Thousands have demonstrated against a proposal to nominate an influential politician and businessman to become the next prime minister of Moldova, a country mired in political uncertainty.

The protest Thursday comes amid a standoff between President Nicolae Timofti and the pro-European governing coalition. Timofti on Wednesday rejected Vlad Plahotniuc, the coalition's candidate for prime minister.

The coalition refused to name another candidate. However, seven lawmakers said Thursday they were quitting the coalition, demanding another candidate be named. Their departure leaves the coalition without a majority.

Thousands demonstrated in Chisinau Thursday against Plahotniuc, a politician with investments in oil, finance, banking and media, claiming he has too much power and influence.

If Parliament fails to approve a government by Jan. 29, it will be dissolved and early elections called.