CHISINAU, December 21 /TASS/. Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti on Monday signed a decree nominating Ion Sturza, who headed the cabinet back in 1999, to the post of prime minister, the Moldovan president’s press service told TASS.
"Sturza used to head the Moldovan government and knows the country’s problems well. Far from all parliamentary factions were ready to support his candidacy but I hope they are going to change their opinion," Timofti said.
"I am starting consultations with parliamentary parties tomorrow morning with an aim to form a government of patriots and professionals. I hope for a constructive dialogue," Sturza said in turn.
Under Moldova’s constitution, it is the president who nominates a candidate to the prime minister’s post. The prime minister has got 15 days to form a new cabinet and submit it and his programme to parliament for approval. Andrian Candu, the Moldovan parliament’s speaker said on Monday that Sturza could fail to receive support of the majority of deputies.
Some Moldovan politicians believe 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 on the prime minister.
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 prevented them from forming the parliamentary majority and approving 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.
Last 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.
Marian Lupu, the leader of the Democratic Party of Moldova, threatened President Timofti with impeachment if he nominated 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.