Moldova’s political crisis is worsening, as two rival governments are in place and both claim to be the legitimate ruling group. Widespread protests over the weekend signaled the discontent felt by the people of Moldova.

Background

A general election in February failed to produce a clear majority, resulting in a hung parliament and months of negotiations as politicians attempted to form a ruling coalition. Following an election, leaders in Moldova have three months to form the government. It had been believed that the deadline would be June 9th, but on Friday the Constitutional Court ruled it was June 7th and ‘ordered new elections be held.’

On Saturday 8th, ‘the pro-European Union parliamentary bloc ACUM … and the Russian-backed Socialist Party put their geopolitical differences aside to form a coalition government. Their goal: to fight corruption and keep the Democratic Party of Moldova, which is run by the influential oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc, out of power.’

On Sunday 9th, ‘the country’s top court suspended President Igor Dodon and his appointed replacement [Pavel Filip] dissolved parliament and called for snap elections.‘ The elections will be held on September 6th. However, ‘the Moldovan Parliament refused to recognize his order and claimed that the government institutions has been seized.’

Russia and the EU have recognised the coalition government.

Travel advice

If you are in Moldova or will be heading there soon, please consider the following –

  • Avoid demonstrations and large crowds. Be aware violence could occur without warning.
  • Review your travel risk management plan, so you know what to do in an emergency. Identify how you will leave the country if you need to do so, and make sure you have contingency plans. Identify when you will leave – the situation on the ground, transport options, political risk, etc – and discuss this with your colleagues, and relevant friends and family.
  • Make sure you have the contact information of your travel insurance company and your local embassy stored in a secure offline location.
  • Monitor local media. If you are using Twitter to search, add the term ‘filter:verified’ to the search bar to see results from verified accounts only.
  • If possible, set aside some supplies of food and bottled water.
  • Keep your devices charged.
  • Check in with friends and family.
  • If something does happen, contact the local embassy as soon as it is safe to do so.

Official travel advice

From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

In view of the unfolding political situation you should remain alert to the possibility of protests and demonstrations. While these are currently peaceful, the situation could quickly change. Be alert to the latest developments and take extra care. You should avoid large crowds, remain vigilant and follow local security advice.

from Travel Advice Summary, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/moldova

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