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Moldovan parliament bans local referendums on issues of state importance

March 13, 2014, 21:48 UTC+3 CHISINAU
Ninety-eight percent of people who took part in the Gagauz referendum in February voted for Gagauzia’s accession to the Customs Union
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CHISINAU, March 13, /ITAR-TASS/. Deputies of Moldovan parliament have banned local referendums on issues of state importance after the Gagauz Autonomy, a territory in southern Moldova, voted against the central government’s course towards European integration at a plebiscite in February. The deputies voted for amendments to the Code on Elections, which clearly divided the powers between the central and local authorities, at a meeting on Thursday. The ban concerns foreign and internal policy issues, taxation and other problems in Chisinau’s competence, the document says.

Ninety-eight percent of people who took part in the Gagauz referendum in February voted for Gagauzia’s accession to the Customs Union. About 70 percent of respondents favoured the idea of “postponed autonomous status’’, which gives Gagauzia the right to self-determination if Moldova loses its independence. Only 2.7 percent of respondents voted for the European Union’s integration.

The Moldovan authorities said the referendum had been illegitimate and had filed criminal lawsuits against its organisers. Moldovan Prime Minister Yuri Lianke said that parliamentary elections that would take place in Moldova late in 2014 would become the most representative referendum on all vital issues. He urged the Moldovan government to increase the propaganda of European values.

The People’s Assembly (parliament) of Gagauzia has passed a resolution saying the idea to hold the referendum in the Gagauz Autonomy was prompted by Romania’s policy aimed at Moldova’s absorption and the obvious appeasement and support of the idea on the part of Moldova’s state power bodies.

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