According to various reports, 2,500-20,000 people took to the streets of Moldova’s capital Chisinau to protest the results of Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
At least 20 people have been injured, and one protester is feared dead.
The reports indicate the protesters have stormed the parliament building and set furniture inside on fire.
They have also thrown stones, bottles, and eggs at the building of the presidential administration.
The protesters – mainly students – apparently did not plan violence initially, and police were not interfering after blocking the traffic on Chisinau’s central road, but then they had to use tear gas.
The participants of the rally, waving Romanian and European Union flags, demanded that Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin come out to them and announce his resignation.
Among the slogans used by the protesters were: “Down with Communism!," “We want freedom,” and “We are against falsification!”
The Head of the presidential administration, Mark Tkachuk, gave RT his comments concerning the situation:
“Street riots have been initiated by a group formed by the leaders of the opposition parties which have lost the election – that is, which either failed to make it into parliament, or got a very limited number of deputies,” he said.
“Masses of shaven-headed youths have stormed into the Parliament. Most of the slogans they are chanting are anti-Moldovan, and are mostly concerned with the country's unification with Romania. There are Romanian flags everywhere. All this can be classified as an attempt to launch a street riot coup d’etat,” he added.
The Leader of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, Vlad Filat, has called on the protestors to stop acting aggressively.
“We have signed a document with the leaders of the Liberal Party Our Moldova alliance which annuls the results of the election on April 5. We are going to seek the cancellation of election results and organization of a truly democratic election. I urge you to stop the protest,” Filat said.
According to preliminary reports (almost 99% of ballots counted), the Moldovan Communist Party won 49.96% of votes, while the Liberal Party got 12.78%, the Liberal Democratic Party – 12.26%, and the Our Moldova alliance – 9.81%.
The opposition was dissatisfied with the vote results and said it planned a protest rally on Tuesday.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry reacted to the April 5 parliamentary election calling it, “another step towards the strengthening of democratic norms and traditions in the country.”