Moldova's president nominates new prime minister, eyes early election

FILE PHOTO: Moldova's President Sandu meets EU Council President Michel in Brussels

CHISINAU (Reuters) - Moldovan President Maia Sandu said on Tuesday she was nominating the leader of her parliamentary party, Igor Grosu, to be the tiny ex-Soviet republic's next prime minister.

It is the second attempt by the pro-Western president to appoint a government since she won a presidential election in November against the incumbent Igor Dodon.

The parliament, which remains dominated by lawmakers aligned with Dodon, failed last month to approve Sandu's first choice for prime minister, former finance minister Natalia Gavrilita.

Sandu has accused parliament of trying to sabotage her presidency and sees early parliamentary elections as a way of consolidating her power.

The president is allowed to dissolve parliament if it twice fails to appoint a new government within the space of 45 days.

"I hope that early elections can be held in the summer to get rid of both corruption and COVID," Sandu told a briefing following the announcement of Grosu, 48, as her choice for prime minister.

Sandu said a majority of Moldovans wanted an early parliamentary election.

Moldova has been beset by instability and corruption scandals in recent years, including the disappearance of $1 billion from the banking system.

(Reporting by Alexander Tanas; writing by Natalia Zinets; Editing by Catherine Evans and Gareth Jones)