Moldovan premier resigns after questions about his education

AP News
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Posted: Jun 12, 2015 6:02 AM

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Moldova's prime minister resigned Friday after questions arose about the authenticity of his high school and university degrees.

Chiril Gaburici, 38, announced his resignation after he was questioned late Thursday by prosecutors about his studies.

"I regret that questions about my studies have become an instrument of political games," said Gaburici, who has made no comment about the substance of the allegations.

Gaburici, who had been chief executive of Azerbaijan's mobile telecoms company until January, was installed as prime minister in February after the two main parties had been unable to agree on a leader for 2½ months following elections.

He has expressed frustration about his lack of political influence and earlier threatened to resign, saying he lacked the tools to reform financial and judicial institutes such as the central bank and prosecutor's office.

On Friday, Gaburici urged political leaders to see his resignation as a "positive step" and to form a new pro-European majority to appoint a strong government.

Moldovan officials have recently investigated the disappearance of $1.5 billion from state-owned and private banks before November's elections. Moldova's currency has lost 20 percent value this year.

The former Soviet republic of 4 million holds local elections on Sunday. Moldova signed an association agreement with the European Union in 2014, angering Russia.

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Alison Mutler in Bucharest, Romania contributed to this report.

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This story corrects an earlier version which misspelled Gaburici.