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Post-modernist revolution

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Igor Botan / May 1, 2009
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Neither change, nor stability

The April 7 revolt followed the April 5, 2009 elections, at which the offer called stability tabled by the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) competed with the offer called change raised by the liberal parties. The revolt was the intermediary round of conversion of some painful deceptions into fury, after the preliminary results of elections were announced. The Presidency and Parliament buildings were further vandalised, with the security services being incapable to protect and taking violent revenge against hundreds of people whose culpability for what had happened was unclear. In consequence, a new reality occurred in Moldova, but neither the stability nor the change is present. The new reality is based on some factors which gave birth to political strains:

Definitively, one may draw the conclusion that the new reality is based on the deep distrust of the opposition and its electors towards the ruling party. The distrust factor reduces the possibility of a governance-opposition dialogue to remedy the political crisis. The fear of the opposition to find itself in the situation called “PPCD syndrome” fuels the distrust, though a dialogue between the governing and the opposition would be necessary, so that the Parliament would be able to elect a new chief of state with a qualified majority of 3/5 votes.

Given the polarised and split society, a large segment of the society does not warm at all any dialogue with the PCRM, invoking the example of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (PPCD), which lost 2/3 of its electorate after having accepted to turn from the No.1 political enemy of the PCRM into the most devoted partner of this party. In fact, the “PPCD syndrome” means the sliding of the “political partnership on European integration” between main political enemies, PCRM and PPCD, toward a “political cartel” within which the partners have granted various services to each other. In this respect, it is curious that the PPCD had a stable rating of approximately 10 percent when it did not have its television, while after getting EU TV the acquisition proved to be counterproductive. The “PPCD syndrome” is edifying in other terms as well. In particular, those carrying slogans such as “Down with the Communists!” or “We Are Romanians!” regarded as very dangerous by communist governors may become most devoted partners of the PCRM one day. Thus, the outgoing President Vladimir Voronin did not casually hurry up to accuse the opposition of coup d’etat and Romania of involvement in the Chisinau revolt on basis of some superficies.

Paving stone — weapon of knowledge proletariat?

During a TV interview on April 29, 2009, President Voronin was sure that a chromatic revolution attempt was taken in Moldova. Many modern researchers describe the chromatic revolutions as post-modernist revolutions. Particularities of post-modernist revolutions are that they elude deep causes of social conflicts, with people being provided explanations and motivations elaborated by “political technologists” and promoted by manipulating propagandists. The purpose is to maintain or take the power at any cost. In this regard, the recent events in Moldova are part of the logic of a post-modernist revolution. Hence, the chief is generally right, just organisers of the revolution and its driving force shall be identified. In this respect, he has issued the decree on establishing of a “state commission for elucidating the causes, conditions and consequences of the April 6–7 events” which, given its composition, will have to adjust its conclusions to the answer that President Voronin is spreading for a long time — the liberal opposition.

In its turn, the liberal opposition indicates the lack of any evidence and absurdity of authorities’ statements. But both the coups d’etat and chromatic revolutions are organised by former or acting insiders who are in tight relations with governmental institutions or security bodies, which subdivisions join the revolutionaries. There are no such insiders in the liberal opposition in Moldova. They affirm that the post-electoral protests and revolt were a spontaneous response of people to abuses by the ruling party. In order to give an appropriate reply to accusations of governors that they have allegedly prepared a coup d’etat, opposition representatives said that the ruling circles were interested to set on fire the Presidency and Parliament buildings, the way the German fascist authorities did on February 27, 1933 with the purpose to accuse the opposition and further terminate it, as well as “to launder money” via affiliated firms while reconstructing the two stormed buildings.

The examples above come to outline the tall barriers on way of a political dialogue between the governance and the opposition. However, there are also common points in the visions of the governing and the opposition. Neither the governance, nor the opposition contest the fact that the young people and students who count for more than 120,000 persons in Chisinau municipality alone were the moving force of the post-modernist revolution. In other terms, the moving force of the post-modernist revolution was the becoming knowledge proletariat, which is called so in the new PCRM political programme adopted on March 15, 2008. Given the fact that President Voronin brought very grave accusations against teachers nationwide, saying that they are to blame for what has happened on April 6–7, 2009, as they do not educate patriots, he accused the proletarians of knowledge who educate other fellow proletarians for an average wage of only some 200 dollars a month. This may be a very grave mistake in terms of programmatic objectives of PCRM.

