Approximately 100 people protested on Friday, June 29, at 14:00 (local time) near the Central Election Commission in Chisinau. The demonstration was the latest in a series of protests against court and Central Election Commission decisions to invalidate the June 3 mayoral election. A larger demonstration is expected to be held on Sunday, July 1, when protesters will rally at the Great National Assembly Square. Heightened security measures and traffic disruptions are anticipated around the protest sites.
On June 19, a court ruled to void the results of the June 3 Chisinau mayoral election after finding that the two candidates addressed voters on social media on election day. The decision has been upheld by the Moldovan Appeals Court on June 21, by the Supreme Court on June 25, and by Moldova's Central Electoral Commission on June 29. 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. 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 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. 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.
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