OProtesters from the party that currently has four parliamentary seats, out of a total of 101, demanded early elections for the country, whose electoral calendar includes presidential elections this year and legislative ones next year.
A counter-demonstration took place with dozens of people in Chisinau, where many waved European Union (EU) flags and expressed support for President Maia Sandu.
The protest is the latest in several anti-government actions over the past 18 months, most of which were organized by the Moscow-based Shor Party, which was declared unconstitutional in June. With six deputies, authorities accused Shor of trying to destabilize the country of 2.5 million inhabitants.
Some prominent Shor members participated in today’s protest. The leader of this party, oligarch Ilan Shor, exiled in Israel and sentenced in absentia to prison on fraud charges, shared a video about the demonstration on his Facebook page.
The country’s intelligence services had warned last month about “disinformation and manipulation” campaigns aimed at destabilizing and damaging relations with neighboring Ukraine and the EU.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in June 2022, the country received the status of official candidate for EU membership, aspirations further reinforced last December when Brussels announced that it would begin negotiations with the 27 also with Ukraine.
According to information services, the “frequency and extent of demonstrations will increase in the years 2024-2025, targeting reformist processes, electoral processes, but especially the process of accession negotiations” to the community space.
Days before last year’s local elections, Moldovan authorities banned another pro-Russian party, Chance, forcing around 600 candidates to be removed from the ballot papers, a decision that was later reversed.
Before the election, intelligence agencies alleged that Chance had received Russian funding that was channeled through Shor and used to destabilize the country and “buy” voters.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, on February 24, 2022, it has faced serious situations, such as an energy crisis, following a drastic reduction in gas supplies, high inflation and several incidents with missile debris coming from Ukrainian territory.
In February 2023, the president publicly stated an alleged conspiracy by Moscow to overthrow the government, with the aim of placing the country “at the disposal of Russia” and preventing accession to the EU, with Russia denying the accusations.
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