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Supporters, opponents of Moldova's new government to take to streets in Chisinau

January 24, 4:36 UTC+3 CHISINAU
The opposition does not recognize the cabinet of Prime Minister Pavel Filip and it is pressing for an early parliamentary election
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© Vadim Denisov/TASS, archive

CHISINAU, January 24. /TASS/. Supporter and opponents of Moldova's newly appointed cabinet of ministers are going to take to the streets in the capital Chisinau on Sunday and join forces in actions of protest.

The opposition does not recognize the cabinet of Prime Minister Pavel Filip, which the parliament voted in on January 20, and it is pressing for an early parliamentary election.

All the units of the reporting to the Interior Ministry have been put on alert to guard law and order.

"We'll make all the steps on our part to ensure that the actions of protest are peaceful and that no violence erupts," Minister Alexandru Jizdan said. He warned the organizers of the protest actions they would bear personal responsibility for the upkeep of law and order and prevention of violent episodes.

The oppositionists believe Moldova is a country seized by oligarchs. They do not recognize the new cabinet of ministers and insist on the dissolution of parliament and an early parliamentary election.

Opposition supporters are expected to gather at 11:00 hours local time (09:00 hours GMT) on Chisinau's main square where demonstrators put up a tent camp earlier.

"This will be a mass meeting where a National Salvation Committee will be elected," Igor Dodon, the leader of the Party of Socialists told reporters. " It (the committee) will offer a programme for extricating this country out of the harshest political and economic crisis where the incumbent authorities pushed it.

Sunday's action is co-organized by the Socialists, Partidul Nostra (Our Party) and the DA Civil Platform, he said adding: "We were disunited and espoused different ideas but now we're united for the first time in the name of a common goal, which is to hold an early parliamentary election."

Supporters of Prime Minister Pavel Filip's cabinet will gather in a rally on the same day. Alexandru Jizdan told reporters they have chosen one of the city's bedroom communities, Cecani, as the venue of their action.

He voiced the hope the activists from both camps would not have any opportunities for clashes.

Thousands-strong demonstration began in Chisinau on Wednesday when the opposition took its supporters to the streets in order to prevent the voting for the new cabinet by the parliamentary majority formed around the Democratic Party.

As a result, the parliament had a six-minutes-long sprint-like voting for the cabinet and the candidate for the Prime Minister's position did not even have time to make public the programme of the new government.

The oath of allegiance was taken in much the same haste, with some of the new ministers failing to get to the hall in time.

The indignant oppositionists tried to storm the parliament building and thirty of them were injured as a result.

Parliament speaker Andrian Candu has called the demonstrators demands impractical.

"We held consultations with lawyers and we didn't find any grounds for a dissolution of parliament," he said. "If the opposition forces believe we missed something out, let them submit the appropriate documents then.

Candu said parliament members believed the Filip cabinet was legitimate.

"Yes, it was voted in amid a highly complicated situation but law was observed at the same time," he said, adding that he voiced the position of the Democratic Party and the Liberal Party and other deputies who had formed the parliamentary majority.

"An early election wouldn't offer a way out of the current situation," he said. "Moldova has serious financial problems today and the government will have to get down to work urgently and that's why the opposition demands to declare the cabinet illegitimate are totally out of place.".

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