Chisinau, 27 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Thousands of people marched peacefully today in Chisinau for a third day to protest against a Russian-sponsored plan to settle a dispute over Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region. Protesters took to the streets after the Communist majority in parliament rejected the opposition's request that debates over the plan be broadcast on public radio. Opposition deputies subsequently left parliament.
Police yesterday attacked demonstrators with truncheons, beating two opposition deputies.
Communist President Vladimir Voronin on 25 November unexpectedly reversed his decision to sign the plan. He argued that the measure was not endorsed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The plan would turn Moldova into a demilitarized federation and offer Russian-speaking Transdniester a wide degree of autonomy. Moscow would also maintain its 2,000 troops in the region for at least 15 years to safeguard the arrangement.