Opposing pro-Romanian unionist and pro-Russian socialist demonstrations are planned to be held simultaneously in Chișinău on Saturday, September 1. Protesters from both sides are expected to gather at Great National Assembly Square at 12:00 (local time); a heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are expected near the demonstration site. While authorities are not anticipating incidents of violence between rival demonstrators, clashes between the protesters or between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Security forces dispersed related rival demonstrations at Great National Assembly Square that took place overnight from August 26 into August 27. The pro-Romanian/pro-EU demonstrators were protesting a court ruling to void the results of the June 3 Chișinău 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 Chișinău 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.
The pro-Russian socialist demonstrators in attendance were affiliated with the Sor Party, which generally contends that closer state ties to Russia would ameliorate present socioeconomic difficulties in the country and that living conditions were better under the former Soviet Union.
Individuals in Chișinău are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid these and other demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer