CHISINAU, April 1. /TASS/. Moldova’s parliament on Friday appointed general presidential elections on October 30. This decision won support from the majority of ruling coalition lawmakers.
The term of office of the previous head of state, Nicolae Timofti, who was elected by the parliament in 2012, expired on March 23. Under the law, he continues to act as president until a new president is sworn into office.
The Moldovan lawmakers decided to postpone the elections till autumn as the parliament is yet to adopt amendments to the Election Code after the republic’s Constitutional Court on March 4, 2016 ruled the reform of 2000, when direct presidential polls were replaced by voting at the parliament, to be illegal.
According to Constitutional Court President Alexandry Tanase, the 2000 reform triggered a series of political crises in the country when the parliament was unable to elect a head of state. It was the reason for three early elections - in 2000, in 2009 and in 2010. In 2016 too, the country has come to the verge of early elections. Chisinau has been gripped by large-scale protests of the opposition seeking to remove from power the pro-European coalition blamed for high-profile corruption scandals and deteriorated economic situation.
The opposition however says the Constitutional Court ruling is doubtful. "We support the idea of general presidential elections which is the demand of the bulk of Moldova’s population. But we doubt the legitimacy of the Constitutional Court ruling. So, we have asked the international community, especially the Venice Commission, to speak up about this decision. We want not only domestic legitimacy of the future president, we want him or her to be recognized by foreign countries, Igor Dodon, the leader of Moldova’s Party of Socialists, told TASS.
He said his party, which has the biggest faction of a fourth of the seats in the Moldovan parliament, did not vote for the appointment of elections.
Dodon, who is seen as a frontrunner in the presidential race, said it would be right to introduce constitutional amendments in a referendum or by a parliament voting, and the opposition Party of Socialists, in his words, was ready to support the ruling majority on that matter.
However, he said, in case the international community recognizes the Constitutional Court ruling as legitimate, Socialists would nominate their candidate for president. "At the same time, we will continue to demand early parliamentary elections that could be organized this year concurrently with the presidential polls," said Dodo, who tops popularity ratings, according to
The Constitutional Court ruling came under criticism from the Party of Communists which refused to vote in parliament on Friday.