Moldovan Leader Vows To Stop Youth Riots

CHISINAU, Moldova -Moldova’s president warned on Wednesday that authorities would use force to prevent a repeat of the violent riots that shook the ex-Soviet country after a disputed election victory by his Communist Party.

President Vladimir Voronin also accused neighboring Romania of instigating the unrest in Moldova, hours after police seized control of parliament from young protesters who had stormed and ransacked the building.

The 67-year-old leader and former Soviet official said authorities had every right to stop the riots, the worst disturbances in recent years in this country of 4.3 million people wedged between Ukraine and Romania.

“I tried to not allow blood to flow in similar situations in 1989 and 1991,” Voronin said, referring to his own widely-admired decision not to fire on protesters when he was interior minister in the last years of Soviet rule.

“But yesterday I was on the edge, as such a decision was needed. If this is repeated such measures could be taken. The authorities have every right to take them in line with the law,” Voronin said.

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