The Communist Party was accused of stealing the election through fraud a vote rigging after the election on April 6 have them 50% of the vote. With rioting and police arrests of activists accused of attempting to stage a coup, the opposition is now talking about a Communist police state.
The reality is very different. The result of an election in any case has little to do with allegations of police brutality unless it could be proved that the Communists have deliberately singled out opponents for alleged "torture" as opposed to beatings carried out by the police on their own intiative.
Election observers have concluded the Communist Party victory in the elections was fair. That basic fact has only been challenged by opposition parties like the 'Liberal Democrats' and 'Our Moldova' for the simple reason that the organisation of the protests has been funded by pro-US and pro-NATO NGOs.
Unfortunately, the degeneration of the protest into a huge riot has proved embarrassing, with the Communists, led by Vladimir Voronin claiming it was fomented by the Romanians and the opposition claiming that the Communists organised agents provocateurs to discredit the protests.
The opposition claims are absurd, as the Communists would have no need to try and cause a riot to defend an election they had won and were predicted to win.
The most likely explanation for the riots is that the financial crisis and frustration at Moldova's failure to join the EU quickly has melded into a hatred for the Communists who are seen as the dead hand of the past preventing it from being as wealthy as neighbouring Romania.
That feeling has been encouraged by those NGO's like USAID. As Daniel McAdams wrote on April 8 2009 on the Lew Rockwell blogsite,
According to a New York Times article, one of the leaders of the Twitter Revolution claimed she was able to get 15,000 people into the streets with six people, 10 minutes for brainstorming and decision-making, several hours of disseminating information through networks, Facebook, blogs, SMSs and e-mails. That is impressive.
In the same article we are told, correctly, that Moldova is among the poorest countries in Europe. The average monthly salary is approximately 2532 lei, which equals about US$230. Contrasted with the average US salary of approximately US$4,000 per month, this demonstrates the real poverty of Moldova.
Yet according to the website of one of the leading mobile networks operators in Moldova, that Twitter-friendly iPhone would set back a young Moldovan 6,599 lei, or the equivalent of about two and a half times his monthly salary. For an American that would be the equivalent of a US$10,000 iPhone. Not many kids would have one. Even basic high-speed internet access on a lesser instrument would set a young Moldovan back nearly 500 lei per month, or the equivalent of US$800 for an average American. How does this impoverished nation afford such luxuries?
So the disputed election is really about the frustration amongst young people in Moldova who want the sort of neoliberal economy that will deliver them the kind of advanced consumer technology promoted by the US funded NGOs in Chisinau.
A brief glance at the website of one of the Moldovan NGOs leading the effort to overthrow the elected Moldovan government, that of the Hyde Park Organization, reveals an interesting benefactor: at the bottom of the page, next to a seal of the United States, one can read that This website is hosted free of charge through the Internet Access Training Program (IATP). IATP is a program of the Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA), US Department of State, funded under the Freedom Support Act (FSA).
Digging a bit further, one can see on the website of the US Agency for International Development that the United States government, through cut-out organizations like the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, is funneling large sums of money to Moldova for programs with such fascinating titles as Strengthening Democratic Political Activism in Moldova (SPA). USAID boasts that this program is cultivating new political activists who can formulate and pursue concrete political objectives… No doubt.
Another program, titled the Internet Access and Training Program may hold a clue as to where all these Twitterers came from. According to the US government, this program provides local communities with free access to the Internet and to extensive training in all aspects of information technology.
The aim of regime change is present in the usual jargon of NGO's through the,
"Moldova Citizen Participation Program", whose goal is to build… "the capacity of citizens to create tangible and positive change in their own communities through civic activity and democratic practices…by providing training, mentoring, and funding for citizen-initiated projects and strengthening the capacity of NGOs and citizen groups to mobilize their community, advocate for change, and hold government accountable"
Many of these so-called 'People Power' revolutions that buy into this corporate speak able to appealto the young who resent the boredom of their lives in a largely poor and backwards agricultural society and the lack of Western consumer freedoms that the Communist Party seem to be not interested in.
For the Communists are supported by older Moldovans who have a decisive numerical advantage because many of the young have moved into Romania and Greece, both in the EU, for work and so the young remaining in Moldova believe that EU entry, NATO and friendship with the USA will constitute their economic salvation.
Unfortunately, dynamic, heroic and 'motivated' young Moldovans, being energised by the technological mass protest synergies of Twitter technology in spreading the message to protest, are simply a mathematical x in the geopolitical algebra of getting Moldova into NATO and allowing global corporations to but up Moldovan assets.
The absurdity of this is that Voronin isn't even 'anti-Western': he is for eventual entry into the EU. The problem is that he only supports co-operation with NATO and not full membership in the way that thrusting and up and coming highly successful democracies like Albania do.
As in Ukraine in 2003 there is this curious situation whereby the nationalists are fighting for the independent right to sink their power in with 'the West', i.e NATO, through closer ties with Romania, where Moldova is supposed to belong ( though it hasn't since 1940 and older Moldovans don't really care much for reunification)
The Romanian president is also using the Moldova question in order to play the nationalist card which he hopes will stave off discontent that will come in the wake of the economic crisis. He also came to power by ramping up the accusations of fraud in the Nov 2004 election and is facing another election this year.
The other comparison with Moldova is with Georgia in the 2003 'Rose Revolution' where accusations of electoral fraud were used to get rid of Shevardnadze, an old time Communist relic who had been in the West's good books until he was seen to be making a diplomatic rapprochement towards Russia.
As McAdams points out,
'In 2003 Voronin was our democrat when he stuck it to Russia over the breakaway region of Transnistria, refusing to sign on to the Russian settlement plan. When Voronin later mended fences with Russia the long knives came out for him. In the words of one observer of the region, this current revolt is against the communists (Voronin) who were yesterday the democrats against the communists in Transnistria'.
Voronin is, just like Schevardnadze, a leader who is no longer valued now that Romania is in NATO. So he can be toppled by a choreographed coup dressed up as a popular defence of democracy. Its no more democratic than the rigged election in Georgia that gave Saakashvili some 97%.
Except that the Western observers are agreed that the election was fair.
Something that still has not stopped some people seeing the stone throwing thugs and violent students trashing the Moldovan Parliament as wonderful idealistic fighters for democracy. Or believing that the twitterers are sterling democrats instead of NGO hirelings or US educated think-tank fanatics.