It is also interesting to elucidate the answer to the question why namely the knowledge proletariat has massively protested? The first answer comes from the Interior Ministry. Thus, approximately 70 percent out of hundreds of young people arrested by the police are jobless or do not have any occupation. Hence, the post-modernist revolution discovers a social dimension as well. Even more, the destiny’s irony wanted the post-modernist revolution to break out on April 7, 2009, right on the day when the law approving the national youth strategy for 2009–2013 was published in Monitorul Oficial of Moldova. The coincidence outlines the absurdity of the situation, which is typical to a post-modernist revolution. Secondly, it is worth noting at least schematically which social segments with a distinct conduct influence the situation in Moldova. It is known that nearly half a million of true proletarians, which means approximately ¼ of the electorate are working abroad, maintaining Moldova on waterline but cannot cast their ballots. More than 600,000 voters are retirees who received a gift on the eve of elections — a 20-percent rise to their miserable pensions. Namely, this much suffering side of society is manipulated by media holding, being persuaded that the PCRM “professional team” has protected Moldova of the international financial crisis and that the main enemies of Moldova — the leaders of opposition liberal parties — having criminal charges on their names opened by acting governors. Finally, another distinct segment is made of Internet surfers — about 200,000 students and a similar number of young, relatively young people and those of other ages who are well-educated and immune to the propaganda of the media holding. They are actually the core of the knowledge proletariat, which according to the PCRM programme and under its lead should build the post-industrial society in Moldova. But they revolted themselves against the manipulating campaign of authorities who have recently started threatening to control the Internet. Doing so is logical since knowledge proletarians surf on Internet to find answers to many questions, while the media holding reports successes of the ruling party. For example, how it happens that members of a party who introduce themselves as communists are wealthiest while their families control most prosperous businesses; the PCRM is represented 26 percent by businesspersons in district councils; the PCRM government has opened one of most doubtful privatisation processes in the recent history of Moldova, claiming to have hold the “liberal revolution” in Moldova; PCRM leader Vladimir Voronin accuses teachers, proletarians of knowledge of lack of patriotism, knowing that Lenin, to whom he bows, considers that the “proletarians do not have Homeland”, that the patriotism issue is speculated by owners of estates who raise incomes and maintain influence by exploiting the proletariat?

In fact, the knowledge proletariat in Moldova would also have reasons of pride, as the Moldovan communists enjoyed the third victory at the recent parliamentary elections right on the day when their North Korean comrades launched a three-level ballistic rocket, persuading the entire world of the victorious force of the communism. Even more, the victory of the Moldovan communists proved that the communist doctrine gives accurate and lasting forecasts. Hereby, the April 7, 2009 events confirmed that the paving stone is really the weapon of the proletariat, inclusively of the knowledge proletariat. However, the communist governance in Moldova has proved its revisionist essence, letting the police apply the violence against knowledge proletariat, perhaps with the purpose to discourage the manifestation of their revolutionary character in future.

Scenarios of events

Although they understand divergences between the government and the opposition in Moldova, European institutions keep calling for a dialogue and conciliation, indicating the danger of deepening of the economic crisis and promising an eventual aid to overcome it. Overcoming the impasse through a dialogue means both relieving the process of nomination of a new ruling configuration of the country, especially the election of a chief of state with the opposition’s participation and the civic conciliation through readjusting the functioning of democratic institutions to certain standards which would guarantee the rights of the opposition. Such recommendations are part of Report 11878 from April 28, 2009 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) concerning “The functioning of democratic institutions in the Republic of Moldova”. In consonance with this document, local observers and analysts recommend the opposition to accept a dialogue with the PCRM, conditioning it with the adoption of a law to ensure the opposition’s rights at the first sittings of the Parliament, opposition’s real influence on nomination of heads of main public control bodies, ensured transformation of the public broadcasting into institutions to justify their names, etc.

