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Court to Decide on Moldovan Recount

Moldova's Constitutional Court said it will not hear a request for a recount in disputed parliamentary elections until Sunday.

President Vladimir Voronin ordered the recount, saying it is the only way to restore "political stability, peace and mutual confidence in Moldova."

Initial election results gave the ruling Communists 60 seats and opposition parties 41, sparking riots and a diplomatic crisis.

Rioters allege the election was rigged and ransacked Moldova's parliament building this past week, while President Voronin blamed the violence on neighboring Romania.

Moldova's Central Election Commission confirmed the poll's results Saturday, although three commissioners said there may have been serious violations with the way the voter registration list was compiled.

One said the voter rolls may have included the names of dead people.

The results leave the Communist Party one seat short of being able to ensure its candidate is elected the next president.

Opposition leader Serafim Urechean (of the Our Moldova party) has called the recount "a trick," saying the problem with the election was connected to voter registration lists, not ballot-counting.

The opposition groups are calling for new, peaceful protests Sunday.

President Voronin has accused Romania of provoking the earlier violence. He said police arrested a Romanian, and found maps of the capital, photographs of government buildings and bottles of flammable liquid in his apartment.

Romania has denied any involvement in the unrest.

Moldovan authorities have also arrested both Romanian and Moldovan journalists covering the events. They have deported several Romanian journalists, and refused to allow others to enter the country.

The press freedom group Reporters Without Borders on Friday said it is "very disturbed" by the arrests and use of violence against journalists.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.