Liveblog: Massive demonstrations in Moldova

Dumitru Ciorici
Jan 21, 2016 · 8 min read

A chronological live blog about the events taking place in Moldova: Massive demonstrations against the new Government.

February 15th, 2016

EU issued a statement about Moldova. Ministries of foreign affairs urge local authorities to restore the economy, ensure freedom of media and that the cases of fraud that affected its banking system in 2014 are made subject to a thorough, impartial investigation. Statement here.

February 13th, 2016

Two weeks passed by and yet no decision about protests. Everything is quite now on the central square of Chisinau.

February 2nd, 2016

08.00. No decision has yet been taken. It is rumored that the protests will take place when the next Parliamentary session will take place. The leaders of the protest have different opinions about the next actions. The next MPs meeting date has not been yet communicated.

January 30th, 2016

15.00. The pro-Russian parties stated that they won’t organize another demonstration this weekend. They don’t see the sense. Instead, they called people to gather next to the Parliament at the next assembly. This way they believe the pressure would be more effective. The next MPs meeting date has not been yet communicated. Unofficial information says the Parliament could start its session later next week.

January 29th, 2016

17.30. Protesters haven’t announced yet what their next actions would be.

10.40. The opposition parties and the civil society hold a meeting to decide upon the next steps.

10.00. President of Parliament, Andrian Candu, representing the majority, stated the MPs agree on organizing a Constitutional Referendum (changing the way president is elected. Now he is elected by the Parliament, the protesters demand direct elections). Candu stated the MPs don’t agree on calling the early elections, because that would mean an economical catastrophe.

January 28th, 2016

18.00. President of Parliament tried to invite the protesters to a dialogue. The request has been rejected. The leaders of the protest decided to organize a social forum tomorrow morning. They will decide upon next actions, as the MPs and Government hasn’t responded to their demands to call for early elections. All the opposition leaders were invited to the tomorrow’s meeting.

January 24th, 2016

18.35. The demonstration finished. People go back to their homes.

18.25. Leaders of the protest say next Thursday may be the last peaceful demonstration.

18.20. Leaders of the protest announced that they will call people to civil disobedience in case their demands will not be satisfied. Their main demand: Calling the early elections. They gave an ultimatum to Government and the Parliament: Thursday, 28th of January, 17.00.

17.55. Police official statement: About 20 000 people protested today on the central square of Chisinau. On the other side, leaders of the crowd claimed there were 70 000–100 000 people.

17.50. The crowd is still marching on the main streets of Chisinau. They head back to the central square.

15.00. Renato Usatîi, a leader of a Pro-Russian party, said the crowd is going to block one the main entrances in Chisinau for one hour. The reason he announced: "Maybe this way more and more people will be bothered and will get on the streets to protest".

14.20. The crowd is marching through the central boulevard of Chisinau. Their destination: Anti-Corruption Center, The Constitutional Court. The protesters blame those two institutions of being politically controlled.

13.15. LIVE coverage with a drone is being broadcasted by AGORA.md right now. You can see the video here.

12.50. Video from the central square of Chisinau, published by Curaj.tv

12.30. Suspect small number of policemen securing the Government building, organizers of the demonstrations say.

Photocredit: Alex Cozer

12.15. Leaders of the protest get on stage and say speeches. Their main demand: calling for early elections.

12.00. The demonstrators are shouting anti-Plahotniuc and anti-Government slogans.

11.40. Anti-government protesters distribute a photo, which they claim was made this morning at the Nobil Hotel, acording to NewsMaker. The building belongs to the well know oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc, who is behind the new Government. The leaders of the demonstration claim the provocateurs were instructed how to destabilize the peaceful demonstration.

Unidentified people near Nobil Club, 24th January, morning.

11.00 People gather on the main square of Chisinau.

10.00. Unofficial information says the pro-government demonstration was canceled. The information was later confirmed.

09.45. Police representative said they expect to see provocateurs in the crowd. Ministry of Interior asked people to stay peaceful.

January 23rd, 2016

20.00. It was found out that the ruling parties from Chisinau are organizing also a demonstration tomorrow. People will come to Chisinau to "support the new Government", the ministry of interior says. That makes two of them: the 1st would be an anti-government protest and the 2nd: pro-government.

18.00. Ministry of interior announced today it is mobilizing 100% of its forces to secure tomorrow’s demonstrations.

10.00. Leaders of the protest call people to gather the next day, on Sunday, on the central square of Chisinau, at 11 AM (GMT+2). They plan to organize the largest meeting in the last months.

