Moldova's government brought down by a no confidence vote

Photo: EPA Demonstrators take part in rally to support the government in front of the Parliament building in Chisinau.

Moldova's government was last Tuesday brought down by a no-confidence vote, threatening more instability just five months after pro-Western PM Maia Sandu took office promising to fight corruption, news wires reported. She had formed an uneasy coalition with the Russian-backed Socialist party but relations broke down over a proposed reform to how the top prosecutor is appointed. The government lost the vote with 63 out of 101 lawmakers voting against it.

Parties now have 90 days to try to form a new government. If they fail to do so, another parliamentary election would be called. The country has lurched from crisis to crisis since the disappearance of $1bn from the financial system in 2014 tarnished the reputation of its political class.

The ruling coalition has tussled over who should have the power to appoint a new prosecutor general. Sandu wants to be able to make the choice herself, but the Socialists wanted a special commission under the justice ministry to decide. Sandu says the move is essential for her to be able to deliver on a promise to fight corruption and claw back the $1bn that was stolen from three banks in a scam known locally as the “theft of the century”.

“Citizens did not expect miracles in five months, they understand and appreciate a responsible government, consisting of honest ministers, who came to office to make people's lives better,” Sandu said on Facebook before the vote. “We want efficient prosecutors and judges who make decisions in the name of the law. We want those who stole the billion to go to jail. It's simple. This is what the whole society wants,” she added.

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