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Moldova: Protesters Call For Resignation Of Government

Chisinau, 30 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Tens of thousands of people today demonstrated in the Moldovan capital Chisinau, demanding the resignation of the government and the withdrawal of Russian troops from the breakaway province of Transdniester. News agencies say between 25,000 and 50,000 protesters marched through the streets of the capital, some of them carrying signs reading: "Russians Go Home!" "Down With Communists!" and "We Want To Join NATO!"

The protest was aimed at stopping a Russian plan to change Moldova's present government to a federation giving rights of self-rule to the Russian and Ukrainian majority in Transdniester.

Protesters called on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to not recognize Transdniester as an autonomous region.

No country has recognized Transdniester's leadership, which does not accept Moldovan sovereignty.

Today's protests were reportedly peaceful, with police making no arrests.