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News 17 Oct 17

Moldovan Constitutional Court Backs President’s Suspension

Moldova’s Constitutional Court ruled that parliament can launch suspension of President Igor Dodon for his refusal to approve a new defence minister for more than ten months.

Ana Maria Touma
BIRN
Bucharest
Igor Dodon, suspended Moldova's President. Photo: Igor Dodon/Facebook

Moldova’s Constitutional Court said in its decision on Tuesday  there are "circumstances justifying the initiation by the Parliament of the procedure of suspension of the president", opening the door for the suspension of Dodon.

The Constitutional Court deemed that his failure to approve the appointment of a new defence minister meant he had fallen short of his constitutional duties.

The court’s decision comes after the pro-European Prime Minister, Pavel Filip, asked the parliament to temporarily suspend the head of state if he does not meet the presidential duties outlined in the constitution.

If suspended, pro-Russian Dodon would be replaced by the parliamentary speaker or by Filip himself.

Dodon, who was elected in November last year, has been refusing to appoint the ruling Democratic Party nominee for defence minister, Eugen Sturza, leaving the post empty since December 2016.

NOTE: This article was amended on October 18 to state that Constitutional Court ruled Dodon’s suspension would be justified according to the constitution. The previous version erroneously stated that the court had suspended Dodon.

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