#Moldova: Some interesting facts about the upcoming snap elections: 1) Approximately 70,000 diaspora / emigrant voters have provisionally registered (~ 60,000 for the 2020 presidential election); ⤵️
2) 53 political parties were admitted to the elections (2019: 15 parties have registered)
the budget to organize the elections amounts to 125 million MDL (~ 6 million euros). The source of this money has not yet been identified, but it must only come from public funds. ⤵️
4) The main pre-election debate is about forming a bloc or running alone. The pro-Russian socialists are the ones talking about it.⤵️
5) The Lithuanian president Gitanas Nauseda will visit Moldova on May 13-14. Two days before that the British Minister for the European Neighborhood Wendy Morton pays a visit to Chisinau. President Maia Sandu decorated with a special award the outgoing head of the EU⤵️
delegation Peter Michalko. The growing intensity of the pro-EU/European messages is clearly tied to the upcoming snap elections. Meanwhile, the geopolitical rival of Sandu, the Socialists, is capturing every event that refers to Russia (the school shooting in the Kazan school)⤵️
Ex-President Igor Dodon is trying to gain visibility through meetings with political and diplomatic representatives among the Eurosceptic leaders of Eastern Europe such as Alexandr Lukashenko, visited in Minsk, or the Azerbaijani ambassador Qudsi Osmanov in Chisinau. ⤵️
6) The Socialists formed an electoral bloc with the Communists Party making possible the returning of the latter to the forefront of the Moldovan politics. This can also help the two forces to mobilize the leftist voters.
7) One of the themes promoted by the socialists during the current electoral campaign is about "external interference" as a way to condemn the West-President Sandu ties. Like Orban's anti-Soros campaign, ex-President Dodon is accusing pro-EU forces of relinquishing sovereignty.
8) The caring Govt. has allocated 70 million MDL (~ € 3.3 million) from the Reserve Fund for the organization of the elections. This amount is enough to cover around 60% of the financial needs requested by the Electoral Commission. The Govt. will seek additional sources.
9) Between May 14 and June 11, the Electoral Commission will begin the registration of candidates for the early elections on July 11. As I wrote earlier, 53 political parties are eligible to do so. Individuals can also become candidates by collecting 2k to 2,5k signatures.
10) The Romanian MFA has announced that it will closely monitor the elections and how the solidarity government ensures that they are free and fair. Romania has supported President Sandu's efforts to trigger snap elections.
11) The Bloc of Communists and Socialists induces anti-Western fears. They concern the protection of family values, religion, Moldovan language & identity, & state sovereignty. They target pro-EU forces, especially President Sandu's political arm, the Action and Solidarity Party.
12) The Electoral Commission registered the Socialist-Communist bloc. The electoral list is headed by the third president of the country, Vladimir Voronin (2001-2009). Fifth President Igor Dodon (2016-2020) is next on the list. A bloc of pro-EU forces is highly unlikely. Image
13) President Sandu's political arm, the Action and Solidarity Party, registered today. The top 10 people on the list include old faces from the dissolved parliament (15 MPs) and new faces from the diaspora. As in the presidential elections, the party relies on the diaspora.
14) Three tiny political forces seeking the reunification with Romania joined the electoral list of the nationalist Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR). AUR ranked fourth in the 2020 Romanian elections, resulting in 14 senators (out of 136) & 33 deputies (out of 329). ImageImage
15) The 2017 case of alleged possession of drugs by journalist Nata Albot was leaked to media today. Border police briefly detained Albot at the airport for 0.7 grams of marijuana. She is in the top 8 on President Sandu's party electoral list in order to get more diaspora votes.

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More from @DionisCenusa

18 May
My latest article: “Oligarchy in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine: between withdrawal, regrouping and “re-education”. bit.ly/3tW7oyr
Here are of my previous works that research the oligarchy in the EaP region, presented chronologically:
1) “"Anti-oligarch spring" or temporary illusion in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine?” (2019) bit.ly/2QtO6Ti
Read 5 tweets
14 Apr
#Ukraine_Moldova: The scandal surrounding the kidnapping of former Ukrainian judge Ceaus allegedly by Ukrainian citizens with connections to special services is getting worse. 1) The Moldovan MFA requested the Ukrainian embassy in Chisinau to lift the diplomatic immunity of ⤵️
the military attaché Sergey Smetanyuk. This would allow to initiate the investigation into the alleged participation of him in the committed kidnapping of Ceaus. The Ukrainian embassy apparently declined the request. 2) At the same time, the Ukrainian embassy informed Kyiv ⤵️
that President Sandu made several attempts to contact Zelensky's office, without success. Zelensky apparently doesn't have a plan / reaction. 3) As stated by the MFA of Ukraine, no Ukrainian authority has participated in the kidnapping. This leaves however unexplained the use ⤵️
Read 6 tweets
12 Apr
#Russia_Turkey: Relations with Turkey differ in many ways from Russia's with China. In recent phone conversations between Putin and Erdogan, they made no mention of Western sanctions at all. Although Ankara faces sanctions from the US, those coming from the EU are rolling back⤵️
Russia would be happy to replicate the anti-Western talks it has with China in the Turkish direction. But Turkey has little desire to enter into a confrontational relationship with the West. However, Turkey sees in the partnership with Russia cooperation in the joint supply & ⤵️
joint production of Sputnik V (including to attract Russian tourists), security cooperation in Karabakh, Syria and Libya and support in the construction of the Istanbul canal, along with the existing ones (1936 Montreux Convention regarding the regime of the Straits).
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
#Moldova: The Presidents Sandu and Zelensky signed two memorandums. The first one stretches over the strategic bilateral cooperation and the synchronization of the steps regionally. 1) In this sense, Sandu wants Moldova to join Ukraine’s bid to adhere the “3 Seas” initiative.
2) Sandu has insisted to mention in the memorandum a domestic political dimension by suggesting that her victory at the elections “confirmed the European choice” of the country, along with public request for fighting the corruption.
3) Sandu and Zelensky agreed to endeavor jointly in order to achieve the EU membership, including via Association Agreements’ implementation. They underlined the individual dialogue between Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine with the EU, besides the EaP.
Read 8 tweets
12 Jan
#Moldova: The president Sandu is in Kyiv in her first official visit abroad. She and her team went by car (that is quite strange security-wise). 1) Her agenda is filled with a several symbolic ceremonies of commemorating the victims of Holodomor and the “Hevenly Hundred Heroes”.
2) Sandu is expected to sign several bilateral documents. There is zero transparency about what is to be signed. The Moldovan and the Ukrainian presidency offices didn’t disclose any info about that. 3) President Sandu will also meet with the Ukrainian PM and Speaker of Rada.
4) The agenda press-release from Zelensky’s office tells that the two presidents will hold negotiations (it’s unclear in what exactly). Nothing was communicated about negotiations by the Moldovan side 👇 bit.ly/3nCM51u
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
#NagornoKarabakh: Using the precedent of the 2020 truce, Putin plays again a pivotal role in closing another deal between Armenia & Azerbaijan. 1) The new trilateral doc. signed in Moscow focus on economic-transportation ties, increasing Russia’s role as region’s peacemaker.
2) The second deal shakes further Pashinyan’s premiership. He has tried to speak in Moscow in favor of Armenian interests - the status of Artsakh, the exchange of the war prisoners. But that might be not enough to save his political career. 👇 en.kremlin.ru/events/preside…
Let us remember what the ceasefire armistice of Nov. 2020 consisted of 👇
Read 6 tweets

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