The National Resistance Movement (ACUM) political opposition group is calling for supporters to rally in Chisinau on Sunday, August 26, at Great National Assembly Square. Participants are expected to start the demonstration at 14:00 (local time). As of Tuesday, August 21, it is unclear how many people will attend the protest, though thousands of people participated in a similar rally on July 1. 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 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 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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