Moldova's Prime Minister-Designate Welcomes Mandate To Form New Government

CHISINAU -- Former Moldovan Finance Minister Natalia Gavrilita has welcomed her nomination by President Maia Sandu as prime minister-designate after her Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) won snap elections earlier this month.

In a Twitter statement posted early on July 31, Gavrilita said she was "honored and humbled" to be nominated by President Sandu, who is also a member of the pro-Western PAS.

"It is a great responsibility to fulfill expectations of Moldovan people to improve institutions, ensure rule of law, and build economic prosperity," Gavrilita said.

Gavrilita and the cabinet that she proposes is expected to be approved by parliament.

That's because PAS won a parliamentary majority with 63 of the 101 seats in the legislature as a result of the July 11 elections.

PAS had campaigned on a platform of carrying out reforms and tackling corruption. It also advocates closer ties with the European Union and the United States.

The 43-year-old Gavrilita had been Moldova's finance minister in 2019 when Sandu was briefly prime minister in a government that fell in a no-confidence vote within months.

Before that, Gavrilita worked with the British-based consultancy Oxford Policy Management and at the non-profit Global Innovation Fund.

She received her education as an economist at Harvard University in the United States and at Moldova State University in Chisinau.

"I have full confidence that the designated prime minister will put together an integrated and professional team," Sandu wrote on Facebook on July 30.

Wedged between Ukraine and EU member Romania -- with which it shares a common language -- Moldova is one of Europe's poorest states and has long been divided over whether to pursue closer ties with Brussels or maintain its Soviet-era relations with Moscow.

President Sandu defeated her Moscow-backed predecessor Igor Dodon in a presidential election last November and called the July 11 elections in a successful bid to consolidate power.

"People expect a change for the better and for that we need firm actions and competent decisions that will have the interest of our citizens at heart," Sandu wrote on Facebook.

With reporting by Reuters and