Leftist groups in Moldova have called for fresh general elections to be held as the country continues to suffer multifold crises under the government led by the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS). The Bloc of Communists and Socialists (BECS) in the Moldovan parliament—comprised of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) and the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM)—stated that changing the head of the ministry and adding a handful of new members would not solve the crisis. They allege that the general policy of the neoliberal PAS-led government is bound to wreak more havoc in Moldova.
On Monday, February 20, PSRM leadership also accused Moldovan President and PAS leader Maia Sandu of violating conditional procedures in allowing the formation of a new cabinet. Last week, on February 16, a ‘new’ PAS cabinet led by pro-Western economist Dorin Recean took charge and replaced Natalia Gavrilita. Gavrilita resigned from prime ministership after popular protests and unrest against the soaring cost of living crisis and war-mongering.
The pro-European Union (EU), neo-liberal PAS came to power in Moldova in July 2021, following two years of political instability and crisis. From the beginning, the policies of the PAS-led government were shaped by demands from the EU for austerity as well as Russophobic warmongering by the US and NATO.
Moldova has seen oscillating, acute levels of inflation since the PAS came to power: 5.1% in 2021, 28.48% in 2022, and 13.82% in 2023. As massive protests continue across the country against inflation and the current energy crisis, the government in turn has accused protesters of being pro-Russian saboteurs.
In the wake of the Russia-NATO war in Ukraine, the government even banned the public display of Soviet and Russian symbols, including Saint George’s Ribbon, to whip up Russophobia in Moldova, which has a sizable population of Russian descent. Now, in a recent bid to distract the people outraged by the crisis, the government and PAS leadership have resorted to fear mongering by talking about a ‘pro-Russian coup’ and an ‘imminent Russian attack’ on Moldova. It has also ‘hinted’ at militarily reintegrating the politically sensitive breakaway region of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic—the de facto Transnistria, which has a sizable Russian military presence—at the behest of the EU, NATO, and Ukraine. Meanwhile, progressive sections in Moldova have denounced the re-ignition of tensions in Transnistria instead of prioritizing major problems including inflation, the energy shortage, the migrant crisis, and others.
On February 17, while addressing a mobilization demanding the resignation of the PAS-led government and new elections, Diana Caraman, MP from the PCRM, said: “the attempt of the authorities to cover up the complete failure in their activities in all directions, by changing the Prime Minister is in no way to improve the lives of citizens. Both the composition of ministers and the political experience of Mr Recean shows this. Only the quick and unconditional resignation of the entire PAS government can save our country and our citizens.”