Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Transnistria Votes Against Russia's Candidate, Experience Democracy

Transnistria has joined Abkhazia and South Ossetia in expressing their independence of choice against Russia.  Since the end of the independence war against Moldova which ended with Transnistria de facto independent with no country officially recognizing it, 1992 Transnistria has been ruled by the Moscow-backed Igor Smirnov, who has been described by some as an evil Sean Connery.  The country has a KGB, the official Che Guevara School of International Studies, and the hammer and sickle in its flag.  Smirnov was Moscow's tool to keep Moldova tied down in negotiations and out of NATO and the European Union.

However, 19 years of keeping a country in frozen animation has made Smirnov a bit of a corrupt politician.  An opposition party, Renewal, began to oppose Smirnov.  Renewal sought Transnistrian independence (like Smirnov), a pro-Russia stance (like Smirnov), and an open economy (unlike the "post"-Communist Smirnov).  Last year Russia, tried of a incompentant money hole which Transnistria became, switched support from Smirnov to Renewal and endorsed Renewal's canidadate in last week's election (like it did in South Ossetia).

Like in South Ossetia; however, the people of Transnistria voted against Russia's candidate and Smirnov.  Yevgeny Shevchuk, an independent who promises a true negotiation with Moldova and even talks with the European Union, won with over 70% of the vote.  For a president and Moscow's candidate to lose in Transnistria is truly something.  I am personally shocked that Shevchuk was allowed to win.

While these vows are promising, one has to remember Russia has oil money while the European Union is strapped for cash with its currency's very future in question.  Shevchuk will have to reach out to Moldova's weak pro-European Union government right away otherwise the frozen conflict between them will likely remain frozen due to Russia's control of Transnistria's budget and a Communist threat opposed to European integration in Moldova.

1 comment:

Dan tdaxp said...

Fascinating!