Moldova caretaker govt to resign but demands an early vote

A caretaker Democratic Party-led government in Moldova says it will resign in order to end a power struggle that has heightened political tensions in the impoverished ex-Soviet republic.

But the party led by the powerful oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc also said Friday it still considers the new Moldovan government illegal and that an early election should be held as the way out of the political crisis that followed months of stalemate after an inconclusive election in February.

Moldova's new coalition government was formed last weekend with a pro-Russian party and a pro-European party. But the Democrats — backed by Moldova's Constitutional Court — have disputed the government's legitimacy, claiming it was formed after a postelection deadline.

The stalemate has triggered a power struggle that has raised fears of political instability in one of Europe's poorest nations.