Moldova: Torn between the Communists and the far right

by Natalia Sineaeva-Pankowska, Special to Kyiv Post

Moldova is the country known in the world as one of the poorest ex-Soviet states, like Armenia and Georgia. It is also one of the most multi-cultural and multi-lingual countries, with a long tradition of mixed marriages and hybrid identities.
According to the latest census conducted in 2004, just under a quarter of Moldovan population is made of ethnic minorities, including the Gagauzians, Ukrainians, Russians, Bulgarians, Jews and Roma. But paradoxically, the political palette has a heavy tint towards extreme nationalist parties.
In the latest parliamentary election that took place on April 5, the ruling Communist Party took half the votes. The other three parties that made it over the 6 percent threshold with a collective 35 percent of votes have a nationalistic flavor.
The term “nationalistic” in Moldovan sense means a ban on minority traditions and unification with Romania, based on ethnic and linguistic ties, dominance of the Romanian identity over the Moldovan multi-ethnic identity and assertion of the ethnic “history of Romanians.” It is this interpretation of history that has been taught in schools since Moldova gained independence in 1991.

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