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Moldova opposition protests against Plahotniuc nomination for prime minister

January 14, 17:33 UTC+3 CHISINAU
Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti rejected on Wednesday the candidacy of Vladimir Plahotniuc, proposed by the Democratic Party of Moldova for the post of prime minister
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© EPA/DUMITRU DORU

CHISINAU, January 14. /TASS/. The opposition rallies in the centre of the Moldovan capital on Thursday have gathered thousands to protest against candidate for the post of prime minister businessman Vladimir Plahotniuc, nominated by the parliamentary majority. The main boulevard in Chisinau was blocked by supporters of the Civic Platform Dignity and Truth and the opposition Our Party that previously pitched their tents here.

"We will not allow Plahotniuc to finally establish control over the country", one of the leaders of Civic Platform Andrei Nastase told the crowd in the central square. He said that on Wednesday "the square won a small victory" when Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti rejected the candidacy of Plahotniuc. "Today we are going to defend our position again. We have requested all diplomatic missions to support us," Nastase said. However, he warned the crowd that the protest action should not go beyond the law.

"Plahotniuc sticks to his guns. So do we," Our Party leader Renato Usatii said at a rally in front of the parliament building. "A closed-door parliament meeting will be held today. They’ll try to make Timofti resign. We will not allow that."

On Tuesday, Nastase said that "today’s authorities in Moldova have been caught stealing and should go, and only early parliamentary elections can renew the political class." Most state bodies in Moldova have been seized by oligarchs, he said. "They interpret the constitution in their own way. They have forced the president to nominate as prime minister a candidate of the parliamentary majority governed by democrats."

Leader of the opposition Party of Socialists of Moldova Igor Dodon, who controls the largest faction of 24 deputies, has said he would not support the president's resignation.

On Monday, the leader of the Democratic Party, Marian Lupu, announced that a new parliamentary majority has been formed consisting of 56 lawmakers in the 101-member parliament.

Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti rejected on Wednesday the candidacy of Vladimir Plahotniuc, proposed by the Democratic Party of Moldova for the post of prime minister, the press service of the country’s head of state said in a release. According to the statement, "Plahotniuc fails to meet the criteria of a candidate for the post of prime minister." The Moldovan head proposed to the parliamentary majority to nominate another candidate for the post on January 14.

Several thousand opponents of Plahotniuc who is called by the local media a "grey cardinal of the Moldovan politics" gathered for a protest rally on Wednesday. They picketed the presidential residence in Chisinau, demanding not to sign the decree appointing him as a candidate for prime minister. Timofti held consultations on Wednesday morning with the EU countries’ ambassadors and left for his countryside residence, where he received a delegation of the Democratic Party that presented to him their decision to nominate Plahotniuc. Previously, he specified a number of conditions to the future prime minister, saying that "his integrity should not cause doubt."

According to the Moldovan Constitution, the country’s president nominates a candidate for the prime minister’s post. The prime minister is given 15 days to form a new cabinet and present it and his program to the parliament for approval. The head of state has the right to dismiss the parliament and appoint early elections if the deputies reject two candidates for prime minister proposed by him or fail to express a vote of confidence in the government within 45 days. This period expires in Moldova on January 29.

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