Moldova government submits resignation, cabinet reshuffle likely

Other News Materials 19 March 2008 15:06 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) -  Moldova's Prime Minister Vasily Tarlev submitted his government's resignation on Tuesday in the first stage of a likely cabinet reshuffle, the Infotag news agency reported.

Tarlev, in a letter to President Vladimir Voronin, cited "the need for new decisions ... and new executives" as the reason he felt his cabinet could not continue in its present form.

Moldova's Communist Party is headed by the powerful Voronin and controls 55 seats in the 101-seat national parliament.

The resignation request came one day before the scheduled annual meeting of the Moldova Communist Party, during which government positions are likely to be reassigned, according to the report.

Parliament sources told Infotag the new cabinet would likely include Zinaida Grechanny, current vice prime minister, and could possibly include promotions or additional portfolios for European Integration Minister Andrei Stratan, Economy Minister Igor Dodon and parliamentary legal representative Vladimir Tsurkan.

All four of the politicians are Voronin allies supporting the Moldovan Communists' domestic policy of market liberalization and foreign policy of eventual accession to the European Union but not to try and join NATO.

Voronin and his allies are also proponents of turning over substantial rights of self-rule to the breakaway province of Transnistria, which seceded from Moldova after a civil war ending in 1992.

The opposition bloc in parliament, and renegade members of Tarlev's cabinet, had opposed aspects of the Communist Party policy line, some objecting to giving Transnistria limited autonomy, and others criticizing Voronin's distanced stance towards NATO.