Moldovans - Sociopolitical Organization

By 1993 the Republic of Moldova was one of the eighteen members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and was governed nationally by a unicameral parliament, a president, and a prime minister. The sizable Gagauz minority and the largely Ukrainian Dniester Republic have aspirations of autonomy that have been curtailed. These and other ethnic conflicts (e.g., with Russians, Gypsies, and Jews) are part of a general awakening of national aspirations. In 1989, in major assertions of identity, Moldova adopted the Latin alphabet, many Romanian-language publications appeared, and the Moldovan Democratic Movement and Moldovan Popular Front were formed; the latter, with over 1 million members, won more than two-thirds of the parliamentary seats and the posts of president and prime minister. Thus began a new era under the Romanian tricolor flag (red for the blood shed by soldiers, yellow for the fields covered with ripe grain, blue for the sky in times of peace). On 6 June 1990 Romanians on both sides of the Prut River covered its waters with flowers, and as many as a million people crossed the bridge; amid scenes of joy commingled with mourning for lost loved ones, families were reunited after more than four decades of separation. This event came to be referred to as the "Bridge of Flowers." The ideological thrust of the numerically superior Romanian-speaking population today is toward eventual reunification with Romania but, faced with the choice between the political and economic disaster of Romania itself and political exploitation by Russia (or Ukraine), Moldova for the present seems to be pursuing a path of semi-independence. The degree to which new movements have replaced older power structures at the local and national levels is difficult to ascertain.

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