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Important2 February 2019 14:00

(INTERVIEW): Victor Ciobanu: The independent candidates have little chance of winning in constituencies

In an interview for the TRIBUNA portal, the well-known political analyst Victor Ciobanu spoke of the beginning of the electoral campaign for the parliamentary elections, as the Moldovan electorate seems to have mobilized at this stage, what are the chances of the PDM still remaining in the government, what is the opinion of President Dodon’s decision not to go as head of the list to PSRM, but also about other important issues.

T .: Mr Ciobanu, the electoral campaign for the parliamentary elections officially started on 24 January this year. How do you see this beginning?

V.C .: And unofficially, the campaign has long been going on and has already recorded a record number of frauds. Let’s just give an example – this referendum, hardly promoted by the DP, whose TV spots are obviously electoral, and on the advertising, boards are displayed the PD candidates in the respective constituency. It is obvious electoral agitation, but not for the CEC. The official start is just an official demarcation line. The campaign is already fraudulent and the days that remain will add evidence to this effect.

T: Do you think that the Moldovan electorate is quite mobilized at this stage, both left and right?

V.C .: It seems to me that it isn’t mobilized, it’s really the other way around -totally disoriented. The people with I discuss does not know what the mix is, nor what is with this referendum, nor that it will vote with 4 ballots. It’s chaos knowingly induced by the current government. Regarding the left-right delineation, the left electorate is traditionally more structured and more organized. The right one is more fragmented, more rigid, has claimed to parties/candidates. There have always been many parties here. However, the current campaign is somewhat unprecedented – on the right we have only one competitor with chances.

T .: What can you say about the electoral programs presented by the favourite parties in these elections? In general, will matter the professional offers based onconcrete issues in these elections?

V.C .: I have not seen the promotion of programs so far and I suspect that the parties do not even need them. Everything has been reduced to schematic offers with more or less populist slogans. No vision. What kind of development does our electoral competitors propose? I do not know. I saw some TV debates and I was disappointed with the candidates.

T: In your opinion, what are the chances of the PDM still remaining in the government?

V.C .: PDM says it will remain in government. But the objective result will be more than 20 mandates, 30 meaning massive fraud. In these circumstances, to remain in government is in the field of post-election combinatorics. Is it true that PD previously demonstrated that it possesses this field, playing at two ends? The problem is that this time, the pro-European right-wing coalition is practically excluded. That is why I believe that PD will have to choose from two variants, both in common with the PSRM – either go into coalition with the socialists as a smaller partner, control a large part of the institutions, or go to the early elections, still controlling the state.

T: What do you think about President Dodon’s decision not to go as a head of the line to PSRM? Will the President’s decision influence the result of PSRM?

V.C .: I did not even think he would make it. The result of PSRM will not be influenced by this decision, because Putin, Patriarch and Dodon will be present in all the socialist newspapers and leaflets.

T .: In your opinion, will PSRM have the capacity to form the next Government?

V.C .: Rather not. In the equation of the present power, Plahotniuc needs Dodon and PSRM, but they must not be strong enough. To achieve this result, the spoilers have been launched.

T .: The unionists have shared into three camps in these elections. To which camp do you think electoral votes will go: Liberal Party – backed by Unirea Association “ODIP”, Party “Home Democracy” – supported by several unionist activists or the National Liberal Party?

V.C .: PL will still take some votes, but that does not matter anymore (collaboration with PD is fatal to any party). The other two formations – not so many. And all taken together will only contribute to the dispersion of the votes of the right. I think they understand this and they have to assume it. Most of the unionist’s votes will be found to the electoral bloc  NOW.

T: What are the chances that the referendum that will take place on the same day as the parliamentary elections and what do you think will be the impact of it?

V.C .: For the validation of the referendum, it is necessary that 1/3 of the voters enrolled on the lists should participate. At the moment, the CEC still insists that we have about 3.3 million voters. Will the government assure 1.1 million participants? If the opposition has a clear boycott message – certainly not. Let us also remember the 2010 referendum, which was invalidated because of low attendance.

Let’s admit, however, that the referendum will pass, though unlikely. This referendum is an advisory one. So, you will have to vote in the next parliament (by the way, the government, if it wished, could do it easily in the previous parliament). Let us imagine how the 101 deputies vote to reduce themselves to 61 ?! Rather, there will be explanations of why this is impossible – that it is not a constitutional majority, etc.

T .: In the uninominal constituencies, many independent candidates were enrolled. In your opinion, what are the chances of joining in this  Legislative the independent Candidates? How many independent candidates can we have in this Parliament?

V.C .: The independent candidates have little chance of winning in the electoral constituencies. First of all, because they can not be compared as resources with the parties, then I think the vote will be more political – so it will go from party to candidate and not vice versa. Most of the independents will figure as spoilers. I think less than five will be deputies.

T: Thank you!

Andriana Cheptine

Trainee translator: Mihaela Grosu

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