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Moldova's top court suspends president Dodon, interim leader Filip calls snap election

Moldova's top court suspends president Dodon, interim leader Filip calls snap election Igor Dodon, Moldova's president

CHISINAU (Moldova), June 10 (SeeNews) - Moldova's Constitutional Court said it suspended pro-Russian president Igor Dodon over his refusal to dissolve parliament and call early elections.

The court also said in its decision published on Sunday that it appointed prime minister Pavel Filip as interim president. Soon afterwards Filip dissolved parliament and called snap elections on September 6. 

The Constitutional Court suspended Dodon from office after his Socialist Party's (PSRM) struck a deal with pro-EU bloc ACUM to form a coalition government. The parties had missed the June 7 deadline to form a government, the Court said in its decision.

The conflict between Dodon and the Constitutional Court deepened after PSRM and pro-European bloc ACUM comprising  Action and Solidarity Party (PAS) and the Dignity and Truth Platform (PPDA), formed an alliance on Saturday, aiming to end a three month political deadlock following inconclusive general elections in February.

The two parties agreed on appointing PAS leader Maia Sandu as prime minister on Saturday and when Dodon signed the decree for her appointment.

The governing Democratic Party (PDM), to which Filip belongs claims that the new 'illegitimate' government is trying to seize power and consolidate Russia's control over the country.

Dodon said last month that he planned to dissolve parliament by June and call early general elections if the parties to not reach a deal to form a governing majority in parliament. In March, ACUM rejected for the second time an offer by PDM to form a coalition government and also declined an invitation from the election winner, PSRM, to form an alliance.

Thousands rallied in support of PDM over the weekend, local media reported.

In a post on social media, ousted president Dodon said that the Constitutional Court's decisions are politicized and accused the Democratic Party of trying to hold on to power at any cost. He also urged Moldovans to start 'an unprecedented mobilization and peaceful protests'.

"Moldovan citizens with different views on domestic and foreign policy can unite for the sake of a common goal: liberation of the Republic of Moldova from the criminal, dictatorial regime. In this situation, we have no choice but to appeal to the international community to mediate in the process of  peaceful transfer of power," Dodon said.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the European Commission called for 'calm and restraint'.

"The European Union takes good note of the decisions taken yesterday by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, including on the formation of the government coalition. The European Union stands ready to work with the democratically legitimate government, on the basis of a mutual commitment to reforms and to the core principles enshrined in our Association Agreement," the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn said in a joint statement.

PSRM won 35 of 101 seats in parliament in the general elections in February. PDM followed with 30 mandates, while the ACUM bloc came third with 26 seats. The fourth political force which passed the 6% threshold to enter parliament was Sor Party led by businessman Ilan Sor, with seven seats. The three remaining mandates went to independent MPs.