The Factors Leading to the Electoral Success, Consolidation and Decline of the Moldovan Communists' Party During the Transition Period
Midwestern Political Science Association Convention, April 2010
48 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2011 Last revised: 22 Jun 2020
Date Written: April 23, 2010
The paper provides an explanation for the emergence, consolidation and decline of the Moldovan Communists’ Party. Drawing on the literature on successor parties and examining the Moldovan case, the author identifies the main factors that influenced the success of the Moldovan successor party. After tracing the adaptation strategy of the Moldovan successor party, he finds confirming evidence for five of the factors already mentioned in the theoretical literature on successor parties: the economic situation, the weakness of the opponents, the electoral laws, the fragmentation of the political spectrum and the legacy of the old regime. However, the author identified seven additional explanatory factors at work in the Moldovan case: the foreign support for certain political parties, separatism, the appeal to the ethnic minorities, the alliance-building capacity, the reliance on the Soviet notion of the Moldovan identity, the state-building process and the control over a significant portion of the media. It is due to these seven additional factors that the successor party in Moldova managed to consolidate and expand its constituency. Its decline is best explained by the authoritarian style of its leader and his unwillingness to step down. This paper aims at expanding the universe of cases on which the previous theories were constructed.
Keywords: moldova, communists, party, history, elections
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