Chisinau-Moldovan Prime Minister Ion Chicu announced his resignation on Wednesday, paving the way for early parliamentary elections in the ex-Soviet country. 

The announcement comes on the eve of the inauguration of President-elect Maia Sandu, a pro-European politician who defeated Moscow-backed incumbent Igor Dodon in a November vote. 

Chicu made the announcement several hours before parliament was due to consider a vote of no confidence in the government that was initiated by the opposition. Thousands protested earlier this month demanding the government’s resignation.

 and dissolution of parliament after it passed legislation that would limit presidential powers. Sandu’s supporters saw the measure as a way to reduce her future influence in favour of a parliament that is controlled by Dodon’s supporters, but the bill was blocked in early December by the Constitutional Court.