For the first time in 20 years Moldavian people got an opportunity to elect the President of the country by direct vote. Up to this time the right to elect the President belonged to the Parliament of Moldova. On October 30, the first round of presidential elections held in Moldova. The attendance of voters has not exceeded 49%: that is only 1.4 million from 2.8 million voters have visited polling stations. The leader of the pro-Russian Socialist Party, ex-Minister of Economy Igor Dodon won 48.22% of voices. His rival in the second round (on November 13), Maia Sandu - ex-Minister of Education, former adviser to the executive director of the World Bank, head of pro-Europe party "Action and solidarity", scored 38.43% of voices.
The gap between candidates has shown that the pro-European forces in Moldova are faced with a serious challenge - a possibility to return to the Soviet era. Glory of the pro-Russian candidate endangered pro-European development of Moldova, though it is hard to say that the results of the first round of the election are unexpected. There were objective prerequisites, both external and internal, for such situation: Russia’s imperial ambitions, support of pro-Russian enclaves by Kremlin (Transnistria region and Gagauzia), stronger relationship with Romania, which is represented by opponents of the pro-European course as a prospect of Moldova’s absorption. The main aspect is an absence of the political elite, capable to carry out the declared reforms, high level of corruption and a sharp population’s pauperization.
It is not worth to rule out the fact that the talented, successful youth finds more often work abroad. Whose, who remained are inert in their majority. It is confirmed also with exit poll data: only 10% of youth has voted, voters at the age of 18-25 years have appeared the least active. The considerable part of electorate consists of people who have lived in the USSR and have till now nostalgia on those times. They are senior fifty years and hope that it is still possible to turn back time.
On the eve of elections activity of the fifth column, financed by the Kremlin, was considerably stirred up. The pro-Russian forces have developed the wide propaganda campaign directed on discredit the pro-European politicians and destabilization of a situation in Moldova in general. The scandal with financial frauds of 1 billion dollars, that caused damage to the state, has played a considerable role in it.
All events above has happened against an actively duplicated message that Europe is not interested in Moldova and will never perceive it as the equal partner. So, it is quite predictable, that the swing of the public opinion’s pendulum has changed due to the activities of interested forces. Igor Dodon positions himself as a pro-Russian politician. Elections in Moldova became for the Kremlin an original range for practicing the political technologies targeted at the discredit and elimination the pro-European politicians from the power in the countries which Russia traditionally considers as a zone of its influence. As for Moldova, the purpose is clear – to keep an influence or to transform the country into a buffer zone on the border with the European Union.
Thus, the victory of the pro-Russian candidate in the first round of presidential election has confirmed successful realization of the first part of Kremlin’s plan in Moldova. Though, pro-European Moldova’s life is far from ebbing away. Before the second round of presidential election it is clear that the Moldova’s future will depend on mobilization of reasonable number of well-thinking people - whether it will be the Russia’s vassal or the part of free Europe.
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