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Moldova: Communists Lift Ban On Opposition Party

Chisinau, 11 February 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Infotag news agency reports that the ruling Moldovan Communist Party today lifted a ban on the opposition Christian Democratic Party (PPCD). The order made possible PPCD's participation in a round of local elections on 7 April.

Justice Minister Ion Morei made all gatherings and activities by the PPCD illegal in January following days of allegedly PPCD-inspired demonstrations in the national capital, Chisinau.

The demonstrations, not registered with authorities but wholly peaceful, have taken almost daily since 9 January in Chisinau's central square.

PPCD leaders said the demonstrations show public opposition to the Communists' decision to institute Russian-language classes in Moldovan schools.

Morei said the PPCD is organizing the demonstrations, which have numbered up to 5,000 participants, to undermine what he called "national unity."

Morei said no further government action will be taken against the PPCD if the demonstrations stop.