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Moldova’s PM promises to take decision on government resignation by Thursday morning

October 29, 2015, 3:53 UTC+3 CHISINAU

Voting will be held on the background of large-scale anti-government protests going on in Chisinau for the second month

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CHISINAU, October 29. /TASS/. Moldova’s Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet has promised to take a decision on his voluntary resignation by Thursday morning, before his issue is voted at the Moldovan parliament, speaker of the Moldovan parliament Andrian Candu said late on Wednesday after a meeting of the board of the Moldovan Democratic Party.

Candu, who is deputy leader of the Democratic Party, said his party had called on the prime minister to resign voluntarily and he had promised to give an answer in the morning.

"Our party will have a meeting in the morning to hear an answer from the Liberal Democratic Party [of which Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet is deputy leader]. If the Democratic Party votes for the resignation, it will be because it has lost confidence in the cabinet," Candu said.

Voting will be held on the background of large-scale anti-government protests going on in Chisinau for the second month. Protesters demand resignation of the current authorities over corruption and the profound crisis in the country.

The no-confidence vote was initiated by the opposition Party of Socialists and Party of Communists last week. The two parties together have 45 seats in the 101-seat Moldovan parliament. However 51 votes are needed to send the government to resignation. Since the Liberal Democratic and Liberal Parties, which are members of the ruling pro-European coalition, said they would vote against the government’s resignation, its fate will depend on the Democratic Party, which has 19 seats in the parliament.

If the Strelet government is sent to resignation, Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti will have to nominate another candidate for prime minister after consultations with the parliamentary factions. The nominee will have 15 days to submit to the parliament a programme and the composition of his or her government. The president will appoint the new cabinet after the parliament approval.

If the lawmakers fail to approve a new government in 45 days or vote down the president’s nominee at least twice, the president will have the right to dissolve the parliament. The parliament can also be dissolve in the event no government is formed within 90 days after the resignation of the previous cabinet. However under the Moldovan constitution, the president cannot dissolve the parliament six months ahead of the expiration of his office term.

Timofti’s presidential term expires in March 2016. It means that Strelet’s resignation may entail a profound political crisis and early elections of both the parliament and the president, which is the demand of the opposition.

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. Moldova’s authorities have been refusing to step down and talks with the protesters have been to no avail.

Large-scale protests erupted in Moldova in the spring 2015 after the media had reported a theft of about one billion U.S. dollars 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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