Conflicts within the Alliance for European Integration (AEI) are not based on incompatibility of principles and values. It is about interests, reconfirming a trivial thing — in Moldova, as in most countries in transition, the most profitable business is politics. Recent conflicts only develop the mechanisms and tools for converting the political and administrative influence into economic and financial influence. In this respect, it is understandable why the Party of Communists (PCRM) does not feel very comfortable in opposition — PCRM representatives know how the invoked mechanisms operate, ones that have been developed and used during eight years of governance that preceded the AEI. The leaders of four parliamentary parties have much in common, except for the statements related to the public good. One of them is a former businessman, another is a friend of a very important businessman, the third is the father of a very important businessman, and only the fourth is a romantic, who wants a place in history by repairing its errors.
The way how AEI components distributed the dignity positions and public functions, as well as their competition for influence and control over economic sectors and over the regulatory agencies in these areas shows very clearly the cartelization of AEI members. The teams of AEI political managers agreed to govern the country under the Agreement establishing the allianceRO (it may be called the Convention on sharing / coordinating responsibilities), but they can not yet be used to the need to respect the Convention. In fact, they can not escape from natural state, where the rivalries, mutual distrust, pride determine the outbreak of conflicts, in order to enter the phase of observing the conventions.
In these circumstances, PCRM plays its opposition role perfectly, directed just towards undermining the relations within AEI. On the one hand, PCRM says it does not want early parliamentary elections, but that it will not participate in unblocking presidential elections after the AEI formula. PCRM’s variants of overcoming the institutional crisis are not unambiguous and they confined either to establishing a broad coalition, or to identifying a technical solution for overcoming the institutional deadlock. Obviously, the first solution involves dissolution of AEI and the establishment of new alliance, with the participation of PCRM. In fact, it can not be a broad coalition itself, since at least the Liberal Party (PL) will not accept this. The second solution of PCRM involves reviewing the commitments of AEI components regarding the distribution of the highest rankings positions in the state, something that carries a huge conflicting potential.
Currently, all four parliamentary parties possess blocking tools, the AEI ones having the ability to block each other in decision making process:
AEI leaders recognize that now the relations within the renewed alliance are the same or even worse than they were before the early elections of 28 November 2010. Apparently, the recent conflicts between the AEI components would have arisen as a result of decisions that oppose the economic efficiency to political timeliness. Indeed, may one assess as appropriate the decision to rebalance the prices for fixed telephony services, provided by the state profitable company Moldtelecom on the eve of local elections and on the background of explosion of prices for food, energy utilities, services etc.? Representatives of the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) believe so, and those of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) and PL consider it is not. Consequently, public altercation between PLDM and PDM leaders on the mentioned issue highlighted that divisions within AEI are much deeper than previously thought, and mutual distrust and suspicions make this alliance unable to accomplish the reforms it has planned.
In addition to the abovementioned, the AEI is a temporary alliance, at least unless the opposite is proven, i.e. up to presidential elections and overcoming the institutional crisis. In addition, the unity of AEI components is no longer guaranteed by the need to keep together due to the fear of possible retaliation of PCRM. Early elections of November 28, 2010 have shown that PCRM no longer has the potential to revenge and the party leaders apparently understood this. Therefore, PCRM has changed radically its behaviour, slowly entering into normality and operating cooperatively, at least with a faction of the parliamentary majority, obviously, within the limits which can be afforded by an opposition party. In this regard, the PCRM leader has involved in a political dialogue with the PLDM leader, obviously for the sake of public good and for overcoming the institutional crisis and both leaders mentioned that Moldova will not survive to perpetuation of political crisis caused by the inability to elect the head of state.
Political dialogue between PLDM and PCRM leaders, over the PDM’ head, carries a meaning that is difficult to neglect — from now on PDM is deprived of the status of the only holder of golden share, which, under the fragmentation of political spectrum, decided the direction of tilting the balance towards the formation of political alliances. Consequently, PCRM, which lost its status as the dominant party in Moldova’s political scene, for the first time created a manoeuvring field for a possible coalition with a political party previously considered antagonistic. Obviously, the one who is to win most from this dialogue is PLDM, which has expanded its manoeuvring field throughout the Moldovan political scene. In this respect, it is not accidental that PLDM leaders claim to have been blackmailed by PDM during the negotiations to re-make the Alliance in December 2010, to get more positions within the power structures. Difficult to know whether the word blackmail is actually used properly by PLDM leaders, but certainly PDM caused the envy of partners when negotiating with both right and left. PDM has skilfully and transparently used the golden share, but it greedy requested and too disproportionately took, making abstraction of the fact that the main position that it has negotiated still remains in suspense for an indefinite period. For a party with PDM’ electoral weight (13%), the golden rule is to take as it deserves in alliance with those whom it would feel more comfortable in the governance process. Now the PDM, from being the holder of golden share, found itself despised and ignored by both PCRM and, apparently, by PLDM.
The second mistake of PDM is that when “Moldtelecom” rebalanced its tariffs it let itself attracted into the race of adopting some necessary and effective decisions, ignoring the factor of timeliness. Therefore, PDM risks losing its status of a party promoting socially oriented policies. Opponents and allies of PDM do not hesitate to take advantage of this situation. Finally, the third error of PDM is that its leaders publicly flaunt with their offenses. It seems that the latter is the most dangerous one, because it is accompanied by public statements like: “PLDM plans to ally with PCRM”, “irreparable harm may be caused to AEI unity”, “AEI’s reformatting is justified”.
Actually, broadly, AEI has no alternative yet, but some components of the alliance would have to learn the truth: the one who wants everything and immediately will get nothing in instalments, and whoever has the patience will get what the wished.