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News 13 Feb 15

Moldova Parliament Rejects Pro-EU Govt

Moldova's political stability was under question after a new pro-EU minority government failed to win the endorsement of parliamentarians on Thursday.

Marian Chiriac
Bucharest

 

Moldova’s parliament on Thursday voted down the government proposed by Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, more than two months after general elections gave a narrow victory to pro-European Union parties.

Leanca's proposed government received 42 votes from MPs belonging to the coalition of the Liberal Democrat Party, PLDM, and Democrat Party, PDM. However, 51 votes were needed for the government's approval.

The two pro-European parties were not joined by their former ally, the Liberal Party, PL, because of disagreements over government posts.

President Nicolae Timofti is now expected to nominate a new prime minister designate, who could be either Leanca, or another candidate. The nominee is expected to come from the ranks of the same coalition, although this is not a requirement.

According to constitution, if parliament fails to appoint a prime minister within 45 days of the first negative vote, the President can dissolve parliament.

Analysts warn that Moldova’s stability now hangs in the balance as any future coalition is likely to be extremely fragile.

“The pro-EU coalition has to restart negotiations with their former ally to create a majority ruling coalition, since a minority government would not be functional. There is no other option,” the Chisinau-based analyst Oazu Nantoi said.

The political situation in Moldova is being watched closely by Brussels, Washington and Moscow, as they engage in what some call a proxy war over Ukraine, Moldova’s neighbour.

In June 2014, Moldova signed a far-reaching association agreement with the EU and also secured visa-free travel to the bloc, despite complaints and warnings from Russia, which retaliated by imposing an embargo on exports of wine and food to Russia.

Moldova formed part of Romania from 1918 to 1940, when it was annexed by the Soviet Union. It became independent in 1991. Today, about 80 per cent of the population of 4.1 million are of Romanian ethnic origin and speak Romanian as well as Russian.

Russia and EU-member Romania are vying for influence in Moldova, where reforms are needed to end corruption and depoliticise key institutions like the judiciary and police.

 

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