Opposition in Moldova boycotting parliament's work over renaming of state language
CHISINAU. March 17 (Interfax) - The opposition in Moldova is boycotting parliament meetings to protest the adoption of the law changing the name "Moldovan language" to "Romanian," deputies of the opposition Bloc of Communists and Socialists said on Friday.
"To protest the major violation of the Constitution by PAS [ruling Party of Action and Solidarity] deputies regarding changing the name of the language, I hereby declare non-participation in the work of the parliament as a political protest. The possibility of stopping the protest will be considered after the Constitutional Court decision," according to a statement read by Vladimir Voronin, ex-president of Moldova and leader of the Communist Party.
After the Communists and Socialists left the session hall, the parliament held a minute of silence for all those who fought and died for independence and the Romanian language in the 1980s and the 1990s. "Let us hold a minute of silence to remember all our ancestors who lit up this torch in the 1980s and the 1990s, and we completed this work [renamed Moldovan language to Romanian in the texts of the laws]," Moldovan Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu said.
In the meantime, Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca welcomed the decision of the Moldovan parliament to change in the legislation the name "Moldovan language" to "Romanian language."
"We welcome the adoption by the parliament in Chisinau of the law that gives the Romanian language official language status in the Republic of Moldova. I confirm the unconditional support that Romania is providing to Moldova on the European path for the development of the economy and wellbeing of all its citizens. Thus, I again state that the government of Romania supports the sovereignty, territorial integrity and stability of the neighboring state," Ciuca said on a social network.
"The recognition of historical truth confirms that Romania and Moldova have common culture and language," he said.
A parliamentary majority earlier adopted a law under which the word combination "Moldovan language" will be replaced with "Romanian language" in the text of all Moldovan laws and regulations, including the Constitution of Moldova.
Opposition deputies said they would appeal to the Constitutional Court if the law was adopted.
Under the Constitution, amendments to the Constitution may be approved "by two-third of deputies' votes no earlier than six months after the registration of the relevant bill and only with a positive resolution of the Constitutional Court." Under the Constituting, "the Constitution cannot be revised during a state of emergency, a state of siege and martial law."
The authors of the bill, represented by a group of PAS deputies, believe that the situation is "technical enforcement" of Constitutional Court decisions, not an amendment to the Constitution.
The Moldovan Academy of Sciences earlier said the correct name of the language was Romanian. The Romanian language has been taught in all schools and educational establishments in Moldova since 1992.