CHISINAU, April 4. /TASS/. Moldova’s leftist and center-right opposition, which is demanding early parliamentary elections, will hold a joint protest rally on April 24, Renato Usalii, the leaders of the opposition Our Party and mayor of Moldova’s second largest city of Balti, said on Monday.
"We will support the protest rally of the DA (Dignity and Truth) Civil Platform. So, we all are coming to Chisinau on April 24," he said and called on the opposition "to keep united and exert bigger pressure on the authorities."
Apart from that, he said his party plans to hold two rallies, one of them - in Balti, before April 24. "These will be peaceful actions," he said.
Large-scale protests erupted in Moldova in the spring 2015 after the media had reported a theft of $1 billion from three Moldovan banks that nearly went bankrupt. Those protests involved different spectrum of the Moldovan opposition, such as Our Party and the Party of Socialists which advocate closer relations with Russia and the center-right Dignity and Truth Civil Platform that supports the course towards European integration. The latter accused the current Moldovan authorities of discrediting this idea. However the protesters soon split and now Socialists organize separate rallies.
The Dignity and Truth Civil Platform decided to organize a rally on April 24 after Moldova’s Central Election Commission had turned down its initiative to hold a referendum. It was planned to vote on four issues, namely on switching back to direct presidential elections; on possible removal the president from power through a referendum; on stripping lawmakers of their immunity; and on reducing the number parliamentary seats from 101 to 71.
The opposition claims that the Central Election Commission took its decision under the pressure from the authorities. In a pause between the protests in early 2015, the Moldovan authorities tried to snatch the initiative and advanced a number of anti-corruption initiatives and slackened the price policy.