Moldova’s President Igor Dodon yesterday annulled a decree to dissolve parliament, enforcing a standoff between two governments which insist on their claim to lead the eastern European country.
The poor ex-Soviet state, nestled between Romania and Ukraine, has been in political chaos since February when a general election failed to give a clear majority to any party.
At the weekend, parliament approved a new government built on an unprecedented coalition of pro-Russian and pro-European forces, which came together to freeze out the party of an influential oligarch.
But the Constitutional Court had already ordered fresh elections and it effectively blocked the new coalition by suspending Dodon and appointing a former prime minister as interim leader.
Ex-premier Pavel Filip, from the Democratic Party led by oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc, used his short time as acting president to dissolve parliament and call snap elections for September.
But back in office Dodon cancelled the order.
“We consider the decision of the Constitutional Court illegitimate and arbitrary -- it is against the fundamental laws of the country and pose a threat to the security of Moldova,” he said after a National Security Council meeting.
Dodon is from the pro-Russian Socialist Party, which said Saturday it was willing to join the pro-European ACUM alliance to run the country.
Both parties said in a statement to parliament that Moldova was “wallowing in corruption” and “captive” to oligarchs.
The previously ruling Democratic Party has refused to recognise the new government.
Five EU states including Britain, France and Germany on Monday threw their support behind the coalition.
Moscow also congratulated the coalition and said it was “ready to work with the democratically elected authorities”.
Moldova, once part of Romania before it became a Soviet republic then independent, contains a Russian-backed breakaway region called Transnistria.