Maia Sandu and Her Party’s Landslide Victory: More Than an East vs. West Narrative
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In mid-July, Moldovan President Maia Sandu’s Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), running on a reform and anti-corruption platform, won a decisive victory over the pro-Russia Communist and Socialist Bloc in Moldova’s parliamentary election. The election resulted in the PAS netting 63 out of 101 seats, the largest single-party majority in more than a decade. What were the driving factors behind the PAS’s victory and what might the election signal about Moldova’s evolving politics? David Smith and William Hill joined Jill Dougherty for a conversation analyzing the outcome and impact of the election.
William H. Hill
“One key factor will be how well President Sandu is able to manage the relationship with Russia. She started out trying to have a positive, constructive, pragmatic, relationship with Russia, we’ll see whether Moscow allows this. But I think overall, there is a real opportunity for fundamental political change in Moldova, which could bring real economic change, an end to economic stagnation, and a real change, in a small but key part in this part of Southeastern Europe.”
“I think we should help, and we should help quickly and in practical ways. I had the occasion not too long ago to ask President Sandu what she needed most, and she quickly replied, 'we need vaccines and medical equipment.' And that is something we can do, it is not political, but it answers needs.”
“This party is held together by President Maia Sandu. We have one real leader and moral leader of the party, who is setting a direction and getting people to work. And I think that does have a lot of hope. But we will see, it is a difficult question.”
“Moldova has a very adequate amount of vaccines right now. Everybody can use more, but the demand is not there. We have real serious projections of a third wave coming with the delta variant spreading, so I think on elf the first big challenges that is not planned for by the government will be around health, and that is something where there can be support, with vaccines, with expertise, from both the West and the EU.”
The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, and the region through research and exchange. Read more