Moldova would-be PM calls for EU’s help amid political crisis

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By Natalie Huet  & Alasdair Sandford  with Reuters
Moldova would-be PM calls for EU’s help amid political crisis

Moldova's would-be prime minister has told Euronews she wants the European Union to help save democracy in her country, in the grip of a constitutional crisis as two rival governments accuse each other of usurping power.

"It’s the future of the country that is at stake. It’s the democracy of our nation. It’s the European path of the country, if you want. Because if this regime stays in power, then Moldova will be lost," Maia Sandu said Monday in an interview on Euronews Now.

After months of talks, pro-Russian Socialists and pro-European free marketeers joined forces and formed an unlikely coalition with a clear goal: to oust the ruling Democratic party of oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc and rid the country of corruption.

But the Constitutional court blocked those plans on Sunday (June 9) by appointing the outgoing prime minister Pavel Filip as interim president. Filip immediately called a snap election for September, while thousands of supporters of his Democratic party rallied in the capital Chisinau.

"The decisions of the constitutional court are illegal," Sandu told Euronews, adding that her government had asked the European Commission and the Council of Europe to look into them.

Remarkably, both the EU and Russia have voiced their support for a new government headed by Sandu, a former World Bank executive and education minister.

Sandu told Euronews her government was asking for a peaceful transfer of power. She recognised that getting pro-Russian Socialists to work with pro-European liberals might not be easy, but she said they were up for the challenge.

"The common objective is to get rid of the oligarchic regime. We discussed it very clearly, that we have a pro-European orientation. The Socialist party have a different orientation. But we agreed that our association agreement is going to be the basis for the work of the current government. For how long this government is going to be supported, we'll have to see, but it's worth the risk because the country had to get rid of the regime."