Moldovan opposition keeps up the pressure with thousands-strong protest in Chisinau

By bne IntelliNews August 27, 2018

Thousands of opposition supporters staged a protest in Moldova's capital Chisinau on August 26 against the Democratic Party-led government headed by controversial billionaire Vladimir Plahotniuc. 

Protesters are angered by the government’s changes to the electoral rules and particularly by recent court decisions that annulled the results of the municipal election in Chisinau. They are seeking to keep up the pressure in the run-up to the general election next February. 

Opponents of the Moldovan government were angered by the invalidation of the mayoral elections in capital, won by pro-EU opposition leader Andrei Nastase. The results of the local elections were voided by a Moldovan court on the grounds that both Nastase and his rival in the second round runoff, Ion Ceban of the pro-Russian Socialist Party, continued the electoral campaign on election day; specifically, the two politicians encouraged voters to exert their right to vote.

The demonstration was organised by the pro-European Action and Solidarity Party, Nastase’s Dignity and Truth Party and the Liberal Democrat Party, Radio Free Europe reported on August 26.

Initially, protesters marched to the Square of the Grand National Assembly in downtown Chisinau, only to find out that their opponents from the Republican Socio-Political Movement for Equality had already gathered there.

Opposition supporters waved Moldovan and EU flags and chanted slogans such as "Down With The Mafia" and "Send Plahotniuc To Jail," according to RFE/RL.

They called for steps to ensure an independent judiciary and for the return of €1bn embezzled from three Moldovan banks in a massive fraud scheme uncovered in late 2014.

They also warned that they will call for a civil disobedience if the authorities fail to meet their demands.

The August 26 rally was the latest in a series of anti-government protests backed by Moldovans living outside the county.

At a similar protest in Brussels, around two dozen activists gathered outside the headquarters of the European Commission, criticising the decision to annul the Chisinau mayoral election and recent changes to the electoral system that critics say will benefit larger parties.

Related Articles

Moldova’s largest lender maib puts Bucharest exchange listing on hold

The largest bank in Moldova, Moldova Agroind Bank (main), announced it is postponing its plan to list on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) because certain provisions in Moldovan legislation make the ... more

bne IntelliNews Southeast Europe Outlook 2024

This Southeast Europe Outlook 2024 has been prepared by bne IntelliNews as part of a series of annual reviews providing updates on the geopolitical, macroeconomic and commercial state of ... more

Addiko Bank AG receives stable outlook from Fitch Ratings

Fitch Ratings has assigned Austria-based Addiko Bank AG a Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'BB' and Viability Rating (VR) of 'bb' with a stable outlook. ... ... more