Moldova's political crisis deepens as top court, parliament lock horns

Moldovan President Maia Sandu delivers a speech during an inauguration ceremony in Chisinau.

A political crisis in Moldova lurched towards constitional deadlock on Tuesday as the country's top court ruled that parliament had overstepped its authority by dismissing the tribunal's senior judge, Reuters reports.

Lawmakers in the former Soviet republic voted last week to sack and replace the constitutional court's head Domnica Manole, after it backed President Maia Sandu's call for a snap national election.

Both the court and the U.S. embassy in Chisinau decribed the parliamentary vote as unconstitutional.

Sandu, who came to office in November on a pro-EU ticket, has been pushing for an election, saying it is needed to get more of her supporters into parliament so she can fight corruption and overcome what she calls obstruction by the existing assembly.

Parliament is still dominated by lawmakers aligned with her pro-Russian predecessor, Socialist party leader Igor Dodon, who on Tuesday laballed the court a "political instrument".

"In the coming months we will face a fierce political struggle in the framework of the preparation and conduct of early parliamentary elections," Dodon said, predicting that the current leadership's actions would lead to the collapse of the state.

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