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Moldova in turmoil after election protests

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Moldova in turmoil after election protests


Moldova remains in uproar following demonstrations yesterday. The opposition is calling for another mass demonstration today, and so the atmosphere of chaos is likely to continue.

Parliament and the presidential offices were overrun on Tuesday by supporters of the opposition claiming the weekend electoral victory of the Communists was rigged. Reports from Moscow claim the Moldovan government has agreed to a recount, but the president is claiming the revolt is a coup attempt by the extreme-right. Although after nightfall police reclaimed control of the offices and a parliament that had been set on fire, Moldova’s small police force has little experience of such events, and it could again be overwhelmed today if things get out of hand. The crowds of demonstrators that ran riot have disappeared. Where they have gone is unclear, but if the opposition Mayor of the capital’s call is heeded, they will be back; “Firstly, let’s remain neutral and not accuse anyone of staging a coup. Secondly, let’s not interfere with people’s rights to freely stage protests, because people should have the right to express their dissatisfaction with the election results. They must be cancelled and a new election must be called,” he said. There were some clashes. One person died and about 100 were injured, but the heavily outnumbered police were relatively powerless, and at one point were allowed to leave parliament peacefully. Others trapped outside behind a phalanx of riot shields were led to safety by a priest, as the mainly young demonstrators cried victory, and displayed the trophies they had captured inside.

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