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Moldova's Dodon Names Adviser Chicu As Prime Minister


Moldovan President Igor Dodon
Moldovan President Igor Dodon

Moldovan President Igor Dodon nominated one of his advisers to be the country’s next prime minister, a day after pro-Western Prime Minister Maia Sandu's cabinet lost a confidence vote.

Speaking late on November 13 following consultations with parliamentary factions, Dodon said he had asked former Finance Minister Ion Chicu to form a government.

He described Chicu as “a technocrat, a professional who has not been in any political party."

The 47-year-old, who until five months ago served as finance minister, now has 15 days to form a cabinet that would then need the approval of lawmakers.

If no new government secures parliamentary support within three months, early elections would be called.

Sandu's short-lived government came to power in June after her pro-European ACUM alliance formed an uneasy coalition with the Russian-aligned Moldovan Socialist Party (PSRM) and ousted the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM), led at the time by oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc.

The alliance between the pro-Western and pro-Russia parties came following months of political uncertainty prompted by inconclusive national elections in February.

The PSRM, formerly headed by Dodon, filed the no-confidence motion on November 8 after Sandu’s cabinet changed the procedure for appointing the prosecutor-general, under which the prime minister would nominate candidates for the position.

The no-confidence motion passed after PDM deputies joined PSRM to topple Sandu's cabinet.

ACUM politicians told the media after meeting with Dodon that they will only back Sandu to form a new cabinet, as a guarantee that she will be able to continue her program of reforms.

Moldova has struggled to implement reforms urged by many in the West after the disappearance of more than $1 billion from state-owned banks five years ago. The missing funds helped shatter the already impoverished ex-Soviet state's economy and took down the government.

Plahotniuc, a controversial tycoon whose critics say wielded overwhelming control over Moldova's politics and economy, left the country after his PDM party lost power in summer.

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