The President expressed his opinion on the initiative only after the opposition had an opportunity to debate the draft Agreement for a week in the governmental media outlets. Certainly, the President intended to hear the opposition first, which criticized the federalization altogether, and speak out afterwards. He and the government controlled media counted that the opposition would severely criticize the initiative and that the President would support it. This move was supposed to highlight on the one hand the retrograde stance taken by opposition pleading for the conservation of the conflict, and on the other hand the innovating stance of the President who promotes an Agreement “supported by Europe” in an effort to reintegrate “the land of our dear motherland”. However, President’s position indicates also the lack of “fair play” in his team. An illustration of this is the way the government controlled media severely criticized not only the parties opposing federalization, but also the Social-Democratic Alliance of Moldova, headed by the former Prime Minister, Dumitru Braghis, who in fact supported the federalization idea. It seems that the governmental press even regrets the fact that Social-Democratic Alliance supports federalization, as the only grounds for criticism they could invoke so as to blame the parties altogether, was that Dumitru Braghis is a former komsomolist.
In fact opposition reacted appropriately, but rather hysterically when it voiced its stance with regard to federalization. Many of the arguments brought up by opposition are grounded, as are its concerns. Firstly, one of the arguments brought by the opposition is that the conflict should be settled by unconditionally observing the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Moldova. In such a case, the federalization of the country would envisage a referendum and adoption of the Federal Constitution. Problems may arise immediately the parties involved in the conflict, the guarantor countries and OSCE sign such an Agreement. The fact is that the Article 42 of the draft Agreement provides for the supreme legal force thereof. If the Agreement were conceived as internal document of the Republic of Moldova, than it would have substituted the Constitution of the country, fact that is hard to imagine. The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova is a Supreme Law. No law and no legal act running counter to the Constitution provisions may have a legal force. Only the provisions of the international treaties to which Republic of Moldova adhered may have supremacy over its provisions. However, the said Agreement may not enjoy the status of an international treaty.
Furthermore, the opposition criticized the draft Agreement as many of its articles are simply copied after the Russian Constitution. And this does not necessarily mean that the opposition questions the quality of the Russian Constitution, even if it was adopted without any public debates at times of political crisis, after October 1993 Putsch. In fact the Constitution draft was developed under presidential councilor, Sergei Shahrai, so as to guarantee the supremacy of the presidency, i.e. Boris Eltsin in his fight with the opposition. Moldovan opposition just questioned whether the provisions of the Russian Constitution might be appropriate for the Republic of Moldova.
Needless to say, Moldovan opposition had a hysteric reaction as well. Accusations brought up to OSCE Mission in Chisinau are not exactly fair, as its leadership stated on various occasions that the Mission would only support proposals on Transdnistrian conflict settlement, which would be approved by the parties to the conflict.
If the Presidency accepts the draft Agreement on the federalization of the Republic of Moldova and wants the opposition to get involved in its improvement, it may want to establish a favorable environment for cooperation. In fact, just the opposite happened, as the opposition was blamed for “discord and confrontation”. Consequently, under those tough circumstances when it might need the support of the opposition, the power is left alone to decide what would happen next. And this in the context of communists’ permanent complaints of lack of professional and well trained human resources. After the treatment it got, the opposition would wait for the power to make the first move and only then criticize it.
Consequently, because of their chase for political rating, both the power and opposition are about to miss the chance to work together on a problem of enormous importance for the Republic of Moldova.