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Defection Stings Moldova's Communists Ahead Of Key Vote

June 02, 2009

CHISINAU (RFE/RL) -- Former Moldovan parliament speaker Marian Lupu, who was widely expected to be the Communist Party's nominee to become prime minister, has told RFE/RL's Moldovan Service that he will leave the party and join the opposition.

In an exclusive interview, Lupu said he realized the Communist Party does not conform to democratic principles and cannot be reformed from within.

The announcement comes one day before Moldova's parliament is scheduled to meet in a final bid to elect a new president.

If no candidate secures 61 votes in the 101-seat legislature in the vote planned for June 3, new elections will be automatically triggered within three months.

Outgoing President Vladimir Voronin's Communist Party has 60 votes and the three opposition parties have pledged to boycott the vote, as they did a similar poll on May 20.

Lupu told RFE/RL that if any opposition deputies vote to support the Communist candidate, acting Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii, he will not vote.

He added that if new elections are triggered, he intends to participate together with an opposition party and has already held talks with the Social Democratic Party and the Democratic Party.

Moldova was shaken by street protests and violence in the days following parliamentary elections in early April, which opposition leaders have alleged were rigged to ensure that all major levers of power remained in the hands of the ruling Communists.


Copyright (c) 2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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