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The relationships between authorities and opposition after three months of protests

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April 22, 2002
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The events produced last week mark a new stage in the relationships between the power and opposition. After more than three months of opposition protest rallies on the one hand, and threats to the protesters on the other, the leaders of the majority and those of the protesting opposition, Iurie Rosca and constructive-conciliation opposition Dumitru Braghisr, decided to initiate a dialogue.

It seems that the transition from confrontation to dialogue was induced by two major events. Firstly, the meetings all three parliament faction leaders had in Strasbourg with Walter Shwimmer, General Secretary of Council of Europe in order to identify ways of settling the crisis. Secondly, last week Institute of Public Policies released the results of an opinion poll. The results indicate that Christian-Democrats preserve their rating, and this despite the fact that they had been in the spotlight the last couple of months. On the other hand, the same poll indicates that the rating of the Communist Party has considerably increased, reaching almost 70 %. Although comprising more than 20 parties, the so-called “political center” is absent from the top of voters’ preferences. The strongest centrist party — Social Democratic Alliance headed by the former Prime Minister, Dumitru Braghis, is supported by only 3% of the voters.

Both events, the meeting in Strasbourg and poll results, have resulted in a change of attitude of the faction leaders. The leader of the Communist faction, Victor Stepaniuc, admitted in front of the journalists that since their last year victory Communists have undertaken some clumsy measures. Stepaniuc’s attitude reminded of a scolded child, who promised to learn the rules of a decent political behavior. It is worth pointing out that as a result in the last two weeks the Communists proved to be extremely zealous. They assured the opposition that they would provide them access to national television and radio and would change the procedure of lifting the deputies’ immunity. Further, they sent for the expertise of the Council of Europe a series of recently passed legal acts, even though the latter didn’t asked them to.

On the other hand, the leader of Christian-Democrats, Iurie Rosca has smoothly turned from demands on Government resignation and early parliamentary elections to providing public lessons on democracy to Communists. The CDPP leader reiterated in front of the journalists and their cameras, the abuses and offences on democracy made by the Communist governing, namely right to freedom of thought, censure, suppressing independence of the judiciary and local public administration. He noted that a true democracy could not rely on the goodwill of the authorities that promise not to commit abuses, rather it should rely on a set of laws aimed to prevent the abusive behavior of the authorities. In this respect, Rosca indicated that the judiciary branch in the Republic of Moldova is serving the authorities, that is why they had to appeal in the European Court on Human Rights the ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice on the illegality of protest rallies. CDPP leader believes that it is inappropriate to cease the protest rallies, as long as the factors, which brought the people on the street, are not eliminated. So, the political duel in which Christian-Democrats will be in offensive and Communists in defensive would continue.

No doubt, the way the current political crisis is unfolding leaves the impression that the Republic of Moldova is an entropic system, whose normal state is necessarily a certain degree of political chaos. Fortunately this entropic system is dissipative, and the influence of external factors is decisive. In this respect the session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, scheduled for April 24, on the state of democratic institutions in the Republic of Moldova will have a decisive impact on the power — opposition relationship. Further, despite the fact that the results of the latest opinion poll favor Moldovan Communists, the recent developments in Russia and Ukraine, where Communists suffered a great loss, illustrate that the red horizons are far and far away.

The officials of the international monetary institutions who recently visited the Republic of Moldova indicated that they might resume crediting Moldova this summer. This would open the possibility of spreading out payments or even canceling foreign debts. Thus, the Communist “Titanic” might avoid he collision with the iceberg called default. For this to happen, the navigation course tailored according to the party program, adopted exactly one year ago on April 22, need to be replaced by another one tailored according to the coordinates set by the Council of Europe and other international institutions.

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