Monday 7 December 2009

Presidential elections: Close results Romania and no result in Moldova

After yesterday's presidential elections in Romania, this morning the winner has been announced: President Traian Băsescu was re-elected with a minimal majority of 50.43%, winning over the Social Democrat Mircea Geoană whose victory's consequences had been prescribed by A Fistful of Europe, although they won't happen now.

On the other side of the river Prut, in Moldova where the state language "Moldovan" is in fact a Romanian dialect and where many citizens also hold Romanian passports, the political crisis continues with today's failure to elect a new president, and the announcement of early elections.

Background on Moldova:

After the parliamentary elections in Moldova in early April which the governing Communist Party won with 60 seats in Parliament, yet without having the presidential majority (61 out of 101), riots in the capital Chisinau, and several failed attempts to elect a Communist Party president, the country went into early elections in July, that the rather pro-Western four-party "Alliance for European Integration" (AIE) won, but having just 53 seats in parliament.

This majority of the AIE coalition was based on the Democratic Party led by Marian Lupu, parliament president for the Communist Party until April, who had left the CP and joined the Democratic Party (member of PES) afterwards. Today, in a repeated attempt to elect a president, Lupu was proposed for the post of President of the Republic, but since the Communist Party holding a blocking minority refused to vote for him (leaving the plenary), Moldova will see early elections again, the third parliamentary elections in one year.


Anonymous said...

I just read your post and just want to ask why the language issue is at all relevant.

Moldova is an independent country. Its people speak Romanian/Moldovan, whatever you want to call it. This, in my opinion, has no affect on the current inability of its Parliament to elect a President.

Julien Frisch said...

I put it up together because it explains the relevance of covering both questions in the same article.

Countries that share a language usually have more important connections, and interrelations between Moldova and Romania are quite strong.

And so I raised the language issue because Moldova is usually not brought into connection with Romania (and Romanian), and readers of this blog might also not be familiar with the region.

And the fact that political developments in neighbouring Romania usually have a significant impact on (both foreign and national) politics in Moldova (and sometimes vice-versa) should also not be neglected. Election results in Moldova are thus not totally independent from these relations, since the definition of Moldovan statehood and cultural independence is not settled internally and election results in Romania may even influence consensus and conflict within Moldova.

So Moldova is and remains an independent country, but political and social relations of both countries are close (sometimes friendly, sometimes not so friendly), not least because of the linguistic connections, and by raising this fact I heavily oversimplified the whole situation, just making clear to my readers that one may look at both political events separately but also in connection.