Geography – note: landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone
The constitution declares Moldova to be a parliamentary republic and provides for multiple political parties, a separation of powers between branches of government, a market economy and respect for human rights.
President elected by Parliament for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); last successful election held on 4 April 2005, most recent (failed) election held on 10 December 2009)
Acting President Mihai GHIMPU (since 11 September 2009)
note: Vladimir VORONIN, president since 4 April 2001, resigned on 11 September 2009; Mihai GHIMPU, the Speaker of Parliament, is serving as acting president until new elections can be held, possibly in 2010; the parliament twice failed to elect a president in 2009 and must wait until at least late 2010 to dissolve itself and hold new presidential elections, given that the constitution forbids parliament from being dissolved more than twice in a 12-month period
Prime minister designated by the president upon consultation with Parliament; within 15 days from designation, the prime minister-designate must request a vote of confidence from the Parliament regarding his/her work program and entire cabinet; prime minister designated on 17 September 2009; cabinet received a vote of confidence on 25 September 2009.
Prime minister: Vlad Filat (since 25 September 2009)
Moldova has a unicameral Parliament or Parlamentul (101 seats; members elected on an at-large basis by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Supreme Court; Constitutional Court (the sole authority for constitutional judicature)