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UPDATE Third day of protests in Chisinau. Thousands continued demonstrations. Some protesters said to be arrested

de Radu Rizea     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 8 aprilie 2009, 10:17 English | Regional Europe

The capital of Moldova enters the third day of street protests. The participants in the revolt are expected to resume the gathering around 10:00h. Some 30,000 people protested on Monday and Tuesday accusing electoral frauds committed by the leading Communist Party and demanding a new scrutiny.

UPDATE:
10:15 p.m.: The final results of the elections on April 5th are published. Communists won 49.48% of the votes, securing 59 or 60 mandates in the Parliament, depending on sources.

10:00 p.m.: Protesters leave the Plaza and agree to return on Thursday

9:35 p.m.: President Voronin holds a 15-minutes speech on the public TV station, accusing the Opposition of attempting a coup d’état, supported by Romania. Voronin criticizes the education institutions for allowing the youngsters to participate in the protests, Unimedia notes;

9:25 p.m.: Some 2,000 protesters remain in the Great National Assembly Plaza. Lacking any leaders, the meeting is not well organized

9:05 p.m.: The Prosecution Office in Chisinau launches an "investigation of the coup d'etat", the Moldovan Prosecutor General, Valeriu Gurbulea, announces, quoted by AFP.

7:52 p.m.: The spirits calmed down. 4,000 protesters continue their peaceful meeting. Their representatives negotiate the release of those arrested by the Police.

7:30 p.m.: Situation is getting tense. Police arrested several protesters, beat them and took them away in a car to an unspecified destination. Crowds started to push towards police lines around the Government building, according to Unimedia.md si Honews.md.

7:15 p.m.: The custom office of the Chisinau International Office has blocked access in Moldova for a Radio Romania correspondent, Unimedia.info reports.

7:12 p.m.: Unimedia reports that Facebook was apparently blocked by Moldtelecom, the main Internet provider in Moldova, where the Government is main shareholder.

6:50 p.m.: The Moldovan community in Belgium organized a protest in front of the European Commission headquarters, stating their solidarity with the protesters in Chisinau

6:05 p.m.: The leaders of the protest speaking in the Great Union Plaza claim that a group of instigators infiltrated in the demonstration. According to radio station Vocea Basarabiei, the group has been isolated by the protesters. A group of youngsters gathered in front of the Government's  building;

5:31 p.m.: Chisinau mayor Dorin Chirtoaca says that the Moldovan Opposition will publish all the necessary evidence to determine international institutions to refuse to recognize the results of the scrutiny on Sunday;

4:24 p.m.: The number of protesters, which reached 5,000 around noon, decreases to 3,000

3.55 p.m.: Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova says acts of vandalism recorded on at the Parliament and Presidency headquarters on Tuesday were possible with the help of the security and intelligence Service which should have intervened but failed to do so, according to Jurnal de Chisinau.

3.16 p.m.: Two train links between Romania to Moldova were blocked on Wednesday as Moldova authorities announced railway traffic between Ungheni and Cristesti Jijia was closed until an unspecified date, according to Infotrafic.

2:42: EU Ambassadors to to Chisinau meet for consultations on Wednesday, AFP reports.

1.55 p.m.: About 5,000 people protesting peacefully in Chisinau. Demonstrators keep flowing towards the Great National Assembly Market downtown, according to Radio Vocea Basarabiei.

1.47 p.m.: Moldova's Prosecutor General Office announces the launch of criminal inquiries against protesters arrested last night - some 200 people.

1.41 p.m.: Protesters' leaders announced they would set an ultimatum for President Voronin, demanding the release of the 200 people arrested last night, abandon power and allow new elections. People chanted "Ultimatum! Ultimatum!"

1. 32 p.m.: Nicolae Dabija, head of the National Salvation Front in the Republic of Moldova, spoke to protesters in Chisinau, saying that 125 students were taken away  and arrested by the police, according to Radio Vocea Basarabiei.

1.24 p.m.: One of the Opposition leaders, Sergiu Mocanu, and Gheorghe Brega, who heads a civil association in Chisinau, were arrested on Wednesday, according to Artur Gurau's blog. Mocanu heads the Popular Action Movement and is a former aide for President Voronin, while Brega, a Romanian citizen, heads the Hyde Park civic association in the Republic of Moldova.

1:10 p.m.: Some 50 people gathered in front of the Moldovan Embassy in Bucharest, in solidarity with the protests in Chisinau.

1:32 p.m.:  Some 4,000 youngsters gathered so far in the central plaza of Chisinau;

12:14 p.m.: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declares that the protesters' request for a new scrutiny "has no grounds"

12:01 p.m.: Moldova president Vladimir Voronin announces that authorities will use force in case the confrontations on Tuesday are repeated

11:20 a.m.: About 1,000 protesters gathered in the Great National Assembly Plaza;

11:14 a.m: Students in various institutions are locked inside their buildings and are not allowed to leave school without a parent;

11:05 a.m.: Moldovan Government meets in emergency session led by president Vladimir Voronin

10:55 a.m.: Opposition leader announces that authorities refuse a recount of the votes on Sunday

10:38 a.m.: Protesters start to gather in front of the Government's building


Some 200 people were injured on Tuesday during violent confrontations between the protesters and the Police. A woman died asphyxiated in the fore that burst in the Parliament's building. The Police arrested 193 participants in the revolt. During the night, the Army and the Police regained control over the Presidency and Parliament buildings, stormed by the populace on Tuesday.

All throughout Tuesday, the official media refused to broadcast any information about what happens in Chisinau. The roads towards the Capital were closed, the Internet service was suspended and the mobile telephony signal was scrambled in the protests area. The only available information about what happens in Chisinau was published via social networks (Twitter, Facebook), blogs and YouTube.
























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