Controversial electoral law reform in Moldova
Thousands of protesters have demonstrated against a change to the electoral law in the Republic of Moldova. They are calling on the president not to sign a law passed by parliament abolishing proportional representation. The EU has also criticised the fact that the reform would benefit the country's larger parties. But how much can Brussels achieve in Chișinău?
Politicians in Chișinău overstimate their clout
Criticism by the EU won't be understood in Chișinău, political expert Dan Dungaciu writes on his blog with Adevărul:
“Those currently in power in the Republic of Moldova don't understand how the West works. They naively believe that they can get the better of Brussels. And that Brussels will turn a blind eye to the tricks of the crooks on the periphery. … The politicians of this part of the world, or at least some of them, believe that if they sit at a table with leaders from Europe or America, they're just like them! Whereas at first they were shy and retiring, gradually they have become more and more confident. … This crazy situation will become truly alarming if the leaders in Chișinău get the idea that the Western states need them more than they need the West.”
Brussels is powerless
The EU's hands are tied as regards the machinations of the pro-Western Democratic Party PDM, Contributors comments:
“In any event it's in the EU's interest for the Republic of Moldova to carry out its reforms. And aside from the PDM there's no one around who can do that, even if many reforms are poorly implemented or only simulated. With the enactment of the new election system, party leader Vladimir Plahotniuc is testing how far he can go with his European partners. ... As long as the two sides are mutually dependent the lack of alternatives in Chișinău will force the EU to accept a few deviations from the norm. The Democratic Party, meanwhile, will exploit the advantages gained from uniting the pro-European forces to pursue its own political interests.”