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Moldova's parliament rejects PM-designate Natalia Gavrilita

Moldova's parliament rejects PM-designate Natalia Gavrilita Source: Natalia Gavrilita FB page

CHISINAU (Moldova), February 11 (SeeNews) - Moldova's parliament rejected the nomination of former finance minister Natalia Gavrilita for the position of prime minister, increasing the likelihood of early elections, data showed on Thursday.

None of the 101 members of Moldova's parliament voted for Gavrilita who was designated by pro-Western president Maia Sandu at the end of last month, according to data posted on the parliament's website.

Soon after the vote, Sandu invited all parties represented in parliament to a new round of consultations, which are now ongoing. According to the constitution, Sandu can nominate another candidate for the position of prime minister and if the parliament rejects her choice twice in the span of 45 days, she can dissolve parliament and set a date for a snap election.

Also on Thursday, Moldova's Socialist Party (PSRM), Sor Party and PRO Moldova parliamentary group announced that they have established an official coalition and proposed former finance minister Mariana Durlesteanu for prime minister.

Sandu, who is former leader of pro-European Action and Solidarity Party (PAS), said last month that PAS would not back Gavrilita's cabinet, aiming to trigger early elections in a bid to tip the scales in her favour in the parliament in which pro-Moscow PSRM is the largest party. 

In January, Moldova's constitutional court said that parliament cannot dissolve itself and ruled that Sandu must nominate a prime minister-designate following the resignation of Ion Chicu at the end of 2020. If the president refuses to nominate a prime minister-designate, the parliament can suspend the head of state from office.

On December 31, Sandu named foreign affairs and European integration minister Aurel Ciocoi interim prime minister following Chicu's resignation. Chicu resigned on December 23 in a move aimed to prompt early parliamentary elections.

PSRM, led by former president Igor Dodon who lost the last presidential election to Sandu, has 36 MPs. Sor Party, led by businessman Ilan Sor, controls nine seats in parliament, PAS holds 15 seats, while pro-EU Dignity and Truth Party (PDPDA) controls 11 seats. Democrat Party of Moldova holds 11 seats, Pro-Moldova has 7 seats, while the remaining 12 mandates are held by independent MPs. 

(1 euro=21.2564 lei)