Moldova’s PM designate withdraws in favour of majority coalition candidate

By bne IntelliNews January 15, 2016

Moldova’s prime minister designate, Ion Paduraru, announced in a televised press conference on January 15 that he had abandoned plans to form a cabinet, in favour of the majority coalition’s candidate Pavel Filip. President Nicolae Timofti has abrogated his nomination, Paduraru announced.

The presidency already nominated Filip as the new prime minister designate and it is highly likely that a government can be formed by the January 29 deadline, and early election scenarios can be avoided. This will, however, be at the cost of having the Democratic Party as the senior party and controversial oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc as the informal head of the government.

Timofti nominated Paduraru late on January 14, after he refused on the same day to nominate Plahotniuc, invoking integrity issues.

Since Filip is likely to eventually get lawmakers’ support for the cabinet he has to form by January 29, his nomination dissipates tension, at least in the short term. However. the next predictable critical moment will be in March, when the majority has to gain additional support for the nomination of a new president. At that time a 61 MP majority will be needed.

A majority of 55 MPs led by the Democratic Party (PD) had earlier on January 15 submitted to the president the nomination of Pavel Filip, currently minister of information and technology and one of the vice-presidents of PD.

Seven MPs from the Liberal Democrat Party (PLDM) had apparently returned to the majority, after they pulled out the day before to protest against PD’s plans on putting forward Plahotniuc for the prime minister seat for a second time. The seven had played a key role in the formation of the parliamentary majority.

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