CHISINAU, December 18 /TASS/. Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti will name a candidate to the prime minister’s post on January 21 and will later submit him to parliament’s approval.
"I was asked to postpone a decision on a candidate [to the post of prime minister] till January 21 because other parties needed additional time for consultations. The constitution allows for such a delay," Timofti said after meeting the leaders of Moldova’s pro-European parties who again failed to reach a consensus on the matter.
Moldova’s Former Prime Minister and parliamentary deputy Iurie Leanca, who was present at the talks with Timofti, said that no concrete candidates were named. He believes that differences between the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova and the Democratic Party of Moldova, who cannot decide who is going to have more weight in the coalition, were the main stumbling block to reaching the consensus.
"The talks are not just about the premier’s candidacy. It is necessary to form a work-able parliamentary majority. If we could return to a mechanism, which used to work over the past six years, many problems would have dropped off automatically," Marian Lupu, the Democratic Party of Moldova leader, told journalists. He believes that his party’s parliamentary faction of 20 deputies had the prerogative in selecting a candidate for the prime minister’s post. Nineteen deputies from the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova disagree with him.
The government of Liberal Democrat Valeriu Strelet stepped down under pressure from opposition parties supported by the Democratic Party of Moldova on October 29. It happened amidst mass opposition riots and a split in the ruling "Alliance for European Integration", which comprises the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (LDPM); the Democratic Party of Moldova (DPM); and the Liberal Party (LP). A fight for power among the former allies have prevented them to form the parliamentary majority and approve a new government for the past two months despite pressure from the United States and the European Union that urged the Moldovan authorities to go ahead with European integration and start a campaign against corruption.
Earlier this week, opposition leaders in Moldova accused Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti of usurping power because of his inability to nominate a candidate for the prime minister’s post for 6 months. Igor Dodon, the leader of the Party of Socialists, said.
Igor Dodon, the leader of the Party of Socialists, asked Moldova’s Constitutional Court last Tuesday to recognize the fact of usurping power by Timofti.
"A term of 45 days since the resignation of the former prime minister expired on Monday. The president was supposed to nominate a new candidate for the prime minister’s post over that period of time. In view of the fact that the constitution has been violated, we are asking the Constitutional Court to state the fact that the power has been usurped," Dodon, whose party has the biggest faction in Moldova’s parliament, said. He believes that the accusation of power usurpation could serve as ground for initiating criminal proceedings against Timofti.
This week, Marian Lupu has threatened President Timofti with impeachment if he nominates a candidate to the prime minister’s post without consultations with representatives of other parties in the Moldovan parliament. The presidential press service responded with a statement, which accused the democrats of exerting pressure on Timofti demanding he nominate businessman Vladimir Plakhotnyuk as candidate to the post of Moldova’s prime minister. The local media calls Plakhotnyuk "the grey cardinal of the Moldovan politics." President Timofti has asked western diplomats for support because of pressure exerted on him and his family.
Moldova has been shaken by anti-government protests for the past 3 months. The situation became worse after Moldova’s former prime minister, Vladimir Filat, had been arrested on suspicion of corruption. Filat is the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova, which forms the nucleus of the pro-European coalition. Later, the parliament voted for the resignation of a government led by Liberal Democrat Valeriu Strelet.
The fall of the second cabinet over the past 6 months has led to a new collapse of the ruling Alliance for European Integration, which has been in power in Moldova for the past five years. Moldova’s ruling pro-European coalition includes the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova; the Democratic Party of Moldova and the Liberal Party.