Plushunian legislative election, February 2020
All 20 seats of the Plushunian Parliament
Snap elections for the Plushunian Parliament were held in Plushunia on 9 February 2020, following the simultaneous resignation of 50% of the members of the Parliament (from the Democrats and their allies), which made the legislature unable to function according to the Constitution (a meeting in the Parliament requires a quorum of 50%+1, quorum introduced in October 2019), automatically triggering early elections. The election resulted in the victory of the Democratic Party (Plushunia), which won 37.08% of the popular vote and formed a coalition government with the National Democratic Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and the National Union for Plushunia, the new government being led by former PM and Democrat leader Iepuroi Hop. The election also marked the transition from 1-year to 6-month terms for the MPs, decision which was made in order to diminish the occurrence of snap elections caused by political instability.
In early January 2020, as more and more evidence in several corruption cases allegedly taking place during the Purcel V cabinet's tenure was uncovered, the Democratic Party, the main opposition party of the country, started an aggressive political campaign against the Liberal - Social Democrat coalition, which culminated in the tabling of a motion of no confidence against the Purcel V cabinet, motion which passed despite the government's strong majority due to the many cracks within the coalition which caused several Social Democrat and Liberal MPs to switch sides and vote in favor of the motion.
However, neither the Democrats and their allies nor the grand coalition managed to form a new majority cabinet, the 20-member Parliament being split equally between the both sides. Thus, the Democrats, alongside the National Democratic Party and some small groups which splintered from the Liberals and the Social Democrats decided to have their MPs resign, leaving the Parliament with less than 50%+1 of its members, the threshold constitutionally required for it to function. Therefore, the Parliament dissolved, and snap elections were held following two weeks of electoral campaign, during which the parties announced their candidates and their political platforms.
Competing parties and pre-election agreements
The Democratic Party (PD)
Reinvigorated by its victory in the December 2019 local elections and by its success in overthrowing the Purcel V cabinet, the Democratic Party attempted to win the election on its own, deciding to run on a strong platform which exploited the fatal weakness of the Liberal - Social Democrat coalition which had governed Plushunia during late 2019: the high levels of political corruption, abuse of office, influence peddling and cronyism the Social Democrats and the Liberals were heavily involved in. Thus, the Democrats did not only focus on economic and social issues, but also on improving the judicial system of Plushunia in order to eradicate political corruption. The Democrats' bold promises proved highly popular among Plushunians, boosting the popular support for the party. Furthermore, the PD leaders declared that the party would not form a coalition with any party which had supported the Purcel IV and V cabinets, and that the PD will only be willing to participate in a center-right government alongside the National Democratic Party (PND), the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) and the National Union for the Progress of Plushunia (UNPP).
The Social Democratic Party (PSD)
Despite not being the main supporter of the Purcel V cabinet, its numerous MPs were crucial for the said cabinet's survival, so the Social Democratic Party and its members were allegedly involved in several corruption, abuse of office, influence peddling and cronyism cases, many speculating that the many PSD members and leaders received dubious, illicit benefits in exchange for support for the Purcel IV and V cabinets. The said corruption allegations and the discovery of more evidence seriously harmed the Social Democratic Party's reputation, thus its leadership, influenced by Ursu Polarescu and other left radicals which have joined the party after its merger with the Plushunian Socialist Party, decided to take a defensive position and switch to a more radical platform, focusing on the party's core voters, the working classes of Plushunia. Thus, the PSD adopted stances such as favouring an increased role of the state in the economy, combined with support for employee stock ownership, more worker protection, progressive taxation and wage raises in the public sector (Party Vice-president Ursu Polarescu) stating that "these interventions, despite being costly for the state, will take the money from the ones who already have too much and redirect it towards the ordinary Plushunian, which will now be able to live in better conditions and purchase more, stimulating the economy"). However, the party's leaders declared the PSD open for negotiating a new coalition with their former partner, the PNL+PNȚCD+PC Alliance, even though the two political forces had almost opposing ideologies.
The PNL + PNȚCD + PC Alliance
The main force behind the Purcel V cabinet, the PNL+PNȚCD+PC Alliance, also known as the Liberal Alliance, had its reputation severely tainted by the corruption and cronyism of the Purcel era, important party members, such as ex-Minister of Economy, Public Finances and Commerce Didi Purcel and even ex-Prime Minister and party leader Ghiță Purcel being allegedly involved in corruption cases. Furthermore, the discovery of increased evidence in the said cases throughout January and February made the Alliance prone to many direct political attacks from the Democratic Party, which ran on a justice-oriented platform. Thus, the Liberals had to focus the campaign on outlining the accomplishments of the Purcel cabinets, such as the economic and administrative reforms of November-December 2019, as well as continuing the many reforms and projects started by the Liberal administration (the campaign motto of the PNL+PNȚCD+PC Alliance being "We'll finish what we started"), arguing that political continuity of the government should be maintained in order to carry on the said projects. No pre-election agreements were made by the alliance, although Liberal leaders stated that they are open to further political collaboration with the Social Democratic Party.
The National Democratic Party (PND)
The first election for the newly-established PND, the party decided to run on a nationalistic platform similar to that of its predecessor the Unity and Dignity Alliance from the October election, emphasizing cultural growth and preservation, the fight against crime and corruption, the improvement of the judicial and law enforcement system, increased military spending and expansion of Plushunian territory and population. In terms of political collaborations, the National Democrats have strongly affirmed their decision to form a political partnership with the PD and govern alongside it.
The Liberal Democratic Party (PLD)
The National Union for the Progress of Plushunia (UNPP)
|Social Democratic Party||5||25%||87||24.44%|
|PNL + PNȚCD + PC Alliance||4||20%||70||19.66%|
|National Democratic Party||2||10%||30||8.43%|
|Liberal Democratic Party||1||5%||20||5.62%|
|National Union for the Progress of Plushunia||1||5%||17||4.77%|
The official results were published on 10 February and showed the Democratic Party win a plurality of votes (37.08%) and of seats (7), increasing its seat count by 1. On the second place, at more than 12% behind the Democrats, came the Social Democratic Party, with 24.44% of the votes and 5 seats in the Parliament (losing 2 seats), while the PNL + PNȚCD + PC Alliance came in third, with 19.66% of the popular vote and 4 seats (also losing 2 seats). The remaining 4 seats were split between the National Democratic Party (8.43% of the votes, 2 seats), the Liberal Democratic Party (5.62% of the vote, 1 seat) and the National Union for the Progress of Plushunia (4.77% of the popular vote, 1 seats). Thus, the pro-Democratic Party coalition (PD, PND, PLD, UNPP) won 11 seats (2-seat majority) and was able to form a government with Iepuroi Hop as Prime Minister.