Moldovan president temporarily suspended by Constitutional Court

On Tuesday 2 January, Moldova's Constitutional Court temporarily suspended the pro-Russian President Igor Dodon after he repeatedly refused to swear in five ministers and two vice-ministers proposed by the pro-EU government's head, Prime Minister Pavel Filip. The court decided that the president cannot reject the nominations more than once without breaking the constitution.

The ministers will be appointed on 5 January by the Speaker of the Parliament, who will take over President's duties. This is the second time Dodon has been temporarily suspended, after he was pronounced "temporarily incapable of performing his constitutional obligations” by the court on 17 October after refusing to appoint the Minister of Defence. Despite rejecting the court's decision as unlawful and anti-democratic, Dodon has no legal means to impose his will, since even though he was elected by popular vote, his role is largely ceremonial according to Moldova's constitution. Nevertheless, his continuous disputes with other branches of power over his prerogatives, as well as his stand-off with the pro-EU government over Moldova's basic foreign policy orientation, will add tension in a society heavily divided between the supporters of a European integration course and those of stronger ties with Russia. 

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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