A decision by Moldova’s constitutional court to suspend the president’s powers temporarily was rejected by President Igor Dodon on January 2.

The ruling coalition had appealed to the constitutional court to suspend Dodon’s powers after he blocked the government’s choice of new ministers in a reshuffle. Dodon accused the nominees of incompetence and accusing some of having links to a notorious scandal in which $1bn was siphoned out of the banking system.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, the Moscow-backed Dodon has frequently locked horns with the Chisinau government, especially during a series of spats between Moldova and Russia in 2017 that culminated in Moldova recalling its ambassador to Moscow in December.

“The court once again confirmed its image of an obedient political instrument, not a constitutional body. This is a shameful and regrettable fall for a state that claims to be democratic,” Dodon said in a Facebook post.

“As for my position, I decided not to give in. It’s better that than to spend years explaining why some or other of the compromised ministers were appointed to the post.”