CHISINAU -- Moldova's Socialist-dominated parliament has failed for a second time to approve the candidate nominated by pro-Western President Maia Sandu to serve as prime minister, moving the country closer to snap elections.
Igor Grosu on March 25 failed to receive the votes needed due to a lack of a quorum in parliament after the Socialists and the parliamentary bloc For Moldova left the chamber.
Under the constitution, the president has the right to ask for the dissolution of parliament and organize snap elections after a second failure to approve a new prime minister within 45 days.
Lawmakers on February 11 rejected Sandu's previous choice for the post of prime minister, Natalia Gavrilita.
Last week, Sandu nominated Grosu, leader of the pro-European Action and Solidarity Party (PAS), to form a new cabinet, but the Moscow-leaning Socialist Party later proposed its own candidate, Vladimir Golovatiuc, Moldova's ambassador to Russia.
The Constitutional Court on March 21 ruled that Grosu's nomination was lawful.
A U.S.-educated former adviser with the World Bank, Sandu defeated Moscow-backed incumbent Igor Dodon in November 2020 on a pledge to fight entrenched corruption and improve relations with the European Union.
She has repeatedly said she wants to push for snap elections in order to acquire a working majority in the 101-seat legislature.
Moldova, with a population of about 3.5 million, is one of Europe’s poorest countries and is sharply divided between those who support closer ties with Russia and those who advocate stronger links to Brussels and neighboring EU member Romania.