Protests are expected in Chisinau on Sunday, June 24, after a Moldovan Appeals Court upheld a ruling to invalidate the June 3 mayoral election. The court made its decision late (local time) on Thursday, June 21, stating that both candidates violated campaign laws during the runoff. Both the US and the EU have voiced concerns about the ruling, claiming that the decision will erode Moldavan citizens’ confidence in the democratic process. A large demonstration to protest the court ruling is scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 24, starting at 14:00. Residents are expected to rally at Great National Assembly Square in downtown Chisinau. Heightened security measures and traffic disruptions are anticipated around the protest site.
Previously on June 19, a lower court ruled to void the results after finding that the two candidates addressed voters on social media on election day. Under Moldovan law, political campaigns are required to remain silent on the day of the vote. Thousands of people have been holding daily demonstrations in Chisinau since the June 19 ruling.
Andrei Nastase, a pro-EU candidate who campaigned on anti-corruption, was originally declared the winner after securing 52.2 percent of the vote in the runoff. His supporters claim that the election was invalidated by allies of pro-Russian candidate Ion Ceban. Nastase and other political leaders also argued that the two candidates were only calling for Chisinau residents to go out to vote and not campaigning their platforms.
Individuals in Chisinau are advised to avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, allow additional time to travel around protest sites, and avoid discussing sensitive political issues in public.
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