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CHISINAU, January 22. /TASS/. Teleradio Moldova has given air time to the leaders of anti-government protests after thousands of protesters demanding the freedom of the press blocked the building of the television company on Friday.
The protests have been organized by opposition parties, namely the left Party of Socialists and Our Party, and the right Dignity and Truth (DA) Civil Platform, that took a decision to pool their efforts to have the newly formed government resigned and early parliamentary elections appointed. The protesters marched on Friday through central Chisinau having blocked traffic along a number of central streets. According to police estimates, several thousand people are taking part in the protests whereas the organizers say the protests involve more than 20,000. The rally is being held peacefully.
"We call on Moldovan citizens to come to the country’s main square on Sunday to demand resignation of the government and dissolution of the parliament," Igor Dodon, the leader of the Party of Socialists, said in a live television broadcast. He demanded the opposition was given air time every day after the protest actions.
"Moldova is ruled by criminals who have stolen next to everything. They are seeking to bar us from thinking and public television is airing what the authorities want it to. We will not let them manipulate public opinion," Renato Usatii, the leader of Our Party, said.
"Television which lives on our money only misinforms us. Protesters are pictured as organizers of a coup. But this is the authorities who really organized a coup having secretly appointed their government and we are advocating the interests of the people and will compel the authorities to demonstrate what is going on," Andiran Nastase, the DA Platform leader, said.
Mircea Surdu, the director of the television channel, who hosted the program, promised to give the protesters an opportunity to appear on television.
On Wednesday, the opposition picketed the building of the parliament when it was appointing the government. As a result, it took six minutes for the parliamentary majority formed around the Democratic Party of Moldova to approve the cabinet. The candidate for prime minister was given no time to present the program of his future cabinet. This hasty appointment triggered riots, with protesters trying to take the building. On Thursday, the protest leaders met with the parliament speaker, Andrian Candu, to hand over their demands of government resignation and parliament dissolution. The speaker promised to give an official answer by Friday afternoon.