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CHISINAU, April 11. /TASS/. Moldova’s opposition plans to resume on April 24 protests demanding resignation of the ruling coalition of pro-European parties.
Renato Usatii, the leader of the opposition Our Party and a co-organizer of protests, told journalists on Monday his supporters will bring used tyres to central Chisinau and set them on fire. He promised to pay 200 leu (about $10) for each.
"We must joint efforts to do away with this criminal junta which is seeking to destroy Moldova’s sovereignty and make a flock of sheep of us," said Usatii who is the mayor of Moldova’s second largest city of Balti. "Protesters must get mobilized and send some to resignation, and some - to prison for having mistreated the people in the past six years."
He warned that protests may take a long time. "We will not go away until we have the regime changed and until early parliamentary elections are appointed. That is why we need tyres to warm ourselves. It would be great if we manage to gather 4,000-5,000 tyres to have something to sit on and to warm ourselves with," he said.
Large-scale protests erupted in Moldova in the spring 2015 after the media had reported a theft of about one billion U.S. dollars from three Moldovan banks, which 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. Protesters have put tent camps in central Chisinau in front of the buildings of the Moldovan government and parliament.
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 had taken 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, slackened the price policy and ruled to return to general election of the president.
In the meantime, the protest movement has split and now Socialists are staging their rallies separately. Thus, their leader, Igor Dodon, told journalists his party will not take part in the rally on April 24 as it falls on an Orthodox Church holiday.