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Moldova’s new president has been stripped of his duties

A Moldovan court temporarily relieved President Igor Dodon of his duties on Sunday to allow a stand-in to call a snap election, deepening a standoff between rival political parties over the formation of a new government after months of deadlock.


Dodon’s replacement, former Prime Minister Pavel Filip, immediately announced a snap election for September, while thousands of supporters of Filip’s party rallied in the capital, Chisinau.

The crisis threatens more instability in one of Europe’s smallest and poorest nations, where entrenched corruption and low living standards have pushed many citizens in the country of 3.5 million people to emigrate to Russia or wealthier European countries.

Moldova's new president has been stripped of his duties

Dodon’s Russian-backed Socialist Party had said on Saturday it was forming a coalition government with the pro-European Union ACUM bloc, an unlikely alliance designed to keep a party run by tycoon Vladimir Plahotniuc out of power.

Plahotniuc’s Democratic Party of Moldova said the new administration had tried to usurp power at Russia’s behest, criticizing Dodon’s refusal to dissolve parliament after parties missed a court-mandated deadline last Friday to form a government.

Moldova's new president has been stripped of his duties

More than 10,000 of Plahotniuc and Filip’s party supporters held a protest, calling Dodon a “traitor” and demanding his resignation.

Moldova's new president has been stripped of his duties

Dodon said the court was not politically independent and accused the Democrats of trying to cling to power. He called on the international community to step in.

“Moldovan citizens with different views on domestic and foreign policy can unite for the sake of a common goal: liberation of the Republic of Moldova from the criminal, dictatorial regime,” Dodon said in a statement. “We have no choice but to appeal to the international community to mediate in the process of a peaceful transfer of power and/or to call on the people of Moldova for an unprecedented mobilization and peaceful protests.”


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