Moldova's Constitutional Court has again suspended President Igor Dodon from performing his duties, amid a dispute over legislation that he has refused to sign into law.
The December 10 ruling came after a request from the Western-leaning, ruling Democratic Party lawmakers, who argued that Dodon failed to fulfill his constitutional obligations by repeatedly refusing to sign into law five bills that parliament had passed several times.
Under Moldovan law, the president has the power to reject a bill once but is obliged to sign it into law if lawmakers vote for it again.
The five bills Dodon has refused to sign include a new code of audiovisual services, a bill declaring May 9 Europe Day, and a bill approving the construction of a new U.S. Embassy on the site of a former stadium. After Dodon's suspension, parliament speaker Andrian Candu will be able to sign those bills into law.
This is the fifth such suspension over the past year. It will remain in effect only until Candu signs the bills into law.
In reaction to the court's decision, Dodon, a Moscow-friendly former Communist lawmaker who has regularly voiced support for closer ties with Russia, wrote on Facebook that "all these laws will be canceled" after parliamentary elections scheduled for February 24.*
The campaign for the parliamentary polls began on December 10.