22. November 2018
The topics of integration into the EU, the position of the breakaway region of Transnistria, relations with Romania and with Russia and popular discontent with widespread corruption dominate the political discussions in Moldova. Political situation in Moldova has been unstable for the last years, as there are serious allegations of corruption against ruling parties’ coalition and differences among political forces in opinion whether the country should continue its present course of integration process with European Union or choose instead to integrate with Russian led Eurasian Economic Union.
The ruling government coalition led by Democratic Party which has ruled the country since 2014 parliamentary elections, has been losing popular support ahead of the parliamentary elections in February 2019. The Government of Prime Minister Pavel Filip has the support of 50 members in Parliament of 101. Also many Moldovans resent the influence of Democratic Party leader Vladimir Plahotniuc, who wields power not only as politician, but also as an owner of country’s main media outlets. At the same time the popularity of the main opposition party, Socialist Party, is raising. Example of the rise of popularity of Socialists is the fact that Moldovan presidential elections in 2016 were won by the opposition Socialist Party candidate Igor Dodon. However, the popularity of two new main pro-European opposition parties not currently represented in Parliament has also been growing: The Party of Action and Solidarity, a liberal pro-EU political party led by Maia Sandu and The Dignity and Truth Platform Party, a centre-right political party in Moldova, led by Andrei Nastase. Therefore, it is too early to tell, what the post-election political landscape in Moldova would look like.
According to the EU 2018 Association Implementation Report on Moldova the Republic of Moldova has advanced with the implementation of some reforms, but further action is still required for its citizens to reap the full benefits of the Association Agreement.
It is unlikely that the 2019 election will alter the fundamental divisions and balance in Moldova. Only an unlikely clear victory of pro-reform new parties can open a way to radical reforms, economic growth, and putting an end to the endemic corruption.
The full report by ECEAP Senior Research Fellow Mr Aap Neljas can be found here: Political Developments in Moldova.