The political opposition-supported National Resistance Movement is planning on staging a protest rally and march in Chisinau on Monday, July 9, over the court-ordered invalidation of the June 3 Chisinau mayoral election. Protesters are expected to gather at the Ministry of Internal Affairs building at 07:30 (local time) to stage a rally; the rally will be followed by a march to City Hall. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are anticipated near the rally and along the march route. Additional related protests are possible in the coming weeks.
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 was 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 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.
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