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Protesters storm Moldova Parliament following approval of new PM

A new, pro-EU prime minister has been selected by the eastern European country's parliament. Some 8,000 people protested against the new government, displeased with Pavel Filip's ties to a prominent oligarch.

Hundreds of protesters barged into the former Soviet republic's Parliament on Wednesday, shortly after lawmakers approved the country's new government.

Pavel Filip, the new prime minister, announced the members of his cabinet in the hallway, as angry opponents blocked his path to the central podium.

Scenes of chaos in the Parliament building were shared across social media.

Thousands more reportedly gathered outside the building, chanting things like "Cancel the vote!" and "Thieves!", the Associated Press news agency reported.

Clutching state flags, protesters urged the authorities to hold snap elections as they chanted "down with the government."

"All of this is happening because Moldova's chief oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc usurped the country," opposition leader, Andrei Nastase said.

Plahotniuc is one of the country's richest men, and is accused of using his fortune to meddle in politics.

There is widespread anger at Moldova's ruling elites after a $1 billion (910 million euros) banking fraud plunged the country into crisis last year.

Deep divisions

Pro-Russia Socialists are deeply opposed to Filip, who's more oriented toward the West. They've denounced the Parliament's vote as illegitimate and called for new elections.

Moldova signed an association agreement with the EU in 2014, the same year fighting broke out in the Ukraine between pro-government and pro-Russia forces over a similar deal.

Parliament had faced months of deadlock and needed to form a new government before the end of January, or face dissolution.

blc/kms (AP, dpa)

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