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Opposition rally in downtown Chisinau broken up by police

The city’s center was cordoned off by law enforcers and demonstrators could not reach the square

CHISINAU, October 23. /TASS/. Moldova’s police have broken up an anti-government rally in Chisinau’s central square, a TASS correspondent reported on Sunday.

The city’s center was cordoned off by law enforcers and demonstrators could not reach the square. Earlier in the day, the police said that it was planned to organize a fair of local manufacturers on that square and accused the rally organizers of violations.

The protesters made several attempts to break through the police cordons but were pushed back. Several people were detained. After that, the demonstrators stopped clashes with the police and began the rally right there where they were stopped. Addressing the demonstrators, deputy leader of the Sor opposition party Marina Tauber accused President Maia Sandu of dictatorship and demanded her resignation.

According to the Sor press service, similar rallies were held on Sunday in other Chisinau districts. Some of the protesters marched to picket the police commissariat, Moldova’s TV and radio broadcaster and other institutions.

On October 16, the police brought down a tent camp, which had been organized by the protesters in a park between the parliament and presidential administration buildings back on September 17. Most of the opposition parties accused the pro-European authorities of violating law and establishing dictatorship. Criticism of the Moldovan authorities for these actions was voiced by Western human rights activists as well.

Earlier, the Moldovan government’s emergencies commission, which was set up amid the energy crisis, imposed restrictions on protest actions and mass gatherings, allowing them only for not more than four hours on weekends.

Protests have been held in Moldova since June demanding the resignation of the current leadership. People are protesting against the unprecedented growth of prices for gas and other energy resources and food, and against deteriorating living conditions. The current authorities are also criticized for their reluctance to negotiate gas prices with Russia and for political pressure on the opposition.