has alternated between the Communist Party, which has traditionally sought stronger ties with Russia, and pro-European parties that have staunchly advocated membership in the European Union.

In 2009, the pro-Europeans came to power and made progress toward their goal. They signed an association agreement to deepen political ties with Brussels and gradually integrate Moldova into the European common market.…  Seguir leyendo »

A día de hoy, seguimos con mucha cautela y atención los acontecimientos en Ucrania, muestras palpables del ya mencionado pulso entre la UE y Rusia, por la expansión-contención de las fronteras y sus respectivas zonas de influencia.

Se debe tener en consideración geopolítica que tanto Bielorrusia como Ucrania son dos países, Estados-colchón, dentro de la lógica defensiva rusa. En el caso de Ucrania, este país ofrece una defensa en profundidad a Rusia que siempre ha intentado llevar sus fronteras con Occidente lo más al Oeste posible. De ahí que ésta se ha asegurado, de la forma y maneras a las que hemos podido asistir en las últimas semanas no sin cierta perplejidad, la península de Crimea; que le garantiza su grado de control en el mar Negro, en competencia con el interés de los EEUU al construir una base militar cerca de Constanza, Rumanía, dentro del Sistema de Defensa Antimisiles; así como su influencia sobre la rica zona Este de Ucrania.…  Seguir leyendo »

Here in Moldova, we’re not much impressed by the news from Ukraine. The citizens of Kiev smashed a statue of Lenin to protest their president’s reluctance to cuddle up to the European Union. This brings a flutter to freedom-loving American hearts, but here, in one of Europe’s most impoverished nations, we wonder: Why would Ukrainians take out their rage on a statue of the person they have to thank for Ukraine’s appearing on the political map in the first place — in 1922, as a member of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? It was as if the Americans were to topple a statue of Washington.…  Seguir leyendo »

Continuando con los ejemplos del pulso entre Rusia y la UE por el control de los países fronterizos de la Europa Oriental, antiguas Repúblicas Soviéticas, se va tratar a continuación del asunto de la República de Moldavia.

Desde que declaró su independencia en 1991, tras la disolución de la URSS, formó parte de la  Comunidad de Estados Independientes celebrándose en aquellos momentos un movimiento político y social en pro de la reunificación con la que había sido su patria común, Rumanía, cuando formaba parte de ella como la región de Besarabia. No obstante, tras la celebración por ese motivo de un referéndum en 1994, el resultado fue la conservación de su independencia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Les révolutions «de couleur», un temps considérées comme des développements prometteurs dans l’espace post-soviétique, semblent être passées de mode. Un peu partout dans le monde s’élèvent des voix déçues par la promotion de la démocratie. La tendance semble être à la consolidation des régimes autoritaires.

Il y a environ un an, la Moldavie, pays mal connu, semblait le confirmer. Le 7 avril 2009, la Moldavie a fait les gros titres de la presse lorsque des manifestations pacifiques dénonçant des élections injustes furent récupérées par un petit nombre de provocateurs qui prirent d’assaut le bâtiment du parlement et le palais présidentiel.

La presse avait qualifié l’événement de révolution Twitter, ce qui bien sûr est une exagération.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tema: Los acontecimientos ocurridos en el último año en Moldavia, vinculados a las elecciones parlamentarias, ponen de manifiesto un cambio importante en la relación entre los actores políticos relevantes, cambio que, probablemente, llevará a un giro en la política interna y externa de este país.

Resumen: Desde su independencia en 1991, la República de Moldavia ha atraído la atención de la comunidad internacional por las dificultades enfrentadas durante el período de transición democrática, la amenaza del conflicto congelado de Transnistria y por su vecindad con la UE. Una vez más, la pequeña república ex-soviética atrae la atención de la comunidad internacional: se trata de un giro importante en la política moldava, tras la celebración de las elecciones parlamentarias de 2009 que han llevado a la perdida del poder político de los comunistas ante los partidos de oposición agrupados en la Alianza para la Integración Europea.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’Ukraine fait figure d’«homme malade de l’Europe». Au sens littéral, c’est le pays qui a été le plus touché par l’épidémie de grippe A, avec plus de 300 victimes. Economiquement, elle n’est pas en meilleure santé: c’est bien d’un effondrement qu’il faut parler puisque le PIB a chuté de 18%, du fait de la chute de l’activité industrielle et des exportations d’acier, ainsi que des vulnérabilités du secteur financier. C’est dans ce contexte peu réjouissant que l’Ukraine élit son président. Si le précédent scrutin en 2004 avait donné lieu à une forte mobilisation des Ukrainiens, connue sous le nom de «Révolution orange», l’humeur du moment est donc nettement plus morose.…  Seguir leyendo »

We’ve been waiting a long time for political upheaval to follow in the wake of technological change, and on April 7, it seemed to have arrived. From Moldova, of all places, came news of the Twitter Revolution: In one of the poorest backwaters in Europe — a place that frequently features in global surveys as the world’s unhappiest country — a group of fresh-faced young people reportedly used Twitter tweets, text messages and Facebook postings to organize a demonstration in favor of democracy and against rigged elections. New technology confronted old autocracy in an almost made-for-the-front-pages storyline: On one side, the Moldovan communist president, Vladimir Voronin, a man who is not only a former Soviet secret police boss but — amazing coincidence!…  Seguir leyendo »

Walking through Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, last month I was surprised by the minimal security outside the office of the presidency. With its metallic, orange-reflecting windows the building hardly looked inviting, but there was a steady trickle of people approaching the entrance unchallenged. A policeman stamped about on the corner but made no effort to accost visitors. Across the road the parliament building did not even have a guard outside.

I then remembered that Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries, has seen no political violence for almost 20 years, let alone any terrorist threats. So why should its most sensitive buildings need the checkpoints and bag-searches that are the norm in western capitals?…  Seguir leyendo »