BUCHAREST, Romania — The mayor of Moldova's capital was put under house arrest Friday on suspicion of influence trafficking in a city parking contract, sparking a conflict within the country's pro-Europe governing coalition.
The National Anti-Corruption Center alleged Chisinau Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca told his deputy to sign a contract with Austrian company EME Parkleitsystem GmbH. Chirtoaca, who is under house arrest for 30 days, has not commented on the charge.
The 38-year-old mayor is also deputy chairman of the Liberal Party and his party said Friday evening that it was pulling out of the ruling coalition in the former Soviet republic over his arrest.
Party leader Mihai Ghimpu said the party's three Cabinet ministers and one deputy prime minister would resign Saturday, which would leave the government without a majority in parliament. He called Chirtoaca's arrest a political move, saying there was insufficient proof to detain him.
Chirtoaca has been mayor since 2007 and supports the small country's reunification with
Seven other officials recently were detained in the case, including the city's two deputy mayors.