On February 24th, Moldova held a parliamentary election with a problematic outcome; no party won the majority. The Moldovan Constitution mandates that a government must be formed within three months of newly elected members of parliament taking office, which occurred on March 9th. On Friday (June 7th) the Moldovan Constitutional Court ruled that the three-month window had passed, and new elections should be held, while opposition party leaders accuse the court of misinterpreting the constitution.
The former Soviet republic is now in a political crisis as both parties’ governments make claims for leadership. The rival governments held two separate cabinet meetings and accused each other of trying to usurp power on Monday (June 10th). The crisis threatens to destabilize the already poor and struggling country.
The problem emerged over the weekend as an unlikely partnership formed between the Pro-Eu NOW Platform and the Russian-backed Socialist Party came together to form a government. This move aimed to fight corruption and keep the party run by influential oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc out of power. Plahotniuc’s Democratic Party refused to recognize the new government and insisted that Pavel Filip, the prime minister who led the government until the election, remain in charge. The Constitutional Court is also staffed in part by longstanding allies of Vladimir Plahotniuc.
In a country rife with corruption, the coalition between EU and Russian political parties signifies a desire to address pressing domestic concerns while putting ideological conflicts to the side.