- Associated Press - Monday, September 24, 2018

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Moldova’s Constitutional Court has temporarily stripped the country’s pro-Moscow president of his duties for refusing to endorse new ministers in a political standoff.

Monday’s ruling to suspend President Igor Dodon’s powers came after he said he wouldn’t approve candidates for the health and agriculture portfolios because they lacked the necessary skills.

Dodon’s spokesman, Maxim Lebedinschi, accused the court of being “an instrument in the political fight.”

Dodon is at odds with the ruling coalition, which favors closer relations with the European Union and the U.S.

It’s the fourth time that Dodon has had his presidential powers suspended for refusing to approve government-proposed candidates for ministers or enact laws passed by parliament.

The court said the parliamentary speaker or prime minister will be entitled to sign decrees appointing the two ministers.

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