Moldovan president refuses to resign amid ongoing protests

Moldovan president says he will not resign despite demands of protesters camped in main square in Chisinau

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti has rejected the demands made by opposition protesters camped in the main square of the country’s capital Chisinau for him to step down.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Timofti said that he would not resign in the fear that such a move would result in the “destabilisation of the country.”

Protesters put up tents in the capital as they demand answers over a corruption scandal that has shaken the former Soviet country.

They have been camping on the streets since Monday after tens of thousands demonstrated against the government over the weekend.

The protesters, who were organised by the Dignity and Justice movement, have vowed not to leave the square until the government explains the case known as the “lost billions.”

Around $1.5 billion disappeared from the Unibank, Banca Sociala and Banca de Economii banks ahead of the November 2014 parliamentary elections, before the banks were placed in administration.

Wedged between Ukraine and Romania, Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, with the average family earning just $300 a month. Despite this, the losses were compensated from state reserves.

Meanwhile, the whereabouts of the finances remains a mystery.

A leaked parliamentary report previously made the claim that the money was channelled to Russian banks.

In addition to the president’s resignation and the right to elect the president by popular vote, they are also demanding the resignation of the central bank governor and the general prosecutor among others.

Protest leader Vasile Nastase said that he met with officials on Tuesday to negotiate the withdrawal of the protesters, but said talks "yielded no results."

"Our demands have not been satisfied, so we will continue to stand our ground and will increase pressure on the authorities," Nastase added.

According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Nastase also met with presidential chief of staff Ion Paderaru, presidential adviser Vasile Sturza, and presidential spokesman Vlad Turcanu.

TRTWorld and agencies