Moldova political crisis: Protesters demand snap polls

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Media caption,

David Stern reports from a demonstration where protesters are calling for an election

Supporters and opponents of Moldova's new government, the third to be formed in less than a year, are again taking to the streets of the capital Chisinau.

The opposition, which includes both pro-Russian and pro-EU groups, want Prime Minister Pavel Filip's removal and snap polls.

They have convened in Chisinau, at a tent camp on the main square.

Supporters of the new prime minister meanwhile are reported to be organising a counter-demonstration.

Mr Filip's government, which is committed to joining the EU, came to power on Wednesday.

Image source, AP
Image caption,
Protesters and police officers clashed outside the Moldovan parliament on Thursday

There have been almost daily protests since it took office, with demonstrators breaking into parliament on Wednesday.

The pro- and anti-government rallies are the latest reflection of continuing political turmoil in Moldova, one of Europe's poorest countries, where about $1bn (£710m) disappeared from the banking system in 2014.

Protesters in the former Soviet republic object to Mr Filip's links to Vladimir Plahotniuc, one of the most powerful businessmen in Moldova.

President Nicolae Timofti last week refused to nominate Mr Plahotniuc for the post of prime minister and Mr Filip's opponents say he will now just be a proxy for vested business interests.

Supporters of Mr Filip are expected to hold a rally in the Cecani area of Chisinau, at a distance from the rival gathering.