Moldova parliament postpones vote for new president

Moldova's parliament delayed its vote for a new president, due on Friday.

Moldova parliament postpones vote for new president

Moldova's parliament delayed its vote for a new president, due on Friday, after it became clear that a months-long political deadlock in Europe' poorest country was still far from being resolved.

Four Western-leaning parties formed a government last month after ousting the communists in a July election. But their majority is too slim to push through their choice of president, who is elected by the assembly and not in a nationwide vote.

The communists, who were in power for eight years under former president Vladimir Voronin, remain the largest and only other party in parliament. They have so far succeeded delaying the process of electing a new leader.

Parliament approved a motion on Thursday to delay the vote because there was only one candidate standing -- communist defector Marian Lupu, who is the choice of the government and its "Alliance for European Integration" coalition.

The communists refused to propose a candidate in the vote.

"There is precedent from 2000, when the Constitutional court explained that the presidential election must be carried out on the basis of choice," said Ion Plesca, chairman of the parliamentary committee overseeing the election.

"We propose to parliament that it delays the vote to a later time so that it becomes legal," he said.

No new date was set for the vote but under the constitution, a new president must be chosen by Nov. 11.

Moldova has been suspended in a power struggle between the communists, who retained mostly good ties with former Soviet master Russia and prided themselves on policies of social protection, and the parties now in power, who hope to shift the country towards the European Union.

Earlier, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on a visit to neighbouring Romania he backed the aims of the new government to move closer to Europe. The EU has offered loans and talks on more cooperation.

The government coalition only gets two attempts in parliament to pass its choice for president. If it fails on the second vote another snap parliamentary election will have to be called.

This was precisely the scenario that emerged after the communists won an election in April but also found they lacked votes to pass their choice for president. A snap election was called for July as a result.

Veteran communist Voronin is unable to stand for a third consecutive term and stepped down last month.

Reuters
Last Mod: 22 Ekim 2009, 21:06
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