Moldova's parliament votes to hold referendum on joining EU

ISTANBUL – The Moldovan parliament through a vote on Thursday approved the holding of a national referendum on joining the EU and a presidential election on the same date later this year.

A statement issued by the parliament said the referendum, scheduled for Oct. 20, will ask citizens if they “support the amendment to the Constitution with a view to the accession of the Republic of Moldova to the European Union?”

The parliament also voted to hold a presidential election at the same time, which was approved by 56 lawmakers of the 101-member house.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu announced the referendum's plan on joining the EU late last year.

In December, Sandu asked the parliament to begin preparations for a referendum on joining the EU and announced that she would seek reelection to the presidency in 2024.

“We still have important steps to take and I am committed to continuing if you give me the confidence for a new mandate in 2024,” she said.

In the same month, the EU said accession negotiations with Moldova had begun, opening the door for the country to join the 27-member bloc. (Anadolu)