Moldova Court Again Suspends President's Appointment Powers

CHISINAU -- The Moldovan Constitutional Court has suspended the powers of the country's Russia-friendly president amid a standoff over ministerial appointments with his opponents in Chisinau's pro-Western government.

The court ruled on September 24 that President Igor Dodon’s powers be suspended because he failed to approve the candidates put forward by Prime Minister Pavel Filip’s for the minister of health care, social protection, and family, and the minister of agriculture, regional development, and environmental protection.

With Dodon suspended, the parliament speaker or Filip will be able to sign the decrees appointing the two ministers.

Dodon's spokesman, Maksim Lebedinschi, accused the Constitutional Court of being an "instrument in the political fight."

Under Moldovan law, the president is allowed to turn down a nominee for a ministerial post proposed by the prime minister only once.

If the same candidate is nominated again, the president is obliged to endorse the appointment.

It is the fourth time that Dodon has had his presidential powers suspended for refusing to approve government-proposed candidates for ministers or promulgate laws passed by parliament.

Dodon is frequently at odds with Filip and his government, which favors closer ties with the EU and the United States.

With reporting by AP