Moldova Government Collapses After Premier Loses Confidence Vote

Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat’s government collapsed after losing a confidence vote in Parliament, setting the country on course for early elections unless a new majority is formed by mid-April.

Fifty-four lawmakers in the 101-member chamber voted against Filat’s Cabinet as deputies from the coalition member Democratic Party joined the opposition Communist Party to remove the premier, the Chisinau-based Infotag news service said today. Filat’s Liberal Democratic Party didn’t participate in the vote.

Filat lead the government of one of Europe’s poorest countries, with a median net monthly wage of 3,478 Moldovan leu ($284), through a political crisis that started in 2009. Elections that year, which ushered in a Communist majority, had to be repeated after the winning party was unable to get a president elected, leaving the country without a leader until last year.

“Unfortunately, personal ambitions appeared to be more important than duties,” Valeriu Strelets, head of the Liberal Democratic Party faction in Parliament, said in a telephone interview today. “It was a very strange vote, because the Democratic Party has its ministers in the current government.”

The Moldovan leu gained 0.3 percent to 12.26 per dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It reached 12.3185 on March 1, its weakest in three months.

Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti must start consultations with the parties to identify another candidate for prime minister after he accepts Filat’s resignation. Early elections will be held unless a candidate can secure parliamentary backing within 45 days.

The Democratic Party called the no-confidence vote over a personnel row and Filat’s request to renegotiate the coalition agreement, Democratic Party Honorary Chairman Dumitru Diacov, said in a telephone interview today.

The Liberal Democratic Party will again nominate Filat for prime minister and Moldova can avoid early elections if “our partners will be guided by sense, not emotions,” Strelets said.

“Filat put himself in such situation,” Diacov said. “I can’t rule out early elections,”

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