Moldova eyes revenge after suspension
Moldova’s president Igor Dodon (pictured) has warned his government that its days are numbered, after it suspended him for a third time in a several months to pass a law that he considers unfair to the Russian minority.
Moldova’s ethnic divisions deepened amid a power struggle between the pro-Moscow Dodon and a government that is hoping to join the EU.
“Since the president refused twice to fulfil his constitutional duty to sign the bill into law, he will be suspended temporarily,” said Justice Tudor Pantiru, the Constitutional Court’s president.
The court has twice before approved the temporary suspension of Dodon to allow changes to effectively bans news programmes from Russia that he calls detrimental to the national interest and Russian relations.
Most Moldovans speak Romanian but there is a large minority of Russian speakers, many of whom watch Russian television.
The court said Dodon had acted illegally in refusing to sign legislation that the executive said would block fake news and propaganda.
Dodon said it aimed to prevent Moldovan access to the Russian media.
The law would ban television channels from airing news and analytical programmes from countries that have not signed a European broadcasting agreement, which includes Russia. Anyone defying the law could be fined or have their licence revoked after repeat offences.
Another political figure, like the prime minister or Speaker, will now be able to sign the legislation. Last October, Moldova’s Speaker swore in a new defence minister against Dodon’s wishes. Further ministerial appointments are expected to offend Dodon.
“I will under no circumstances yield to the regime. I will not approve ministers who compromise themselves and I will not sign laws that contradict the interests of citizens,” Dodon posted on Facebook today.
“As regards the latest actions of the regime with the support of the constitutional court, they will not be without consequences.
“What the ruling regime has done today is more like a death agony than democracy. There will come a time when the politics of double standards will lead to victims among the ranks of the [ruling] Democrats. In the long term, they will be the losers,” the pro-Russian president posted.
“The decisive [electoral] battle is ahead this year. I call on all citizens to unite all patriotic forces against the Euro-unionist regime, which thinks it can subdue the will of the people with force and pressure. Victory will be ours.”
Moldova’s president Igor Dodon with Vladimir Putin. Picture credit: Kremlin