CHISINAU -- Moldovan President Maia Sandu says she has appealed to the Constitutional Court for its opinion regarding her intention to dissolve parliament and call early parliamentary elections.
“I, like experts on constitutional law, believe that the legal circumstances for the dissolution of parliament have been met,” Sandu told reporters on March 30, five days after the Socialist-dominated parliament failed for a second time to approve the candidate nominated by the pro-Western president to serve as prime minister.
Lawmakers on February 11 rejected Sandu's first choice for the post, former Finance Minister Natalia Gavrilita.
Under the constitution, the president has the right to ask for the dissolution of the legislature and organize snap elections after a second failure to approve a new prime minister within 45 days, or if the formation of a new government is blocked for three months.
In her press conference, Sandu reiterated her criticism of the current parliament, saying it includes corrupt deputies who "impoverish the country."
The president has refused to nominate two candidates for prime minister proposed by the parliamentary majority led by the Moscow-leaning Socialist Party.
After Sandu’s announcement, the Socialist Party head and former Moldovan President Igor Dodon said his party would use "all legal means" to prevent general elections from being held during the coronavirus pandemic.
A U.S.-educated former adviser with the World Bank, Sandu defeated 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.