Political use of Communist symbols in Moldova punishable by fine up to $1,000

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July 13, 2012, 2:53 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine


Chisinau - The use of Communist symbols for political purposes in Moldova will be punishable by a fine ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 lei ($200-$1,000). Corresponding amendments to the law on political parties were approved by the majority in parliament on Thursday.

One of the authors of the amendments, Liberal Party chairman Mihai Ghimpu, told journalists that the bill bans symbols of the totalitarian regime, not the word 'Communist'.

"The Communist Party remains, only its symbols have to be changed. Communists can exist but they should not try to play on the nostalgic feelings of part of the population. Parties that will be using Communist symbols will be unable to take part in elections because the Central Elections Commission will not register them," Ghimpu said.

Director of the Association for Participatory Democracy (ADEPT) Igor Botan said to Interfax: "The ban on Communist symbols is nothing else than an attempt of the government to undermine the opposition and settle scores with the Communist Party."

"After three years in power, the ruling alliance had to demonstrate to the public that the present Cabinet is better than the previous, Communist one," he said.

"Considering that this did not happen and the number of people who think that the old government was better is growing, the alliance has no other alternative than this radical procedure. The most interesting thing is that the Communist regime was denounced by those who used to hail the regime and glorify the Soviet Communist Party. This shows how rotten this approach is. Most likely this is a settling of scores and an attempt to undermine the opposition," Botan said.

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