UPDATE: Sorry, originally we had the wrong link to the Russian version. Correct now.)
RFE/RL's Russian Service spoke with Aleksei Vlasov (Russian version here
), director of the Center for the Study of the Post-Soviet Space at Moscow State University, about the elections in Moldova:
"I think that these elections, strictly speaking, are interesting because of their form rather than their content because they are a sort of psychological attempt to stretch the limits of administrative resources. Can the leadership of Moldova yet again -- for a third time -- break the united ranks of the opposition and achieve the result it seeks, a result that would enable it to keep control over all branches of the government? Of course, almost no expert doubts that the Communists will win. The only question is whether they will get enough votes to get over the barrier that stopped [President Vladimir] Voronin's supporters last time.
"The situation is tense and that's why, I think, we are seeing some inadequate actions taken in relation to observers. But it is clear that the stakes are quite high. It would appear that in the short period since the last election cycle, Voronin has not been able to reach an agreement with anyone in the opposition. If that is so and if the Communists win, but win without enough seats in the new parliament, then the political situation in Moldova will be in a hopeless dead end. And that possibility is fraught with the possibility of a repeat of the events that, as you remember, took place in Chisinau not so long ago. That is, the public conflict that is now in the political arena could move to some, shall we say, hidden arenas or, on the contrary, take the form of wild mass protests."
-- Robert Coalson