Though Mayday remained among Moldova's national holidays, it was not celebrated on grand scale before this year, when Communists won a parliamentary election to form the cabinet and acquire presidency. Communist activists rallied in a public garden in front of the operahouse with red flags and buttonholes, as all previous Maydays. This time, they came as members of the party in office, so their streamers did not call to put an end to the many evils but praised "labour, peace and solidarity". Speakers told an enthusiastic audience how they would cure the national economy. "We are celebrating our first free Mayday," exclaimed parliament Speaker Evgenia Ostapchuk as she called the nation to overcome hardships together. Trade unions were celebrating together with Communists, as never before, and declared support of the new regime. President Vladimir Voronin is away on visit to the neighbouring Romania, and has a closed-door conference with President Ion Iliescu today.