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Moldova’s ruling pro-European coalition breaks up

Moldova’s ruling coalition of pro-European parties has broken down after the Liberal Party took a decision to quit it

CHISINAU, May 26. /TASS/. Moldova’s ruling coalition of pro-European parties has broken down after the Liberal Party took a decision to quit it.

"The party’s Republican Council took a decision today to withdraw from the coalition with the Democratic Party of Moldova. Being part of this coalition proved too costly for us, including because of the loss of image," the party’s leader, Mihail Ghimpu, told a briefing on Friday.

He gave to understand that the last nail in the coffin was Thursday’s detention of the party’s deputy leader and Mayor of Chisinau Dorin Chirtoaca.

"All of our ministers will apply for resignation on Monday. I think President Igor Dodon will be glad to sign their resignation," Ghimpu said.

The Liberal Party has three portfolios in the current government: a deputy prime minister for social issues, and education and environment protection ministers.

Moldova has been ruled by the coalition of pro-European parties since 2009. The coalition leaders pledged to spare no effort to see Moldova as a member of the European Union. The coalition’s rule however was accompanied by an economic crisis, a series of corruption and political scandals. In the autumn of 2015, mass grass-roots protests erupted around the country when the country’s government was found to be behind the embezzlement of one billion euros from the banking system. Under pressure of these protests, two government were sent to resignation and former Prime Minister Vlad Filat, who was the leader of Moldova’s Liberal Democratic Party, the core of the ruling coalition, was arrested and convicted on corruption charges.

A new coalition was formed by two other members of the former coalition, the Democratic and Liberal Parties, and a number of lawmakers from opposition parties. But later on, a number of high-ranking members of the Liberal Party, including Minister of Transport Iurie Chirinciuc and Chisinau Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca, who is Ghimpu’s nephew, were arrested on suspicion of corruption.

Latest opinion polls demonstrated that more than 80% of Moldovans have no confidence in the government and the number of those who support the policy towards closer ties with the European Union has dropped since 2010 from 70 to 48%, despite the visa-free travel granted by the European Union (EAEU), whereas the number of those who want integration with the Eurasian Economic Union has exceeded 54%

These moods impacted the November 2016 presidential elections won by Igor Dodon, the leader of the opposition Party of Socialists seeking closer integrations with the EAEU. According to opinion polls, more than 52% of respondents are ready to vote for the Party of Socialists and if they really do so, the party will win the ruling majority in the national parliament. The Democratic and Liberal Parties, which have formed the current government, cannot surpass the six-percent barrier, the polls show.