Thousands of people have marched through Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, to protest against the nomination of a controversial oligarch as the country’s next prime minister.

 

The January 13 demonstration was organized by the protest movement “Dignity and Truth,” which has recently channeled the anticorruption and antioligarch feelings of many Moldovans.

 

Vlad Plahotniuc, one of the richest people in Moldova, was nominated by his Democrat Party to form a new government and end a political crisis that began in October, when the parliament ousted the pro-Western government of Valeriu Strelet.

 

Plahotniuc is considered to be a pro-EU politician too, but he is a highly divisive figure.

 

Critics say he controls the country’s judiciary and has used that influence to have several rivals prosecuted, including former Prime Minister Vlad Filat, who is awaiting trial in a corruption case.

 

Plahotniuc’s nomination still needs to be approved by President Nicolae Timofti, who has promised to make a decision by January 14.

 

If he rejects the nomination, Timofti would almost certainly have to call early elections.

 

According to opinion polls, the election could be won by pro-Russian parties, which want a renegotiation of Moldova’s Association Agreement with the EU and stronger ties with Moscow.

 

REFRL