Hundreds of furious protesters stormed the Moldovan parliament after it approved a new government, meaning the nation now has its third prime minister in less than a year.
The election of the new government and a ‘compromise candidate’ ends months of political deadlock and staving off new elections.
Before the vote, protesters massed outside parliament waving the Moldovan flag and yelling ‘early elections’ as lawmakers met.
After the vote, their numbers swelled to thousands who massed outside the parliament and scuffled with police officers before forcing their way in, as they yelled ‘Cancel the vote!’ and ‘Thieves!’
Parliament clashes: Furious crowds of protesters clash with police outside the Moldovan parliament, after it appointed the country’s third prime minister in three years
Anger: Before the vote, protesters massed outside parliament waving the Moldovan flag and yelling ‘early elections’ as lawmakers met
Police later pushed the protesters back but they forced their way into the parliament again. According to local media station Radio Chisinau, some police officers received injuries at the hands of the demonstrators.
Earlier, parliament had approved the pro-European government of Pavel Filip, the former IT and communications minister, with 57 votes. The pro-Russian opposition boycotted the vote.
As the session got underway, lawmakers from the Socialists’ Party booed, blew whistles and blocked off part of the Parliament. In the end, Mr Filip merely announced his Cabinet.
He later said he was committed to Moldova, an impoverished former Soviet republic with a population of about 4million, joining the European Union. Moldova signed a political and trade association agreement with the EU in 2014, something Russia opposed.
‘The people of Moldova don’t need a government that says pleasant things, but a government that solves their problems,’ said Mr Filip after the vote.
Despite being appointed as a ‘compromise candidate’, the opposition lawmakers resisted Mr Filip’s appointment.
The former sweet factory manager also has a close relationship with one of Moldova’s richest and most unpopular men, Vladimir Plahotniuc.
Parliament had to approve a government by January 29 or face being dissolved. Lawmakers dismissed the previous government in October amid corruption allegations.
Having appointed a new government, the nation will now hope to unlock funding from overseas, including from the International Monetary Fund, that had been withheld since October.
New leader: Earlier, parliament had approved the pro-European government of Pavel Filip (pictured), the technology minister and a former candy factory manager, with 57 votes
Violence: After the vote, their numbers swelled to thousands who massed outside the parliament and scuffled with police officers before forcing their way in. They yelled ‘Cancel the vote!’ and ‘Thieves!’
Frosty: Protesters waving the Moldovan flag scuffle with police outside the country’s parliament building in the capital city of Chisinau
Line up: Rows of police brace themselves for a clash after the parliament voted in the pro-European government, meaning the nation has its third new prime minister in less than a year
Moldova has been locked in political turmoil since up to £1.1billion went missing from three banks prior to the 2014 parliamentary elections.
It comes just days after thousands protested in Moldova, calling for parliament to be dissolved and early elections.
There were three protests on January 16 in the Moldovan capital city of Chisinau – two organised by pro-Russian parties and the third by civic group Dignity and Truth, which demands an end to what it calls endemic corruption.
President Nicolae Timofti nominated Mr Filip as the next prime minister on January 15, he was the third person Mr Timofti had nominated to the post this month.
Mr Filip’s party originally wanted Mr Plahotniuc as their ministerial candidate, but the nation’s president refused to nominate him.
Either way, the opposition insists that Mr Plahotniuc will be the hidden controller of Mr Filip’s government.
Mr Filip becomes the nation’s third prime minister in less than a year, after Chiril Gaburici resigned in June following accusations he lied about his school diplomas; his successor, Valeriu Strelet, was felled by a no-confidence motion in October.