For the first time, after more than 27 years of independence of the Republic of Moldova, we will have no unionist party in Parliament. We have unionists deputies, we have parliamentary parties that share the unionism, but we do not have a 100 per cent unionist party in the Legislature, and that will undoubtedly have an impact on the situation in the new Parliament as well as on the political situation in general.
Since independence, and until 2005, the unionists have been represented in Parliament mainly by the Christian Democratic Popular Party. There were also other unionist or partially unionist parties, but PPCD was certainly the most representative in this respect. After the “fall” of the PPCD, the “political voice” of the unionists became the Liberal Party. Over the years, other parties claimed to the electorate of the unionist, especially after the Liberals entered a free fall (in 2016), but none succeeded in taking over as much of the unionist electorate as considerable. And this, given the fact that the share of the unionist trend in society has steadily increased, reaching, according to some estimates, 25-30%.
The parliamentary elections of 24 February 2019 were special for the unionists. In addition to the fact that for the first time in the polls there was no unionist party, it is not clear at the end where the votes of the unionists were found. Some of these votes (although it is hard to say how many) have gone to the electoral bloc NOW, another to some electoral contestants with a smaller weight, and the third (probably most) is not excluded that simply boycotted the elections.
If we start from the idea that an important part of the electorate of the unionist has boycotted the elections, we also find the answer to the question why the result of the pro-European parties was relatively modest. At least, if we compare it to the previous elections. And this also causes a possible blockade in the post-electoral period. If at the previous parliamentary elections the pro-European right came well structured and organized with a party on the extreme unionist right-wing (PL), a centre-right party, but more oriented towards Europeanism than towards unionism (PLDM) and a party placed on centre-left, but with pronounced pro-European visions (PD) , and these parties created theoretical premises for a politically homogeneous ruling coalition, but now we have a total chaos: two pro-European parties that accept high-level unionism ( PDA and PAS ), a party that accepts the idea of European integration, but not as a basic one, the first being the doctrine of pro-Moldova (PD), a party that also puts in the forefront this doctrine (PSRM), but he sees it differently than the way it is seen by the PDM and a party that emphasizes only the social politics, leaving out other political or geopolitical aspects (the Șor Party ).
Thus, the absence of a unionist party in Parliament and the passage of another party through a broad process of creating a new political identity (PD) makes a new pro-European coalition impossible, while at the same time increasing the chances of a centre-left coalition platform for Moldova. Perhaps the same trend will be maintained in the coming years, and even if we admit that we will attend regrouping of forces in Parliament, the final result will be broadly the same.
What can cause the return of the pro-European right into the great political game? First, PAS and PDA need to understand that they cannot fully attract the unionist electorate, and in order for the precious votes on this segment not to be lost, a representative and credible unionist party is needed. PAS and PDA should not feel threatened by this eventual new party, because ultimately it will be their political partner that will help them reach the government. Second, PAS and PDA need to understand that they cannot be together on the same segment of the electorate.If they want to stay together on the same segment of the electorate, they have to slightly release the centre-right segment, moving to the right. And closer to the centre must be made a place for a new pro-European political project. If they do notmerge, then the PAS and the PDA must reach a compromise, establishing that one of the two parties moves slightly to the right and the other one makes a visible step towards the centre and right even to the centre-left. If these things will happen, the pro-European right will be able to come to power in Moldova, becoming the majority. If not, it will remain for many years only in the position of the parliamentary opposition, while the centre-left forces will govern as they like.
Translator: Mihaela Grosu