(TASS) – Destabilization of the situation in Moldova is in the interests of those who are against the president’s course towards resumption of strategic partnership with Russia, Moldovan President Igor Dodon said in an interview with TASS on Thursday, commenting on the ongoing confrontation with the parliamentary majority and the government formed by the ruling Democratic Party.
“The parliament and the government know it only too well that I will never sign any laws or decrees geared to worsen relations with Russia. At the general presidential elections, the Moldovan people gave me a mandate to restore partner relations with Russia, and I will never drop this course. They also understand that I will never agree to approve those ministers who have disgraced themselves by, for instance, participation in schemes of embezzling one billion US dollars from the country’s banks,” Dodon said, commenting on this week’s ruling of the Constitutional Court authorizing the prime minister and the parliament speaker to sign laws bypassing the president.
Dodon described this ruling as illegal while many of his supporters called for street protests.
Two ways out of the crisis
There are two ways out of the ongoing confrontation with the ruling majority and the government, the Moldovan president stressed. Thus, in his words, the first way is to call people to the streets, which is fraught with mass riots. And the other way is to consolidate “all forces to ensure victory at the parliamentary elections at the end of the year.”
The former scenario implies a “risk of destabilization in the country, with possible provocations against Transnistria,” he said. “We know that certain circles in the West cherish such plans. These circles seek to create another hotbed of tension near Russia, especially ahead of the forthcoming presidential elections there.”
“If I yield to emotions and succumb to persuasion of those who call for street protests, I will play into the hand of those who are interested in this scenario. They will use it as a pretext to shift responsibility for the destabilization onto the president who maintains close relations with Moscow,” Dodon said.
Such scenario, in his words, is also in the interests of those in the West who are afraid that Moldova’s Party of Socialists and other forces supporting the president’s course towards closer relations with Russia will win the parliamentary elections, as all opinion polls predict.
Not to yield to provocations
“The current government is indulging in lawlessness with the silent consent from the European Union and the United States. So, they would supports a crackdown on rallies of the presidents’ supporters and a ban of the Party of Socialists and other forces that support my course towards closer ties with Russia. And then what would we have at the forthcoming elections which are of crucial importance?,” he stressed.
The Moldovan leader said he was convinced that representatives of Moldova’s ruling pro-European coalition were indulging in anti-Russian campaign to enroll support the West’s anti-Russian circles who are reluctant to see Moldova getting closer to Russia and to provoke the president and his supporters to plunge into street confrontation. In a situation like this, it is necessary to show restraint and not to succumb to provocations, Dodon underscored.
“I offered the government and the parliamentary majority to stop confrontation between the power branches in the interests of the people,” he said, adding that he did not rule out that his supporters may take to peace protests if the opponents continued the policy of pressure on the president and his course towards closer relations with Russia.
President vs coalition
Moldova has been ruled by the coalition of pro-European parties since 2009. The coalition leaders pledged to spare no effort to see Moldova as a member of the European Union. The coalition’s rule however was accompanied by an economic crisis, a series of corruption and political scandals. In the autumn of 2015, mass grass-roots protests erupted around the country when the country’s government was found to be behind the embezzlement of one billion euros from the banking system. Under pressure of these protests, two government were sent to resignation and former Prime Minister Vlad Filat, who was the leader of Moldova’s Liberal Democratic Party, the core of the ruling coalition, was arrested and convicted on corruption charges.
A new coalition was formed by two other members of the former coalition, the Democratic and Liberal Parties, and a number of lawmakers from opposition parties. According to the president, it was done by “dubious methods,” as with 19 out of 101 seats won at the 2014 elections the Democrats now control 60 seats thanks to flip-floppers from opposition parties.” But later on, a number of high-ranking members of the Liberal Party were arrested on suspicion of corruption.
Latest opinion polls suggested that more than 80% of Moldovans have no confidence in the government and the number of those who support the policy towards closer ties with the European Union has dropped since 2010 from 70 to 48%, despite the visa-free travel granted by the European Union (EAEU), whereas the number of those who want integration with the Eurasian Economic Union has exceeded 54%
These moods impacted the November 2016 presidential elections won by Igor Dodon, the leader of the opposition Party of Socialists seeking closer integrations with the EAEU. According to opinion polls, about a half of respondents are ready to vote for the Party of Socialists at the 2018 parliamentary elections.