Moldovan parliament imposes two-month state of emergency, cites increase in number of Covid-19 cases
CHISINAU (Moldova), April 1 (SeeNews) – The Moldovan parliament, in which pro-Moscow socialists form the largest group of lawmakers, has declared a two-month state of national emergency to tame an outbreak coronavirus infection, but the country pro European President Maia Sandu said the ruling was aimed instead at preventing an early general election.
A total of 52 members of the 101 parliamentary deputies who form the parliamentary majority comprising the Socialist Party (PSRM), the Sor Party and PRO Moldova, voted on Wednesday evening to introduce the state of emergency throughout the country, which will be in effect. since April 1 to May 30, according to data published on the parliament’s website.
During the state of emergency, Moldova’s special public health commission will be able to issue rules regarding travel to and from Moldova, travel within the country, as well as working conditions . The commission will also be able to restrict rallies, public demonstrations and other mass events, according to the state of emergency bill.
President Maia Sandu said in a talk show broadcast Wednesday night by local television station Jurnal that the parliamentary majority had imposed a state of emergency not to limit the spread of the coronavirus but to prevent an early general election. According to the Moldovan constitution, elections cannot take place during a national state of emergency.
Sandu added that she plans to challenge the bill in the Constitutional Court.
The number of new Covid-19 cases in Moldova has exceeded 1,000 per day in recent weeks, according to data from the Ministry of Health. The country launched its Covid-19 vaccination campaign on March 2.
Moldova has been in a state of health emergency since May 15, 2020. The country with a population of 3.5 million inhabitants recorded 230,241 cases of coronavirus and 4,960 associated deaths on Thursday, according to official data.
Moldova has been ruled by an interim cabinet headed by Foreign Affairs and European Integration Minister Aurel Ciocoi since December, when former Prime Minister Ion Chicu resigned in an attempt to call early parliamentary elections.
On March 25, the cabinet proposed by Moldovan Prime Minister designate Igor Grosu failed to gain parliamentary approval due to a lack of quorum as the parliamentary majority did not attend the session.
The PSRM, led by former president Igor Dodon who lost to Sandu in the presidential elections in November, holds 36 seats in parliament. The Sor party, led by businessman Ilan Sor, controls nine seats, the pro-European Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) formerly led by Sandu holds 15, while the pro-EU Dignity party and truth (PDPDA) in control 11. The Democratic Party of Moldova holds 11 seats, Pro-Moldova has 7 seats, while the remaining 12 terms are held by independent deputies.
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