Sun, 26 Sep 2021

Moldovan President Maia Sandu has nominated former Finance Minister Natalia Gavrilita to try to become the country's new prime minister.

The next step will be Gavrilita's approval by parliament, where Sandu's pro-Western PAS party enjoys a majority after winning snap elections earlier this month on a platform of carrying out reforms and tackling corruption.

Sandu, who advocates closer ties with the European Union and the United States, defeated her Moscow-backed predecessor Igor Dodon in a presidential election in November and called the snap parliamentary elections to consolidate her power.

Gavrilita, 43, was finance minister when Sandu was prime minister in 2019, in a short-lived government that fell in a no-confidence vote within months.

Before that, she worked with the British-based consultancy Oxford Policy Management and at the nonprofit Global Innovation Fund.

'I have full confidence that the designated prime minister will put together an integrated and professional team,' Sandu wrote on Facebook on July 30.

Wedged between Ukraine and EU member Romania -- with which it shares a common language -- Moldova is one of Europe's poorest states and has long been divided over whether to pursue closer ties with Brussels or maintain its Soviet-era relations with Moscow.

'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.

With reporting by Reuters and unimedia.md

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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