January 22nd, 2016

21.00. President of Parliament, Andrian Candu, organized a press-briefing. He stated that the majority has no constitutional reason to call the early elections, as the protesters demand. The only way to do that, said Candu, would happen if the lawmakers would fail to choose the president in two months, when his term expires. Candu asked the protesters to think and propose a constitutional explanation about how they see the constitutional process for causing early elections.

18.00. People were called to come back on the central square of Chisinau in the next days also.

17.30. Constitutional Court of Moldova found no grounds to accept socialists petition and rejected it, according to Agora.md. Pro-Russian party asked the Court to cancel the procedure of confidence vote for the Filip Government, which took place in Parliament two days ago. The NGOs in Moldova stated that the confidence vote violated the Parliament regulations.

17.15. The ministry of justice refused to register the party Demnitate și Adevăr (The DA platform — one of the 3 groups protesting and which claims is the pro-European one). Representatives of DA declared that this is an attempt to block their participation in elections.

12.30. The crowd is marching on the central boulevards of the Capital (Chisinau), asking people to unite under one umbrella "to fight the criminal regime". They also ask for early elections — the most important demand they have.

12.10. Leaders of the protest movement, pro-European and pro-Russian, on the same stage: Andrei Năstase, Renato Usatîi and Igor Dodon. Details about the groups and their demands here. People feel confused to see this picture. Some of them have doubts wether to protest in such a formula.

Pro-Europeans and Pro-Russians on the same stage

12.00. NGOs from Moldova issued a statement condemning the undemocratic way the Government received the vote of confidence:

“Taking into consideration the lack of transparency in the process of nominating and receiving the confidence vote for the Government, the organizations which subscribe to this statement declare they don’t consider valid their integrity declaration. (…) It is unacceptable the way politicians try to imitate consultations with the civil society. (…) All this said, the above circumstances don’t allow us to trust The Filip Cabinet, which received the confidence vote in Parliament on 20th of January, until it will demonstrate the contrary through concrete actions”. Full text here: NGO declaration.

10.00. People are gathering again in the central square of Chisinau. They are determined to continue their protest. Leaders of the demonstration said they’ll wait until 12.00 PM to hear the members of Parliament statement.

January 21st, 2016

17.25. The meeting has ended. The 3 leaders of the crowd (Andrei Nastase, Igor Dodon and Renato Usatîi) asked the president of Parliament Andrian Candu to undo the vote of trust for the Filip Government and to call the early elections. They gave a deadline to Candu until Friday, 12.00 PM. Nastase, Dodon and Usatîi have been told that the parliamentary majority will have a meeting later this evening to decide upon this demands.

16.00. Russian journalists from RENTV and LifeNews were not allowed to enter Moldova today. They were expelled back to Russia by the security services.

15.45. The crowd is heading to the State Residency. Andrian Candu, president of the Parliament, invited the leaders of the crowd (Andrei Nastase, Igor Dodon and Renato Usatîi) at dialogue.

15.05. The opposition TV channel JurnalTV is back on the cable network of Moldtelecom — a national TV and telephony operator.

15.00. The Socialist party conducted by Igor Dodon asked officially the Constitutional Court of Moldova to say wether the procedure of voting the new Government was legal. The party claims the procedure was not legal.

10.30. Vlad Turcanu, head of the communication department of the Moldovan presidency, announces he is stepping down from his position. The reason: He distributed a false information the previous day about the time when the Cabinet had to take the oath. He said his action is unacceptable in a democratic society. He suggests he was misinformed at his turn by the presidential team.

10.00. People gather again on the central square of Chisinau.

January 20th, 2016

23.45. It is found and and confirmed officially that the Government and prim-minister Pavel Filip took an oath secretly at the president’s residence at 11 o’clock PM.

19.55. A few TV channels covering LIVE the events in the disappear from the broadcast of the national TV and telephony operator Moldtelecom.

19.00. The crowds clashes with the police. Some of the demonstrators managed to enter the building.

18.30. Vlad Turcanu, head of the communication department of the Moldovan presidency announces the president postponed receiving the oath from the Government for the next day.

16.45. Crowds gathered outsider the building of Parliament. Some deputies from the majority were hurt or aggressed.

16.31. The session is declared closed.

16.00. The Parliament is entering in extraordinary session. The nominated prime-minister Pavel Filip present the governing program and the list of ministers. Questions are not allowed, the government receives the trust of the Parliament, 57 votes from 101.

13.20. The permanent bureau of the Parliament announced an extraordinary session of the Parliament in 3 hours, at 16.00 o’clock. The deputies not part of the majority were not informed about the meeting.

10.00. It is announced that the Parliament would give its trust vote to the new Government on the next day.

The situation until this point is explained here.

Dumitru Ciorici

Written by

journalist based in Moldova, media entrepreneur