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Gagauzia Plans To Hold Referendum On Moldova

Lawmakers from the autonomous Moldovan region of Gagauzia have adopted a new electoral code that they hope will legally allow a referendum to be held on February 2.

The chairwoman of Gagauzia's Central Election Commission, Valentina Lisnik, told lawmakers that voters of the autonomous region -- some 80 percent of whom are Turkic-speaking Gagauz -- would use the referendum to decide Gagauzia's right to separate from Moldova if it lost its statehood after any future reunification with Romania.

Some 150,000 people live in Gagauzia.

The planned February referendum would also include questions regarding Moldova's integration with the European Union and its possible membership in a customs union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

The head of the parliament's judicial committee, Ivan Burguji, backed the referendum despite its rejection by a Moldovan court as unconstitutional.

Based on reporting by, Interfax, and "Kommersant"