Despite a lack of media coverage anywhere except in the Russian press, the protests in Moldova have been continuing in the snow and cold. Unfortunately, I missed the excitement last night as protesters stormed the Parliament:
Protesters broke into Moldova’s parliament after it approved a new pro-European government. The vote was aimed at ending months of political deadlock but was boycotted by opposition parties. Pavel Filip, from the main pro-European coalition, has been appointed prime minister.
What the BBC, AP and other major media outlets are missing is just how Pavel Filip was confirmed as Prime Minister.
From here, with my translation below:
Filip took the oath of office in secret late at night.
The Parliament met in Chisinau on Wednesday evening during a special session that lasted about 30 minutes. Parliamentarians voted to confirm a new government led by Pavel Filip.
Here’s the timeline of how things went down on Wednesday:
Around 4:30 pm – Parliament skips the normal debate and discussion session and moves directly to vote whether or not to confirm the Filip cabinet.
Around 5:00 pm – The Filip cabinet is confirmed with just 57 votes (out of a total of 101).
Around 5:10 pm – Protesters learn what happened and storm the parliament.
Around 6:45 pm – Police began firing tear gas into the Parliament to disperse the protesters.
Around 7:00 pm – Andrei Nastase (no leader to ex-Romanian PM Adrian Nastase), the leader of the non-Russian allied protesters, calls on the protesters to withdraw and not destroy the Parliament.
Around 7:09pm – Filip hangs up the telephone and refuses to answer questions from journalists.
Around 7:30pm – Romanian ex-PM Victor Ponta congratulates Filip on his [Ponta’s] Facebook page. Literally not one person cares, and Filip doesn’t even give his post a “like”.
Around 7:45pm – Andrei Nastase is in the Parliament trying to get the protesters to leave ad now the police are blocked between protesters on the outside and protesters on the inside. More fights break out.
Around 8:30pm – A spokesperson for Moldovan President Timofti says Filip will NOT take the oath of office on Wednesday.
Around 9:30pm – Hundreds of new police arrive at the Parliament and the protesters are finally ejected. Meanwhile Mihai Ghimpu, a key leader in the pro-Filip faction, gets hit in the head by protesters as he enters the Parliament.
Around 10:10pm – The American Embassy urges both sides to remain calm, and condemns the violence.
Around 11:45pm – Filip takes the oath of office in an empty Parliament building as hundreds of police block off the area.
Meanwhile the leaders of the protesters have called for a new protest today (Thursday) at 10:00 am. Which I will definitely go and witness for myself!
Pavel Filip may not be the hated oligarch Vlad Plathotniuc but he is closely allied to Plathotniuc. Taking the oath of office at midnight in a closed door ceremony guarded by cops is hardly a good omen for a democratic leader. The opposition boycotted his nomination and his cabinet was only confirmed by a slim majority. Mind you, all of this was done because the “pro-EU” bloc had until January 29 to form a government or elections would be called automatically and the “pro-EU” politicians would’ve lost heavily in new elections.
In related news, the ex-leader of the pro-EU block will remain in jail as he faces charges of stealing more than a billion dollars from the country. The reason why the country is increasingly turning against the “pro-EU” block is precisely because of all this corruption from oligarchs like Filat, Plathotniuc, and Ghimpu.
Meanwhile, as usual, everyone in Romania is wondering how this could happen (in Romanian) and why Romania didn’t do more to rescue its little brown brothers in RM from the evil clutches of Putin and the new Soviet Union/Russia.
Let’s put it this way: if you were a neutral citizen of RM, why would you trust anything Romania says or does when the people they back are the biggest thieves in this country’s history? No wonder people are angry and in no mood to join the EU or “unite” with Romania or anything else like that.
Stupid and egotistical Romanian leaders spent too much time advocating EU membership and not enough time protecting democracy and justice. And now the people (of RM) are angry as hell. If Filip’s government lasts more than 30 days, I’ll eat my hat.
Meanwhile, I know where I’ll be this morning – front at center at the protests.