Lucinschi and Political Realignment

Lucinschi and Political Realignment

Lucinschi's election on February 4, 1993, to the leading position in Parliament marked the peak of a process of political realignment in Moldova. By early 1993, the Popular Front, now named the Christian Democratic Popular Front (CDPF) was in neartotal disarray. Moderate intellectuals (such as Mosanu), who had added tremendously to the prestige of the Popular Front during its early years, organized the "Congress of Intellectuals" in order to promote a nationalistic, but less extreme, agenda. As a result, they were expelled from the CDPF in mid-May.

As a consequence of factionalism and defection, the CDPF's voting strength in Parliament was reduced to approximately twenty-five deputies. With the CDPF in decline, power shifted to the bloc of Democratic Agrarian Party of Moldova deputies (the Viata Satului legislative club), which, with support from independent deputies, was able to play a dominant role in Parliament.

Lucinschi's election and the realignment of forces among the deputies brought Parliament into much closer alignment with President Snegur and Prime Minister Sangheli's government on the ethnic conflict. As a consequence, Moldova was better positioned than it had been in the previous two years to end the infighting that had characterized its political life during that time. There was hope that Moldova's leaders would be able to resolve the ongoing civil conflict, which had, of necessity, been the dominant issue in the republic since its inception, and to proceed with the reforms that Moldova so desperately needed.

At the same time, the realignment moved Moldova's government into a more conservative position with respect to economic and political reform, marginalizing legislators who were elected as opposition candidates and vesting more power in the hands of those who were originally elected as representatives of the CPM. In particular, the realignment gave near-veto power to the bloc of Democratic Agrarian Party of Moldova deputies, many of whom were state and collective farm presidents. Although the great majority of these individuals supported democratic politics, the strength of their commitment to the transition to a market economy was questionable.

Despite the powerful combination of government, the presidency, and Lucinschi's parliamentary leadership working in harmony, the hopelessly tangled web of factions and rivalries within Parliament could not be overcome, and legislation ground to a halt. The pro-Romanian faction objected, but a vote was taken to dissolve parliament and hold early Parliamentary elections.

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