Moldova’s parliament votes to back technocrat-led government

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Moldova’s parliament has voted to back a new, technocratic government led by a former finance minister.

Over 60 of 101 deputies voted in favor of Prime Minister Ian Chicu’s government, two days after the collapse of the short-lived administration headed by Maia Sandu, a pro-Western, anti-corruption reformer.

Six of 11 ministers in the new government, including Chicu, are former advisers to Russia-backed President Igor Dodon.

Chicu received support from Dodon’s former party, the Socialists, whose dispute with Sandu over judicial reforms led to her government’s fall.

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, plagued by corruption and political turmoil. The country of 3.5 million people has been a politically strategic area for the West and Russia since gaining independence after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.