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Moldovan protesters set to resume rallies

January 21, 10:34 UTC+3 CHISINAU
The leaders of the Party of Socialists and the Our Party have criticized the latest move by Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti to approve the new cabinet of Pavel Filip overnight
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© Vadim Denisov/TASS

CHISINAU, January 21. /TASS/. Moldova’s opposition plans to resume protests on Thursday demanding the resignation of authorities and early elections, the leaders of the Party of Socialists and the Our Party, Igor Dodon and Renato Usatii, have told reporters.

The protesters are scheduled to gather in downtown Chisinau at 10 a.m. local time (0800GMT) on Thursday. The leaders of the parties have criticized the latest move by Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti to approve the new cabinet of Pavel Filip overnight.

"In the morning we are gathering for protests. Tens of thousands of people will come. This is an illegal government and an illegal parliamentary majority. The fact that the cabinet has taken the oath secretly and the president has signed a respective decree changes nothing," Dodon said.

The politician stressed the protests will be peaceful. "We call for peaceful protests," he said. Usatii also confirmed that the activists were not planning to attack the state bodies and police officers.

The situation stabilized overnight outside the parliament where protesters clashed with police on Wednesday. A TASS correspondent reported from the scene that several dozen people stayed at night in the tents.

The temperature in the Moldovan capital has fallen to as low as minus 12 degrees Celsius (minus 10.4 Fahrenheit). The protesters have been distributed hot food and tea. The tents were equipped with portable heaters.

Police have enhanced security measures outside the parliament. The number of police officers exceeds the number of protesters. Police control all the ways out of the building.

The chairman of Moldova’s parliament, Andrian Candu, has called on the protest leaders to sit down at the negotiating table.

"It is most important to begin dialogue and find decisions needed in the country. Moldova needs a stable government that we have approved. It needs to be allowed to work," the speaker said.

The authorities plan to bring to justice the demonstrators who staged riots in the parliament building on Wednesday, he said. "They exceeded the permissible limits," Candu said, adding that provocateurs who whipped up tensions have been found.

According to the latest reports, a total of 15 people were injured during the protests, and some of them were hospitalized.

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