Moldovan Prime Minister Maia Sandu's pro-Western government has collapsed after losing a no-confidence vote in parliament.
A total of 63 out of 101 lawmakers voted on November 12 against Sandu's government as deputies from the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM), founded by fugitive oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc, joined colleagues from the pro-Russian Moldovan Socialist Party (PSRM) to topple the administration.
The PSRM, led by President Igor Dodon, filed the no-confidence motion on November 8 after Sandu's cabinet changed the procedure for appointing the prosecutor-general, under which the prime minister would nominate candidates for the position.
Sandu had proposed that the Venice Commission, the EU's expert body on constitutional law, examine the amendments after they took effect, but the PSRM rejected the compromise.
People rally to support of the Sandu government in front of the parliament building in Chisinau on November 12.
Following inconclusive national elections in February that sparked a major constitutional crisis in the summer, Sandu, backed by the pro-European ACUM alliance, formed an uneasy coalition with the PSRM.
The tense relations within the coalition worsened after a PSRM candidate on November 4 was elected as mayor of Chisinau, the capital, defeating ACUM candidate Andrei Nastase.
The Socialists are currently the strongest political force in Chisinau's local city council.
Moldova has struggled to implement reforms urged by many in the West after the disappearance of more than $1 billion from state-owned banks five years ago. The missing funds helped shatter the already impoverished ex-Soviet state's economy and took down the government.
With reporting by Newsmaker.md, Noi.md, and News.am
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036