EU urges Moldova to make ‘speedy’ coalition

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The EU has joined the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in praising the conduct of Moldova’s elections, while calling for a quick coalition deal. “I welcome the conduct of the repeated parliamentary elections …the electorate has given its verdict,” EU foreign relations chief Javier Solana said.

Mr Solana advised “speedy” coalition talks in order to help the country “regain political stability.”

“I urge all the political parties to engage in open and constructive dialogue in order to put in place …a government able to tackle the economic crisis,” EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner added.

The Vienna-based democracy watchdog, the OSCE, had earlier said the vote was marred by a tense mood, inaccurate voting lists and pro-communist media bias.

But it gave an overall thumbs up in terms of meeting international standards for a free and fair poll.

“The way forward is not less but more democracy. On this road, the EU will be on the side of Moldova,” Romanian conservative MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu, who led an EU delegation in the 300-strong OSCE monitoring mission, said.

With vote-counting completed, the four pro-reformist opposition parties scooped 53 out of the parliament’s 101 seats, leaving 48 for the Communist party.

Liberal-Democrat Party chief Vlad Filat told press that the four groups have already sketched out a coalition deal. “After eight years of authoritarianism in Moldova, a democratic development is possible in this country,” he said.

But the four together are eight MPs short of the 61-strong tally needed to vote-in a new president. The opposition hopes rest on Marian Lupu, a Communist heavyweight turned reformer, being able to attract more defectors to his side.

Mr Lupu before the election said his Democratic Party would not make a coalition with the Communists. But he has stayed silent since the results were announced.

“If there is no majority out of this, I fear instability will grow and will result in social unrest and clashes,” Romanian politics professor Bogdan Teodorescu told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, in some quarters the knives are already coming out for acting Communist president Vladimir Voronin.

“Voronin might remember that I helped him form a majority after elections in the past,” Romanian president Traian Basescu said. “But this time Voronin will not have my support to build a majority in parliament.”

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