Moldovan court suspends president’s powers over refusal to appoint ministers

Igor Dodon [Reuters]

The Moldovan constitutional court temporarily suspended the powers of President Igor Dodon yesterday (2 January) following his refusal to approve the appointment of several pro-Europe ministers.

Dodon, a figurehead leader who backs closer ties with Russia, repeatedly refused at the end of December to appoint five ministers and two deputy ministers put forward by his pro-EU Prime Minister Pavel Filip.

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However, the court said “the president has the right to refuse to approve the candidacy of a member of the government just one time” as it announced the “temporary suspension” of his powers.

The appointment of the seven ministers will be made on 5 January by the prime minister or the speaker of parliament Andrian Candu, the court said.

Dodon hit back in a Facebook post, calling the decision a “serious violation of judicial procedures”, accusing the constitutional court ofentering “the grey zone of democracy”.

“It is a dishonourable and regrettable fall from grace for a democratic
state,” he added, promising “not to give in”.

Moldova, a former Soviet republic, is divided between supporters of closer links to Moscow and those who want integration into the European Union, which includes members of the current government.

Dodon is on good terms with Russian President Vladimir Putin and was the only foreign leader who attended the annual Victory Day parade on Red Square on 9 May his year.

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The Prime Minister of Moldova Pavel Filip has sent an angry letter to the country’s pro-Russian President Igor Dodon, qualifying as “reckless” his request for observer status to the Moscow-led Eurasian Union and for the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with this organisation.

Since May, however, the two countries have seen tensions in their diplomatic ties. Moldova expelled five Russian diplomats without giving a reason and Russia responded with equivalent expulsions.

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