According to preliminary election results from Moldova, a group of
pro-Western parties has narrowly defeated Europe's last ruling
Communist Party in parliamentary elections.
most of the votes counted, Moldova's four main opposition parties have
won nearly 51 percent and a combined 53 seats in the country's
101-member parliament. The Communists won just over 45 percent of the
vote and 48 parliamentary seats.
Outgoing President Vladimir
Voronin dissolved the parliament in June and called new elections after
his Communist Party's presidential candidate twice fell one vote short
of the 61 votes in parliament needed to win the presidency.
opposition boycotted both those votes, saying that parliamentary
elections won by the Communists in April were rigged. The Communist
victory in those elections triggered violent demonstrations in the
Tudor Sorochanu, a journalist with the
Russian-language newspaper Nezavisimaya Moldova, says the four liberal
parties, even if they manage to form a ruling coalition, will not have
the 61 seats in Moldova's parliament needed to choose the country's
president. He also says the pro-Western parties will be unable to deal
effectively with the global economic crisis, which has hit particularly
hard in Moldova, where the average monthly wage is only $350.
says that people "who worked before and know today's real situation"
must now unite to pull Molodova out of its political and economic
crises. He said there are such people in the current government of
President Voronin, who must leave office after serving the maximum two
four-year terms allowed by the constitution.
Center Deputy Director Sam Greene says Mr. Voronin and the Communist
Party will remain influential, despite losing the parliamentary
election and that the democratic parties will have to reach an
accommodation with them over choosing a new president
means taking into account the fact that the communists, although they
no longer control the parliament, remain the biggest party in the
country and the strongest political force in Moldova," said Greene.
"And by virtue of having been in power for so long, they retain a
significant amount of influence and will be able to have an impact on
how the country is governed even if they are not in government."
But Greene says the democratic parties will also benefit from the communists having been in power for eight years.
is certainly true that they are entering into a very difficult
situation," he said. "On the other hand, many in Moldova believe it
would be hard to mismanage the economy worse than the communists did
over the last eight years."
Official turnout for Thursday's vote was just under 59 percent.