President Maia Sandu has dissolved the Moldovan parliament and called snap elections for July 11, shortly after the Constitutional Court canceled a state of emergency that lawmakers had approved.
“The Constitutional Court has opened the way for Moldovan citizens to elect a new parliament,” Sandu told a televised briefing.
The state of emergency, which was declared last month to help fight a surge in COVID-19 infections, had prevented Sandu from calling an election.
Sandu, who came to office in November on a pro-European Union ticket, has accused the pro-Moscow, Socialist-dominated parliament of sabotaging her reform agenda and repeatedly pushed for snap elections in order to acquire a working majority in the 101-seat legislature.
Moldova, with a population of about 3.5 million, is one of Europe’s poorest countries and is sharply divided between those who support closer ties with Russia and those who advocate links with the European Union and, especially, neighboring EU member Romania.
Most of Moldova was part of Romania until World War II, when it was annexed by the Soviet Union, and a majority of its population is ethnic Romanian.