We all know the script. Western-backed NGO’s attempt colour-revolution in post-Soviet republic. We’ve seen it unfold again and again.
Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia.
Some of the facts concerning Moldova’s current political and constitutional crisis neatly fit this pattern, and others don’t. Furthermore, there are multiple ways to interpret these contradictory indicators. One interpretation is that Russia, the EU, and perhaps even the United States appear at first glance to be on the same page regarding Moldova. Another interpretation is that the western-alliance’s regime-change/colour-revolution strategy is simply becoming more sophisticated, that the governments of the western alliance are becoming more subtle, learning to distance themselves from regime-change operations which they either directly or indirectly sponsor.
From the facts which we know about Moldova’s current crisis, either interpretation is plausible.
On June 9th, Moldova’s Constitutional Court declared the formation of a new coalition government to be unconstitutional, as it had happened more than 90 days after the certification of election-results on March 9th. Most political analysts had previously assumed that parliament had until June 9th to form a new government. The coalition-deal, reached on June 8th, proposed the nomination of socialist Zinaida Greceanîi as Speaker of Parliament and leader of the pro-EU Action and Solidarity party Maia Sandu as Prime Minister. The June 9th Constitutional Court judgement struck down both of these nominations, declaring them to be unconstitutional, and suspended the socialist president Igor Dodon on the pretext that he had failed to perform his duty to dissolve parliament. The Constitutional Court also appointed previous Prime Minister Pavel Filip as acting president. Filip is a member of the Democratic Party, which had formed a government in the previous session, and which is controlled by the notorious oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc. Pavel Filip has ordered snap-elections.
Firstly, I will itemize the facts which seem to fit the “western-backed coup d’etat” interpretation, and then I will outline the indicators which seem to contradict this interpretation.
For a start, there is no question that what is happening in Moldova amounts to a quasi-legal coup d’etat, but at whose behest? This coup d’etat bears certain unmistakable hallmarks of western-backed “colour-revolution” methodology.
Protestors bussed in to participate in anti-Dodon demonstrations, pitching tents in front of ministries and government buildings (both reminiscent of Euromaidan), chanting populist slogans such as “We are the people, Dodon is the traitor.”
So once again, we see an invocation of the populist, crypto-metaphysical concept of “The People” or “The General Will” (Rousseau, Saint-Just, etc), not in support of the outcome of parliamentary elections, but specifically against parliament.
Also, we see that an acting president has been “appointed” by the Constitutional Court (Guaido, Venezuela).
All of this screams “western-backed colour revolution.”
On the other hand, there are also contradictory indicators.
Russia was the first to welcome the formation of the new coalition which the Constitutional Court subsequently declared to be unconstitutional. However, following that, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security-Policy, Federica Mogherni, and the EU’s Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said in a statement on Sunday that the EU “stands ready to work with the democratically legitimate government.”
An EU spokesperson later confirmed that the “democratically legitimate government” being referred to in the Mogherini-Hahn statement was the coalition under Maia Sandu.
Furthermore, even US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus supported these sentiments. "The February 24th parliamentary elections were competitive and respected fundamental rights," she said in a statement on Sunday. "The will of the Moldovan people as expressed in those elections must be respected without interference," she said.
It is interesting that, in this particular case, diplomatic representatives from Russia, the EU and the United States all seem to be saying very similar things. Overtly, they all recognize the results of the February 24th elections (certified on March 9th) and the coalition (formed on June 8th) as democratically legitimate.
However, in making this observation, one caveat which we should insert is that, while the EU stated its position through its most senior diplomat and its Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations, the United States did so merely through a State Department spokeswoman. How “official” is this State Department position?
Another interpretation is that the diplomatic endorsements of the Sandu government which we have heard from Brussels and Washington are merely part of a deniability-mechanism. That possibility cannot be discounted.
Regarding the protracted negotiations concerning the formation of the coalition government (a deal was finally reached one day before what most observers believed was the legal deadline), it seems that, whatever their differences on ideological issues or on the question of Moldova’s geo-political alignment, Moldova’s Russia-gravitating socialists and the pro-EU ACUM-bloc (led by Action and Solidarity) finally arrived at a last-minute deal, because a shared priority for both is to prevent the Democratic Party (controlled by one of the post-Soviet space’s most notorious oligarchs, Plahotniuc) from continuing to abuse power. In the interests of pragmatism, pro-Russian Moldovans and pro-EU Moldovans had set their ideological differences aside, to take a stand together against blatant criminality in government.
President Dodon said as much in a statement following the announcement of the coalition-deal.
"Moldovan citizens with different views on domestic and foreign policy can unite for the sake of a common goal: liberation of the Republic of Moldova from the criminal, dictatorial regime."
Another interpretation of events is that the Plahotniuc-controlled Democratic Party used the “colour-revolution” methodologies which they have in an attempt to make overtures toward the EU and the United States. Even though, as it currently stands, not even the EU or the US seem to recognize the Democratic Party as the legitimate government, the Democratic Party’s coup d’etat methodology was very arguably partially devised to send a signal
– “We use your playbook. We can be obedient….”