Moldova’s Liberal Party has started procedures to suspend Igor Dodon, accusing the newly elected president of breaching the constitution, the party announced on January 16.
Pro-Russian Dodon became Moldova’s president following the November elections. Dodon has been harshly criticised by pro-EU politicians for meeting the president of the Moldovan separatist republic of Transnistria at the beginning of the month. However, even Liberal Party leader Mihai Ghimpu appeared uncertain that his initiative would gain sufficient support from MPs to impeach the president.
Ghimpu claims Dodon violated the Moldovan constitution when he congratulated Vadim Krasnoselsky on winning the presidential elections in Transnistria, according to a statement on the party’s website. Moldova’s Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) has also accused the president of the country of violating the constitution by meeting with Krasnoselsky.
At the January 4 meeting, Dodon and the Transnistria leader discussed issues such as free movement of citizens, rail links and the recognition of Transnistrian documents on education and car license plates, according to novostipmr.com.
“Igor Dodon breached the constitution when he congratulated the so-called president of Transnistria. This congratulation message showed that he represents the interest of a state other than that of Moldova. We will not accept a president who promotes the interests of the Russian Federation,” Ghimpu said.
Dodon has constantly used pro-Russian rhetoric and stressed that Moldova must have a privileged relationship with Russia and should become a member of the Moscow-led Customs Union, while at the same time maintaining the benefits of a special relationship with the EU.
According to Moldovan law, the Liberal Party needs 34 signatures to initiate procedures to suspend the president. It currently has just 13 seats in the parliament, and Ghimpu said his party has not discussed the issue within the coalition.
“We are an independent fraction and we have the right to initiate any bill. I hope we will have support, although I have some doubts. Some of our colleagues can say that it has not been long since he was sworn in, that some of the statements were made before he became president,” Ghimpu said.
If the party collects the needed signatures, than the issue can be debated by the parliament, and if it gets the necessary votes, then a referendum can be organised. According to the Moldovan constitution, the president can be suspended if two thirds of MPs vote in favour. The president can also be dismissed by a referendum.
The Liberal Party advocates reunification with Romania, and Ghimpu stressed this in his statement. “Until we unite with Romania, we will not get rid of this viper with a star on its forehead,” he said, a reference to Russia.
Dodon is a harsh critic of a possible reunification with Romania. One of his first steps as president was to withdraw the Moldovan citizenship granted last year to former Romanian President Traian Basescu, a big supporter of the reunification of the two countries.
In addition, Dodon said he will recall the country’s ambassador to Romania, Mihai Gribincea, following his criticism of the withdrawal of Moldovan citizenship from Basescu. Gribincea said during a TV show at Romanian TV station digi24 that “experts in the field say that the chances the decree [regarding citizenship withdrawal] is declared unconstitutional are very high.” However, Prime Minister Pavel Filip said on January 16 he will not approve the request.