Pro-EU Moldovan government comes under attack as cost of living crisis intensifies

The Moldovan left has called for a vote of no-confidence against the Party of Action and Solidarity government. Right-wing sections have been staging protests

September 22, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
Moldova Protests
Anti-government protest in Chișinău, Moldova. (Photo: via PCRM)

A number of protests have taken place over the past few days in Moldova, demanding the resignation of President Maia Sandu and the government led by the pro-EU Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS). Right-wing and Euro-skeptic sections in the opposition, led by the ȘOR party, organized a massive mobilization in the capital Chisinau on September 18.

Meanwhile, the left-wing opposition, comprising the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) and the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM), initiated proceedings for a vote of no-confidence against the PAS government headed by Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița in the parliament on September 15. The Moldovan left has accused the government of failing to tackle the cost of living crisis that is severely  impacting common people across the country.

Moldovan politics and society, like many other post-Soviet Republics, have become deeply polarized over relations with the EU and Russia. With the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war in February 2022, the pro-EU government in Moldova has imposed various anti-Russian policies, which have irked sections of the people. The sanctions placed by the EU and the US on Russian gas imports to Europe have triggered high inflation in energy and food prices and resulted in an acute cost of living crisis across Europe, including in Moldova. The PCRM stated on September 18 that Moldovans pay the highest price for gas in Eastern Europe.

On September 15, the Electoral Bloc of Communist and Socialists (BECS) – comprising of PCRM and PSRM – said in the Moldovan parliament, “We believe that the government has impoverished the population, and instead of helping citizens, is increasing the burden of the people in the form of increased loan rates. Inflation and national debt are also rising, and in the absence of real aid programs, thousands of entrepreneurs have gone bankrupt. The door has been closed on the farmers as well.”

The vote of no-confidence against the government, proposed by the BECS, will be considered in the next session of the parliament.

According to a recent opinion poll conducted by iData, the BECS enjoys 20.8% support in the country. The incumbent PAS is trailing in second place with 19.4%, and the ȘOR party received 16.7% support from respondents.

In April this year, communists, socialists and other anti-fascist sections in Moldova had protested the liberal government’s decision to ban the Ribbon of St George and other Soviet/Russian symbols representing the Great Patriotic War (the name for the Second World War in the former USSR) in the country. In the wake of the war in Ukraine, the Moldovan parliament, dominated by the pro-European PAS, voted in favor of banning the public display of Soviet and Russian symbols, including the  Ribbon of St George, on April 14.