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Moldova parliament beginning autumn-winter session

September 29, 2011, 13:10 UTC+3

After a series of early elections the Communists who have ruled the country for eight years found themselves in opposition with 42 mandates

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CHISINAU, September 29 (Itar-Tass) — The Moldovan Parliament on Thursday is beginning its autumn-winter session in the hope to overcome the protracted political crisis due to which the deputies for two years have failed to elect a president.

The lawmakers cannot stabilise the situation since April 2009, when supporters of the liberal democratic opposition discontent with the victory of the Communist Party at the elections blocked the election of the head of state in order to have an early election. Since then the deputies cannot elect a head of state for which 61 out of 101 parliament members are required to vote.

After a series of early elections the Communists who have ruled the country for eight years found themselves in opposition with 42 mandates. The remaining 59 mandates belong to the ruling coalition Alliance for European Integration (AEI), which was formed by the Liberal Democratic, Democratic and Liberal Parties that received 32, 15 and 12 seats, respectively.

Last week, the Constitutional Court did not allow the coalition to elect a president bypassing the basic law - by a simple majority, after which the authorities invited the Communists for negotiations. The opposition, in turn, refused to negotiate with the alliance, which in their opinion, has “discredited itself.” Instead, they expressed their readiness to “conduct negotiations with each party separately with a view to creating a new configuration of power in the country.” On the eve of the first meeting the Communists also demanded to immediately approve the date for the presidential election, to form a commission for the president’s election and to dismiss a number of security officials: the prosecutor general, the head of intelligence services, the defence minister and interior minister whom they suspect of corruption. Earlier, the opposition leader and former President Vladimir Voronin said that his party “will never support the alliance’s presidential candidate - interim President of the republic, a Democrat, Marian Lupu.” Instead he proposed his candidate - former Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii.

The opposition’s ultimatum demands, according to observers, are caused by the fact that over the year in office the ruling coalition parties have radically quarrelled and are in secret separate negotiations with the Communists on reformatting the government. According to experts, both the Democrats and Liberal Democrats led by Prime Minister Vlad Filat could become allies of the Communists. The alliance with the latter is more preferable, since uniting efforts they will be able not only to elect the head of state, but even change the Constitution. If the parliamentarians fail to agree, Moldova will face a new – the fourth over the past two years parliamentary election.

On Wednesday, Moldovan acting President Marian Lupu advocated the launch of an unconditioned dialogue between the parliamentary parties in order to find a solution that would allow overcoming the ongoing political deadlock and electing a president, the Moldpres agency reported. Within an appeal addressed to the Moldovan people on the need to overcome the political stalemate, Lupu said that he would not insist on his candidacy for the presidential post, if the political actors manage to find a way out of the political crisis.

At the same time, Marian Lupu invited the representatives of the political parties to a roundtable discussion, in order to negotiate eventual solutions to the current deadlock. The roundtable debates are planned to be held on 30 September or 1 October. Along with the inter-parliamentary dialogue, the head of state said that he would start a string of working meetings with several domestic and foreign partners of the Moldovan authorities, in order to discuss possibilities of electing the president. According to the agreement on the creation of the Alliance for European Integration, Marian Lupu is the presidential candidate of the ruling coalition. Moldova has been headed by an acting president for two years now as the ruling alliance does not have enough votes to elect the head of state, whereas the opposition Communists refuse to participate in the ballot.

“We will certainly have a president, if the parliamentary parties want this. What gives me a bit more optimism is the fact that we overcame the period of the so-called trump cards and shifted to the initiation of a dialogue on the presidential election issue between the four parliamentary parties,” Prime Minister Vlad Filat told the Moldpres agency in an interview. “I think we should have started this dialogue from the very beginning, instead of wasting a lot of precious time for testing some options that produced no result. The time is ripe to admit that the Alliance for European Integration (AIE) made a mistake, as it did not start a dialogue on the matter with the parliamentary opposition. Now, we can no longer avoid this dialogue. Furthermore, I have to admit that the Communists were right, because they had displayed the willingness to hold a dialogue from the very beginning,” he noted. “I will never understand why it took us so long to come to a conclusion that was quite clear from the beginning. Also, I cannot understand why my colleagues from the ruling coalition were bitterly criticising me for speaking in favour of a dialogue with the opposition.”

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