CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — The Moldovan Parliament dismissed the government of Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet Thursday following a no-confidence vote, plunging the impoverished East European country into uncertainty.
Sixty-five lawmakers in the 101-seat legislature voted against the government of Strelet, who was appointed on July 30.
Tensions within the pro-European ruling coalition have grown since the Oct. 15 arrest of Vlad Filat, prime minister from 2009 to 2013, over a massive bank fraud. He was arrested on charges of taking bribes of $260 million.
That allegedly was part of a fraud in which up to $1.5 billion went missing from three banks ahead of elections in 2014.
Strelet, the third prime minister this year, accused one of the parties in the coalition of betraying the government by voting to dismiss him, along with the opposition Communist Party and Socialists Party.
After the vote, Democratic Party leader Marian Lupu, who called on Strelet to resign on Wednesday, said he wanted to form another pro-European government. Parliament has three months to approve a new government, failing which there will be early elections.
Earlier, Strelet said he would not resign as it would mean that he recognized allegations against him of corruption and a delay in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
Moldova signed an association agreement with the European Union in 2014, despite Russian opposition. Russia then placed a boycott on Moldovan fruit, vegetables and wine.
Alison Mutler in Bucharest, Romania, contributed to this report.