Snap elections called as Moldova crisis escalates

Snap elections called as Moldova crisis escalates
People protest in front of Moldova's parliament in Chisinau. Photo: 7 June 2019Image copyright EPA
Image caption Protests have been staged in front of Moldova's parliament in recent days

Moldova's political crisis has escalated, with the interim president calling snap elections on 6 September.

Pavel Filip, who was appointed by the Constitutional Court to temporarily step in for Igor Dodon, also dissolved the parliament.

But the parliament declared Mr Filip's moves illegal, saying the country's state institutions had been seized.

The stalemate follows February's polls, where no clear winner emerged between rival pro-EU and pro-Russian parties.

There are now fears that the prolonged political crisis could lead to violent clashes on the streets.

Moldova, a former Soviet republic, lies between the EU and Ukraine and is one of Europe's poorest countries.

What's happening in Moldova?

On Sunday, the Constitutional Court in the capital Chisinau relieved Russia-backed President Dodon of his duties because of his refusal to dissolve the parliament.

The court also appointed Mr Filip, a pro-EU former prime minister, as interim president.

This comes a day after the pro-EU Acum political bloc and Mr Dodon's Socialists struck an unlikely deal and formed a compromise government.

In parliament, lawmakers also declared that Moldova's state and legal institutions "have been seized" by influential oligarchs, calling for the resignation of several top officials.

But their opponents say the formation of the new government took place a day after a constitutional deadline for this expired - a claim both Acum and the Socialists dispute.

Mr Filip's Democratic Party - which is led by Moldova's richest man Vladimir Plahotniuc - later filed a legal challenge which was backed by the Constitutional Court.

In response, Mr Dodon described this as desperate steps to usurp power.

Is this political tug-of-war unusual?


In Moldova, a parliamentary republic, the rival political camps frequently clash with one another.

Therefore the country - where the electorate is split between EU- and Russia-sympathisers - has witnessed several such crises in recent years.

They usually end up in holding snap elections, but results are often inconclusive.

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