CHISINAU (RFE/RL): Lawmakers in Moldova have confirmed the new government of Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita after her Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) won snap elections earlier this month.
The Harvard-educated Gavrilita’s PAS holds 63 of the 101 seats in parliament in Moldova for what she described as an “integrity government.”
Postcommunist Moldova is wedged between Ukraine and EU member Romania, with which it shares a common language.
The PAS had campaigned on a platform of carrying out reforms and tackling corruption, and advocates closer ties with the European Union and the United States.
Gavrilita, a former finance minister, was designated as prime minister by President Maia Sandu.
Before the vote, Gavrilita said “the most important mission is to show that an integrity government is good for the country, and Moldova can return to the list of decent states.”
She vowed before the August 6 vote that her government “will not steal, will not divide public money by percentage, and will not protect crooks and bandits.”
Sandu defeated her Moscow-backed predecessor Igor Dodon in a presidential election in November and called the July 11 elections in a bid to consolidate power.
“People expect a change for the better and for that we need firm actions and competent decisions that will have the interest of our citizens at heart,” Sandu wrote on Facebook.
The incoming government expects to receive 600 million euros ($708 million) between 2022 and 2024 in assistance from the European Union, as well as money from the International Monetary Fund.
The West and Russia are competing for influence in the ex-Soviet republic of 3.5 million people, which is one of Europe’s poorest nations and has suffered a sharp economic downturn during the pandemic.
Moldova has been dogged by instability and corruption scandals in recent years, including the disappearance of $1 billion from the banking system.