The appointment by President Maia Sandu of Natalia Gavrilita as Prime Minister for the second time after Parliament’s objection is unconstitutional, the rules of the Supreme Court.
Moldova’s Constitutional Court said it was unconstitutional for President Maia Sandu to appoint Natalia Gavrilita as prime minister for the second time after parliament had already voted to reject the nomination.
Tuesday’s decision could hamper Sandu’s efforts to hold an early general election and prolong a standoff between the pro-EU president and a parliament dominated by lawmakers aligned with his pro-Russian predecessor Igor Dodon.
“This worsens the political crisis in Moldova,” said political analyst Vitalie Andrievschi.
Sandu won the November presidential election, but accused parliament of trying to sabotage his presidency and curtail his powers.
She wants to organize an early parliamentary election, hoping that a victory for the Action and Solidarity Party (PAS), the party she led before becoming president, would strengthen her power.
Sandu had appointed Gavrilita as prime minister in January, but PAS lawmakers voted against the former finance minister to allow for a snap poll.
The president is allowed to dissolve parliament if he twice fails to appoint a new government within 45 days.
Dodon is again the leader of the Socialist Party after losing the presidency. Its Socialist-led parliamentary majority nominated a rival candidate, Mariana Durlesteanu.
Sandu in turn rejected Durlesteanu and re-appointed Gavrilita, hoping to be able to call a snap election if Gavrilita fails to win enough votes in parliament in a second vote at a later date.
“Moldova has a president who has already severely violated the constitution twice during the two months of his tenure,” Dodon said after Tuesday’s decision.
A country of 3.5 million people, Moldova has been plagued by instability and corruption scandals in recent years, including the disappearance of a billion dollars from the banking system.