By Alexander Tanas
CHISINAU (Reuters) - Exiled Moldovan politician Ilan Shor, sentenced in absentia for mass fraud, announced on Monday the creation of a new political bloc to replace a pro-Russian party bearing his name that was banned by court order.
But a constitutional expert said Shor's initiative would likely be ruled illegal.
Shor's now-banned party has spearheaded noisy demonstrations demanding the resignation of pro-European President Maia Sandu's government.
Writing from his base in Israel, he said the new grouping would be known as "Chance, Responsibilities, Implementation," which, as an acronym, spells out his surname Shor in both Russian and Romanian, the languages most widely used in Moldova.
Shor said his group would ask the European Court of Human Rights to overturn a ban slapped on the Shor Party by Moldova's Constitutional Court.
He predicted the new party would then go on to win an election in the ex-Soviet state lying between Ukraine and European Union member Romania, with two other groups agreeing to join forces with it.
Constitutional expert Alexandru Arseni said the process of registration of the new party would involve examining its statues and those of other registered parties to ensure conformity with the court's ruling.
"In fact, the very notion of registering such a bloc amounts to both a challenge to and contempt of the Constitutional Court," Arseni told reporters.
Shor was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in jail in April over a $1 billion bank scandal and money laundering, and has been sanctioned by the United States and European Union. Moldovan authorities and Western governments accuse him of trying to destabilise the country.
Sandu has moved her country closer to the EU since her 2020 landslide election victory and made securing membership of the 27-nation bloc the top foreign policy objective.
Moldova has been buffeted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Sandu has repeatedly denounced the Kremlin's war effort and accused Moscow of trying to topple her administration.
(Editing by by Ron Popeski; Editing by Michael Perry)