Members of the Transnistrian parliament who initiated amendments to the Constitution have withdrawn their draft law in late May 2009. The “state commission for developing and improving the Transnistrian Constitution to adjust it to the Russian Federation’s Constitution” was made to advise Igor Smirnov. So, the dreams of the “Obnovlenie” Party have failed. Displaying proudly their initiatives on modification of Constitution in early April, they have further withdrawn their initiatives as gloriously as they raised them. The press service of the Supreme Soviet has quoted legislator Galina Antiufeeva as saying: “This commission is expected to operate a complex modification of the Supreme Law of Transnistria. Further, all the recommended amendments will be voted at a referendum. Considering constitutional amendments is a very precise work and that’s why I think that all will be done for the universal suffrage by next October.” It was an interesting turn. What are the reasons of such a coordinated withdrawal?
There are some rules. Sounding initiatives by “Obnovlenie” which are generally introduced by the head of the Parliament, Mr. Shevchyuk, have a distinct particularity — they are not achieved. But statements by Evgeni Vasilievici are loud. He had evoked and mediated some moments related to the strange and cheap privatisation of the Moldovan Hydro-Power Plant (Cuciurgan Plant). He had loudly tackled the disappearance of funds paid for natural gas, bringing direct accusations against Smirnov’s family. But what followed in fact? What was the result of this broil? No result.
But this time, it was a legislative initiative, not a “recital” in front of the audience. Is it true that the elect of people are anxious because they worry about harmonising the Transnistrian and Russian legislations? I do not think so. It is well-known that the Transnistrian legislation was generally drafted by copying the Russian laws and replacing the words “Russia”, “Russian Federation” with “RMN”, “Dniester Moldovan Republic”, “Transnistria”. But the Russian legislation is changing vertiginously, while the Transnistrian legislation fails to keep the step.
One would note while considering the things objectively that the campaign for the presidential seat is underway in Transnistria. There are two real candidates: Shevchyuk and deputy president Alexandr Koroliov. The latter is regarded as possible successor of Smirnov. This would happen should Smirnov stay away from the race for the fifth mandate, but not many people believe this hypothesis. Shevchyuk does not need a rival to succeed Smirnov, and that’s why this action aimed to harmonise the Transnistrian and Russian legislations was invented. The runway for Koroliov would be eliminated should the office of deputy president be annulled.
But this initiative, this parliamentary flash mob has failed, too. Let’s wait for the autumn and the people will decide then. It is known that Smirnov does not like these initiatives and public organisations from his entourage (which appear when needed) will oppose any proposal uncoordinated with his majesty. They will do so the least for people’s eyes, to make the impression of mass spirit.
Now let’s talk about “harmonisation”. For example, the initiative by Transnistrian legislators to recognise the Russian flag as official flag besides the one of Transnistria is well-known. A strange idea. Why the flag alone? No coat of arms and anthem? This “harmonisation” is pretty partial, truncated.
And why the initiatives were stopped? There are rumours that the administration of the firm which is behind “Obnovlenie” recalled the constitution period and found enough arguments to make the heads of the party wake up: the business is good, but the politics is something else. It is clear that the company would not have developed so fast without the consent/interest of the government. This would have been impossible! Especially in the post-Soviet area. The big business is loyal to the governance everywhere. Otherwise, it disappears or becomes little.
On the other hand, the parliamentarians who forgot this axiom were acting this way because they were sure that they do not run any danger. But they changed their mind after less than two months. The Transnistrian establishment is a much closed structure, almost a brotherhood. Of course, it changes sometimes. But not so radically as wished by “Obnovlenie” and those behind this party.
And the last thing. The candidacy of the Transnistrian president will be approved/coordinated in Moscow for sure. Both Koroliov and Shevchyuk want to make an impeccable image in front of Moscow. But the Russian leading structures did not decide yet who would be the best to cooperate with. Next year will be an electoral year in Transnistria: the region will hold elections for local public bodies and Supreme Soviet. Of course, “Obnovlenie”, which is a more mobile force than Smirnov’s entourage, has tried to strengthen its pretty strong positions before 2011, profiting of the inertia of rivals.
Some words about the planned referendum. The initiatives by the Supreme Soviet will fail, should Smirnov and the associative sector stand in the media as adversaries of the changes.
Well, rival leading groups in Transnistria proved their wishes this spring. We can leave for summer holidays.