Thousands in Moldova protest oligarch’s plan to change electoral system

Chisinau, Moldova: Thousands of people protested in front of Parliament on Sunday, June 11, against the plan by deputies of oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc and President Igor Dodon’s parties to change the electoral system.

The protest, initiated by well-known representatives of civil society and supported by several opposition parties (including Dignity and Truth Platform, Our Home is Moldova (Red Bloc, Our Party, PDS and others), was held under the slogan “We won’t change the electoral system, we’ll change YOU!”

Protesters chanted “Down with Plahotniuc,” “Down with the thieves” and “We are the people,” demanding immediate withdrawal of the bills providing for changes in the electoral system.

According to the protesters, if the plan to amend the electoral system is not withdrawn from the Parliament, more protests will follow.

Recall that on May 5 the deputies of the parties of oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc and President Igor Dodon approved, on the first reading, a bill to amend the electoral system (single-mandate vote and mixed ballot), without waiting for the conclusion of the recommendations of the Venice Commission.

The decision by deputies of the Democratic Party (PDM) and Socialist Party (MDBGS) angered the opposition and civil society, who took to the streets to protest, and promised large-scale actions if the plan to change the electoral system is not withdrawn.

Despite the protests and possible negative opinion of the Venice Commission, the deputy chairman of the Democratic Party, speaker of Parliament and ally of oligarch Plahotniuc, Andrian Candu, and President Igor Dodon said that they will continue to press for changes in the electoral system.

According to experts, the parties of Plahotniuc and Dodon need to change the electoral system in order to remain in power, as the current proportional system does not guarantee them a monopoly.

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