Moldovan Parliament Approves New 'Technocratic' Government

Moldova's parliament has approved a new government led by former a finance minister and presidential adviser, Ion Chicu.

President Igor Dodon nominated Chicu on November 13, a day after pro-Western Prime Minister Maia Sandu's cabinet lost a confidence vote after just five months in office, threatening more instability in one of Europe's poorest and most corrupt countries.

Dodon described Chicu as "a technocrat, a professional who has not been in any political party."

Some 62 lawmakers out of 101 voted in favor of the new government.

Chicu, 47, who until five months ago served as finance minister, told lawmakers that his minority government will have a transitional role until the next elections.

More than half of the new government's members are former advisers of the pro-Russian Dodon, and some of them held ministerial positions in the government led by the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM), which was ousted in June.

Sandu's short-lived government came to power in June after her pro-European ACUM alliance formed an uneasy coalition with the Russian-aligned Moldovan Socialist Party (PSRM), and ousted the PDM, led at the time by oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc.

The alliance between the pro-Western and pro-Russian parties came following months of political uncertainty prompted by inconclusive national elections in February.

The PSRM, formerly headed by 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.

The no-confidence motion passed after PDM deputies joined PSRM to topple Sandu's cabinet.

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.

Plahotniuc, a controversial tycoon who critics say wielded overwhelming control over Moldova's politics and economy, left the country after his PDM party lost power in the summer.

With reporting by Reuters and Interfax