Moldova: Protests erupt over oligarch plot to alter electoral system

Ex-deputy urged citizens to protest against initiatives Dodon and Plahotniuc

Chisinau, Moldova, May 5: Former Member of Parliament, political prisoner and leader of the opposition party Our Home is Moldova (Red Bloc) Grigory Petrenko urged citizens to join the protest against the initiative of oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc and President Igor Dodon to change the electoral system.*

“The inclusion in the parliament’s agenda of amendments to the Election Code in the first reading is another political mistake by Plahotniuc,” Petrenko wrote on social media.

He stressed that “after the unequivocal position and preconditions of the European Council concerning the allocation of €100 million, as well as the tough declaration of the EPP and ALDE [two parties in the European Parliament] about blocking funding – this is, of course, a very defiant challenge to all Western partners.

“So much time, money and effort was spent on promoting the image of a pro-European government, and now the regime will wipe it out with a single act. Many times they said that they would wait for the conclusion of the Venice Commission, only now to end up spitting on the Commission and the recommendations of the OSCE,” said the ex-deputy.

In conclusion, he stressed that, “in the GBC [Global Business Center – Plahotniuc’s headquarters] they’ve completely lost touch with reality. Complete abuse of power! It is necessary for the entire opposition to join the civil protest against dictatorship and tyranny, against the attempt of the regime to finally destroy democracy and the multiparty parliament. 

“All to the protest! Down with the dictatorship! Down with the Plahotniuc-Dodon regime!”

Hundreds of people came out to protest on Friday, May 5, in front of the Parliament against the changes in the electoral system proposed by the parties of oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc and President Igor Dodon.

People are chanting: “Citizens, unite!”, “We must resist!”, “We do not need straw deputies!”, “Democratic Party and Socialist Party – one mafia!”, “No single-mandate voting! No mixed election system!”, etc.

The Parliament building is guarded by several police cordons.

Recall that on Friday, May 5, Parliament included in the agenda of the meetings a bill promoted by the Democratic Party to amend the electoral system and the introduction of single-member voting. On Friday, after a meeting of Deputy Chairman of the Democratic Party and Speaker Andrian Candu with the Socialist Party faction, the agenda was modified to include the introduction of a mixed electoral system proposed by President Igor Dodon. 

*Translator’s note: The proposed changes to the electoral system would make it easier for dominant parties allied with the Moldovan oligarchy to control Parliament and shut out opposition parties from gaining representation.

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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