Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti on Wednesday rejected a proposal to nominate an influential politician and businessman to become the next prime minister, saying there were doubts about his integrity.
The Democratic Party said Wednesday it had chosen Vlad Plahotniuc, who has business interests in oil, finance, banking and the media, as premier. But President Timofti said there were reasonable suspicions about Plahotniuc's integrity and said he would not nominate him for the job.
He told the pro-European coalition to pick another candidate by midday Thursday.
In a sign of political tensions, the Democratic Party said in a statement late Wednesday that the pro-European coalition was standing by its previous proposal of Plahotniuc and urged the president to "act ... in the national interest."
Parliament dismissed Moldova's previous government over allegations of corruption in a no-confidence vote on Oct. 29. If lawmakers fail to approve another government by Jan. 29, Timofti will dissolve the legislature and call an early election.
Earlier on Wednesday, Plahotniuc called for stability at a rally attended by thousands while in another district of Chisinau, thousands protested reports that he would picked for the job.
Moldova has been plagued by instability since up to $1.5 billion went missing from the Unibank, Banca Sociala and Banca de Economii banks ahead of the November 2014 parliamentary elections.
While the whereabouts of the finances remains a mystery, the losses were compensated from state reserves.
A leaked parliamentary report previously made the claim that the money was channeled to Russian banks, while other media reports claim that most of the money had passed through British companies.
Wedged between Ukraine and Romania, Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe with the average family earning just $300 a month.
Last year, the country had five prime ministers. On Monday, three pro-European parties finally announced they had formed a majority with 56 seats in the 101-seat Parliament.