Leaders of the political opposition National Resistance Movement (ACUM) are calling for supporters to hold an overnight protest in the capital of Chisinau on Sunday, August 26, into Monday, August 27. The rally will be held outside the Great National Assembly Square, starting at 14:00 (local time). ACUM leaders called for participants to carry Moldovan flags without party symbols to show solidarity with all citizens. Monday also marks Moldova’s Independence Day and official celebrations will be held in the capital. While the demonstration is expected to remain peaceful, a heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are anticipated in the city center.
The ACUM is protesting a court ruling to void the results of the June 3 Chisinau mayoral election. The court found that the two candidates addressed voters on social media on election day, which is forbidden under a Moldovan law that requires political campaigns to be silent on the day of the vote. Thousands of people have participated in demonstrations in Chisinau since the June 19 ruling. Both the US and the EU have voiced concerns about the ruling, claiming that the decision will erode Moldovan citizens' confidence in the democratic process.
Andrei Năstase, a pro-EU candidate who campaigned on an anti-corruption platform, 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. Năstase and other political leaders have also argued that the two candidates were only calling for Chisinau residents to go out to vote and were not campaigning. Under Moldovan law, the mayoral post will be filled by an acting mayor until the next election, to be held in 2019.
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.
Copyright and Disclaimer