Thousands of people demonstrated in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, on June 24 to protest the nullification of mayoral election results that had shown a victory for a pro-Western candidate. Protesters carried Moldovan and European Union flags while marching through the streets of Chisinau, chanting: “Thieves!” and “They stole my vote!” The demonstration was organized after a Moldovan appeals court on June 21 upheld a lower court ruling issued two days earlier that invalidated the results of Chisinau’s mayoral election, citing violations by both candidates of the country’s campaign laws.
The results of the June 3 run-off election had shown Andrei Nastase, an anti-corruption activist and pro-EU politician, with 52.5 percent of the vote – enough to defeat Socialist Party candidate Ion Ceban, who has called for closer relations with Russia.
The initial court ruling on June 19 voided the election results on the grounds that both candidates had addressed voters on social media on election day, after the legal end of campaigning.
The appeals court upheld the ruling, saying social media communications with voters illegally affected the outcome of the race.