But judging after the rhetoric of the PCRM leader both in his speech from April 15, 2009 and in an interview with a PCRM-affiliated TV channel, he invites the opposition to a dialogue just to recognise its guilt for what has happened on April 7 and to legalise the governance elected on April 5, 2009. In their turn, leaders of the opposition say that little depends on them and the ruling party should repair some actions they have committed which degraded the political climate in country. Representatives of the opposition indicate that the PCRM leader promise them leading offices in parliamentary commissions in accordance with the election results, while the opposition is denied an appropriate access to the public broadcasting! In this context, the three opposition parties decided to boycott the election of a chief of state.

A likeliest solution is the “betrayal” by one or more opposition lawmakers who contrary to the decision of parties to boycott the elections would accept to ensure the overcoming of the impasse for “patriotic” reasons. This solution was introduced as likeliest by President Voronin shortly after the April 5 elections. The opposition media described the president’s statement that he will not cooperate with the opposition but with concrete lawmakers representing the opposition as a denouncement to proceed to a political corruption of blackmailable lawmakers. On that occasion, the opposition media launched a true campaign against such a scenario, using epithets and metaphors aimed to discourage an eventual “act of patriotism” of any opposition lawmaker. In this regard, newspapers Jurnal de Chisinau and Ziarul de Garda contacted all 41 opposition lawmakers to receive a categorical answer regarding their participation or non-participation in electing a chief of state. All of them promised not to participate in the election of a chief of state. However, one should not forget that Moldova is an entity in a very specific area in which problems unsolved with large resources may be resolved with very large resources. Therefore, the “betraying” and “patriotic” vote is likely.

The third solution would be to let the electorate relieve the situation, which means the boycotting of two attempts to elect a chief of state, so that the newly-elected Parliament would be dissolved by the acting president, early parliamentary elections would be set and would be held not later than within three months after the dissolution. Given the antagonised government and opposition and division of society, this scenario is very likely. The modality of boycotting the procedure of election of a chief of state is known very well since December 2000. Also in December 2000, the Constitutional Court adopted four decisions on procedure of election of chief of state, describing in-depth what to do for a successful boycott. Opposition parties should carefully study these decisions, should they really want to see the Parliament dissolved and provide the electorate with possibilities to relieve the political situation. The opposition has the following logic: instead of reaching a compromise and further pay the price the PPCD had paid after accepting a “political partnership” with the PCRM, it is better to wait for the electorate to provide a solution, even if the opposition could get a lower score at early parliamentary elections than on April 5. If there is the risk to see a repeat of the April 5 result, the PCRM should do its best to organise honest elections, which would open the way to a dialogue with the opposition. Definitively, the opposition may expect better results at early parliamentary elections than it achieved on April 5, since they would reveal the capacities of the PCRM “professional team” to prevent the impact of consequences of the world financial and economic crisis on Moldova; to protect the rights of citizens; to settle the Transnistrian conflict, etc. If the developments dissolve the Parliament, the PCRM faction will have to nominate a new and competent Government.

Conclusions

Political forces in Moldova cross one of most dangerous conflicts with an unpredictable impact in many areas. The ruling party carries most responsibility. The leader of this party, Vladimir Voronin, has publicly “ceased the political partnership with the opposition” immediately after the June 2007 local elections, after launching a campaign aimed to antagonise the opposition, crossing the limit when it was possible to hold a dialogue with the opposition. The “vertical of the state power” along with the PCRM-affiliated media holding harassed and defamed constantly the opposition the last two years, while the constitutional norm which imposes a parliamentary political consensus of 3/5 was known well. Even more, President Voronin himself has recently stated that the electoral programmes of PCRM and liberal opposition are almost similar, then why did he start actions to antagonise the opposition? The answer is linked to economic interests of PCRM-affiliated structures.

The situation in Moldova will be unstable for a long time on, no matter how it will develop after the April 7, 2009 events and how the top leadership and law enforcement bodies will behave themselves. The political stability will be regained just after the April 7 events will be honestly investigated, the true guilty who provoked the disturbances through their actions or inactions will be identified and punished. Otherwise, cleavages in society will deepen in a very dangerous manner. If the truth is not elucidated, myths will develop and maintain the social division, challenging political and social-economic strains. This process is already underway.

The reason for “freezing” the Transnistrian conflict Presidential elections 2009