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Latest update : 2009-04-07

Students protesting the Communist victory in Sunday’s parliamentary election took control of the president’s offices on Tuesday and broke into the parliament building, according to witnesses.

REUTERS - Students protesting against a Communist election victory broke into Moldova's parliament building on Tuesday, hurling chairs, tables and papers out into the street and setting them ablaze, a Reuters photographer said.


Demonstrators poured into the building through smashed widnows and proceeded to heap whatever they found on a bonfire outside.


A small group also broke into the president's office, which security forces had defended with tear gas and water cannon as thousands of protesters smashed windows and hurled stones at police.


The street protests came two days after a parliamentary election handed victory to the ruling Communists of President Vladimir Voronin.


Up to 10,000 demonstrators, mostly students, massed for a second straight day.


"The election was controlled by the Communists, they bought everyone off," said Alexei, a student. "We will have no future under the Communists because they just think of themselves."


Protesters carrying Moldovan and European flags and shouting anti-Communist slogans gathered outside the government building and made their way down Chisinau's main boulevard to the president's office.


Some policemen were seen nursing minor injuries.


Voronin, the only Communist president in Europe, has overseen stability and growth in Europe's poorest nation since 2001, but cannot stand for a third consecutive term. Parliament elects the president in the country, Europe's poorest, wedged between ex-Soviet Ukraine and EU member Romania.


Voronin has made it plain he wants to retain the levers of power and analysts say he could try to take on another influential role such as parliamentary speaker.

Date created : 2009-04-07