“Moldova will go the way Moldova will go.” I had asked a question about the future of Moldova-EU relations at the American Chamber of Commerce in Moldova and that was the rather frank opening line that I had received. At the time, everyone had laughed, but looking back, it was probably one of the truest statements we heard.
The day before we left Moldova, we found out that the Moldovan Communist Party had called for a vote of no confidence in Parliament. We had heard rumors that this might happen but had been (at least 51%) sure that it wouldn’t happen. Now that it had, the Prime Minister would have to do some intense campaigning to keep his position. If he failed to muster an adequate number of votes, the current government would “fall” and the President would have to nominate a new Prime Minister to be confirmed by the Parliament. If no suitable candidate could be confirmed as Prime Minister within the allotted time period, then early elections would be called.
Over the weekend, my classmates and I sat and wondered—what would happen with the Moldovan government? Would everyone we met still have their positions? When would the elections be? Would the general public stand for yet another governmental upheaval?
On Monday, we heard that the vote of no confidence was scheduled for Tuesday and early Tuesday morning, we found out that the vote had passed—current Prime Minister Filat would have to step down and the political parties would now have to scramble to establish new alliances and come up with a candidate who would pass muster. There’s a possibility that a new coalition could be negotiated and someone representing the same interests as Mr. Filat could become the next Prime Minister, but really anything’s possible— the Communists could even regain power signaling a political about-face for Moldova.
A lot of pundits writing about the Moldovan situation highlight the fact that the dissolution of the Filat government, the “Alliance for European Integration,” signals a grand obstacle in Moldova’s path towards EU accession. True, this political instability weighs against Moldova’s entry into the EU and true these multiple periods of political instability certainly aren’t doing anything for Moldova’s image (or reality) as a burgeoning, stable nation, but remember, Moldova will go the way Moldova will go.
In my previous posts I mentioned the relatively young age of the Moldovan government officials. And not that anyone I met is easily replaced, but perhaps what I was most impressed by in Moldova, was that all the young people (university students , our waiters at dinner, our hotel staff) had a bright vision for Moldova’s future. They saw a country that they loved and one that could change and be changed by their own modern views on government, politics, economics, and social values. This year, Moldova is 21, it’s going through some growing pains, but it’ll figure things out and it will go the way it will go.