1 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The self-styled president of Moldova's separatist Transdniester region says the region will hold parliamentary elections in December.
Igor Smirnov made the announcement today before a military parade that was part of celebrations marking the 15th anniversary of the Transdniester's declaration of independence.
The region has no international recognition as a separate entity. But Smirnov said the election will be lawful, free, and fair and international observers will be invited to monitor them.
The region's last parliamentary elections were in 2001.
The region's hard-line Russian speakers created their own state over fears that Moldova's Romanian-speaking majority would opt to join Romania. The Transdniester fought a brief war with newly independent Moldova in 1992. Russia intervened, and Moscow's troops remain.
(Reuters)For RFE/RL's full coverage of events in the Transdniester region, see "News And Features On Transdniester"