UPDATE - Moldovan Protesters Stage Large-Scale Rally

CHISINAU (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 25th September, 2022) Protesters in Moldova staged a large-scale rally on Sunday after spending a week in a tent camp to prepare a second large-scale action, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

The supporters of Moldova's euro-skeptic party Sor set up a tent camp last Sunday, which they called the Town of Changes. Over 120 tents have been set in the center of Chisinau near the parliament and presidential administration buildings. Representatives of almost all districts of the country are protesting at the site. The supporters of the opposition demand the resignation of the Moldovan leadership and the holding of snap parliamentary and presidential elections.

Earlier this week, the organizers of the protests stated that preparations are underway for another mass action, which will take place later on Sunday. The opposition hopes that even more people will take part in it than last week. According to the estimates of the political forces, more than 40,000 people gathered in the central square of Chisinau last week, though, according to the police, there were only 6,500 people.

Sor leader Ilan Shor said his party would not back down until pro-EU President Maia Sandu called a snap parliamentary election. A third demonstration will be held next Sunday.

"We will continue our indefinite protests against the ruling regime of Maia Sandu. The authorities expected that we would be done in a matter of days. But we will not stop protesting until a snap parliament election is called," he said.

Moldova is experiencing a grave economic and energy crisis because of rising energy prices and soaring inflation. The authorities are making attempts to stock up on firewood, coal and fuel oil. In early August, the Moldovan energy regulator ANRE raised gas tariffs for consumers from 18.62 to 23 Moldovan lei per cubic meter (from $0.96 to $1.2 per 35.3 cubic feet).

Rising gas prices fueled protests in the country in May, with the Moldovan opposition and regional authorities calling on Chisinau to engage in talks with Russia to revise energy prices.