Bracing for a third day of angry anti-government protests, Moldova’s president has accused neighbouring Romania of involvement.
Anti-Communist demonstrators have once again gathered to denounce last weekend’s parliamentary election which they say was rigged. With his offices and parliament ransacked in riots, Communist President Vladimir Voronin says he is running out of patience. He has reportedly declared Romania’s ambassador persona non grata. Moscow, too, has pointed the finger at forces favouring a reunion with Romania, with which Moldova has ethnic and linguistic links. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the riots in Moldova were a plot aimed at undermining the sovereignty of the former Soviet state. Protesters have left their mark on the corridors of power after rage over the Communist election victory boiled over into violence on Tuesday. Moldova’s Interior Ministry says it will now use firearms to restore public order if necessary. The riots have already left one woman dead and dozens injured. Overnight, nearly 200 people were detained on charges of looting, robbery, hooliganism and affray.