Moldova's Constitutional Court says that President Igor Dodon can be temporarily suspended after he refused to swear in a new defense minister.
Pro-European Prime Minister Pavel Filip proposed Eugen Sturza as defense minister twice last month, but Dodon, who wants closer relations with Russia, refused to swear him in.
Dodon said he wouldn't endorse Sturza because he wasn't a professional military officer.
The Court's President, Tudor Pantiru, on October 17 ruled that Dodon has the obligation to accept the appointments made by Filip, and he could be "temporarily stripped of his duties for deliberately refusing... to exercise a part of his constitutional powers."
Dodon called the ruling "a grave violation" of the court's powers and threatened street protests.
Moldova hasn't had a defense minister since December last year when incumbent Anatol Salaru stepped down amid political infighting.
Dodon last month demanded the dismissal of acting Defense Minister Gheorghe Galbura after the country’s military sent soldiers to a multinational training exercise in Ukraine against the president’s wishes.
Dodon in a Facebook posting on September 8 accused his country’s pro-Western government of trying to "add the Moldovan Army to the NATO side" and involve it in "geopolitical confrontations" after Chisinau sent 57 soldiers to join U.S.-led military drills in Ukraine.
With reporting by AP