CHISINAU, Moldova — Thousands of people have rallied outside Moldova’s Parliament as lawmakers approved a law that would change the electoral system in the former Soviet republic.

Lawmakers voted 74-3 on Thursday to adopt the changes, which include lowering the threshold for political alliances to enter Parliament, creating new constituencies and obliging candidates to declare their assets. Communist lawmakers boycotted the vote.

As lawmakers debated the legislation, more than 2,000 people massed outside Parliament. Police separated supporters and opponents of the changes.

Opponents criticized a lack of public debate and input before the vote and vowed to protest again Friday. Supporters, however, say the new rules will make politicians more accountable, and help women.

Moldova holds its next parliamentary elections in 2018.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.