Moldova’s Anti-Climatic Election

moldova073009.jpgAs readers are likely aware, things are more or less the same in Chisinau following the hotly contested and flawed election.  The opposition to Vladimir Voronin and the Communist Party gained 53 seats in the parliament, which is enough to form a government, but it falls eight votes short of getting the presidency … meaning that Voronin can probably hang on.  Europe sure didn’t try very hard to win over the population, while the Chinese and Russians pumped in money and guns.

Two things worth reading today – first is of course Scraps of Moscow, where Lyndon has some great posts about going to vote at a polling station in London, preceded by a survey of the media and informational war gathering speed in the tiny republic.

Second, Quentin Peel’s article in the Financial Times does a nice job explaining how we arrived to this point:

Yet, although it is tempting to see the poor people of Moldova as torn between East and West, that would be an exaggeration. According to opinion polls, 75 per cent want to join the EU, and 80 per cent trust Russia more than any other country. They want to have it both ways. (…)

Moscow clearly wants Moldova to remain part of its “privileged sphere of interest”, however miserable it may be. The EU wants to embrace it as part of its “Eastern partnership”. It is not an equal contest: Russia exerts its influence through a monopoly of energy supplies (and a growing Moldovan debt). The EU is offering vague promises of closer trade links and easier visa regulations.

Moldova has no interest in choosing between them. It needs them both.