In order to understand the situation, I have tried to get voices from Moldova during the last days.
What I get are responses that openly show that very optimistic or at least realistic people have become very negative since Tuesday. Most express fear and confusion about a situation that is new in Moldova, unseen in the last 20 years. Most think that the riots which broke out last Tuesday were provoked by actors that would profit from a situation in which the demonstration against alleged frauds during the elections would not end peacefully.
I see and hear open criticism about the international community in Chisinau and abroad, for its lack of action, for its diplomatic restraint. But I have also heard criticism about the political opposition that lacks true leadership and which continued what it was doing during the election campaign: Jumping from complaint to complaint, but mostly without presenting professional proof for the allegations.
But is most striking is the shocked tone when people describe the reactions from the Communist authorities during the last days, arresting hundreds of young people, beating national and expelling international journalists, blocking independent and critical news sources, provoking a diplomatic conflict with Romania. Even people who have seen worse in the past are horrified by what is going on now.
And what I see now is determination for tomorrow's demonstrations.
I am not sure whether the opposition will get enough people on the streets to make itself heard, in Moldova and abroad, especially with the overrated Twitter #pman hashtag being just noise by now. I am not sure whether certain elements will not be able to turn a protest that is intended to be peaceful into violent demonstrations again.
And I am not sure about the reactions of a state and its authorities which have shown considerable paranoia lately - a state which might be ready to overreact against its own citizens in the best manners of an autocratic state that is afraid of losing control and that has received open support for repressive measures by Russian authorities, those Russian authorities that also foster the internal but internationalised conflict with the separatist Transnistrian region in Moldova.
The question is: Where is Moldova going tomorrow - to heaven or to hell?
Previous articles in this blog:
- Human rights and the rule of law in Moldova under attack after the protests
- The Moldovan case: Some backgrounds on the political situation
- Developing story: Violent demonstrations in Moldova after Sunday's elections
- Elections in Moldova: Governing Communists win, opposition demands re-elections - updated (3x)
- Moldova's parliamentary elections in April: One fourth of electorate left aside?