Socialism with unclear characteristics: The Moldovan communists in government

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Abstract / Description of output

"Back to the USSR." So ran a typical headline after the overwhelming victory of the Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) in the parliamentary elections of February 2001. By winning 50 percent of the vote and seventy-one of the one hundred one parliamentary seats, the PCRM had been able to form the kernel of the government and successfully nominate its first secretary, Vladimir Voronin, for the indirectly elected presidency. My aim here is to unravel the enigma of the PCRM by focusing on the party's aims and achievements as it ends its first term in office. To do so, I first analyze what the party stands for, account for its return to power in 2001, and then assess its policy performance and wider role in democratization and socioeconomic transformation. Seeing the party as "unreconstructed" and unconditionally authoritarian clearly is very simplistic. The party is far more pragmatic than prevailing views contend, yet its transformation into a post-Soviet democratic party remains incomplete, and in government it has provided a stern test of Moldova's fragile post-Soviet pluralism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-524
Number of pages18
JournalDemokratizatsiya
Volume12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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