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Moldova’s PM says he is sure pro-European government will be dismissed

October 20, 2015, 18:47 UTC+3 CHISINAU
Earlier on Tuesday, the leader of the opposition Party of Socialists, Igor Dodon, who has the biggest faction of 24 seats in the 101-seat parliament, announced plans to initiate government resignation
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Moldova’s Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet

Moldova’s Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet

© EPA/DUMITRU DORU

CHISINAU, October 20. /TASS/. Moldova’s Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet said on Tuesday he has little doubt lawmakers are going to dismiss the current government formed by pro-European parties.

"A conspiracy is being plotted against Moldova. The last step will be done by lawmakers - they will vote for my resignation at their next meeting," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the leader of the opposition Party of Socialists, Igor Dodon, who has the biggest faction of 24 seats in the 101-seat parliament, announced plans to initiate government resignation. "We will find the votes necessary to register our initiative to send the cabinet to resignation. We will spare no effort to have these authorities stepped down," he told TASS.

The initiative has already been supported by the leader of the Party of Communists and former President, Vladimir Voronin, who has 19 seats in the parliament. "We see what is going on the country. Strelet is not doing what he is supposed to but is protecting his business run jointly with the arrested former Prime Minister [Vlad] Filat. That is why we are ready to vote in favour of sending this government to resignation," he said.

The Socialists have 43 seats in the parliament. Government resignation will be possible if eight more votes are added to these 43. Observers do not rule out that lawmakers with the ruling coalition could support this move, as the ruling coalition has arrived at a brink of collapse after Filat’s arrest.

A Chisinau court on Sunday extended the term of Filat’s arrest for another 30 days. The former prime minister and now the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova, which is the core of the pro-European ruling coalition, is charged with involvement into a high-profile case of embezzlement of  $1 billion from the country’s banking system.

Accusations are built on a confession of Moldovan businessmen Ilan Shor, who told the story of Filat’s "acts of corruption" on ten pages during interrogation on October 13. Thus, Shor claimed to have paid about $250 million to the former prime minister for his services and for favourable environment for his business.

Last week, the Moldovan parliament voted in favour of stripping Vlad Filat off his lawmaker immunity. The National Anti-corruption Centre said searches of Filat’s house and office had yielded a number of documents proving his involvement in passive corruption. Some the evidence leaked to the mass media.

Meanwhile, mass protests have been held in Chisinau for more than a month. The opposition, which calls Moldova "a country seized by oligarchs," demands resignation of the country’s top officials and insists on early parliamentary elections and direct elections of the president. Central Chisinau has literally turned into a tent camp divided between two opposition forces, the Party of Socialists and Our Party on the one hand, and the Dignity and Truth (DA) Civil Platform on the other. Both demand resignation of the country’s leaders and early elections. The DA Platform however stands for European integration and accuses the current authorities of discrediting this slogan by large-scale embezzlement. The Party of Socialists and Our Party stand for Eurasian geopolitical vector and closer relations with Russia. The opposition leaders are refusing to pool their efforts but agreed not to hamper each other.

Large-scale protests erupted in Moldova in the spring 2015 after the media had reported a theft of about $1 billion from three Moldovan banks, which nearly went bankrupt. Back then, Moldova’s ruling Alliance for European Integration coalition came under severe criticism from foreign donors, including the European Union and the World Bank, which subsequently suspended their financing of the republic.

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