CHISINAU, August 26, 2009 -- A friend-turned-foe of Moldova's outgoing President Vladimir Voronin says the communist veteran is unlikely to renounce power gracefully after his party lost its parliament majority in last month's elections.
Sergiu Mocanu, who has worked for Voronin as an aide but is now one of his most fervent critics, told RFE/RL’s Moldova Service that his former boss will try to keep control of the judiciary and the police to protect his own interests and those of his family.
Voronin and his son Oleg are believed to be among the richest Moldovans.
Mocanu, who spent almost four months in jail this year on suspicions of inciting antigovernment riots, also said that Voronin might try to block the opposition's attempts to elect a new president and would try to create "instability."
Four Moldovan pro-European parties won a combined majority of votes in July's elections, but not enough to pass their own choice of a new president. On August 25, the opposition's leaders invited Voronin, as chief of the communist party, to discuss a possible compromise, but the acting president did not show up.