After Moldova’s constitutional crisis was unexpectedly resolved, there is an opportunity to introduce genuine democratic reforms in a post-Soviet state whose institutions have been held captive by oligarch rule, according to Freedom House analysts Marc Behrendt and Gina S. Lentine.
Last month the unthinkable happened in Moldova: a state firmly controlled by its shadowy oligarch leader, Vladimir Plahotniuc, came into the hands of his political opponents. Moldova has long been called a captured state, where all the levers of administrative, financial, and media control over society are held by one authoritarian leader—and where even the Constitutional Court was infamous for its politicized decisions, they write for the Freedom at Issue blog:
Civil society is already leaping into the new government, including leading analyst Nicu Popescu, the new minister of foreign affairs, and judicial reform advocate Olesea Stamate as the new minister of justice. We wish them well and are sure that their expertise will be an important resource.
However, civic actors need to hold the new government accountable for its mistakes and to encourage its progress towards concerted democratic reform. At this important crossroads, civil society cannot abdicate its responsibility to keep government honest and to avoid paper solutions to institutional problems.