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Moldova Leader Confident Of Breakthrough With Communists

Mihai Ghimpu

Mihai Ghimpu

CHISINAU -- Acting Moldovan President Mihai Ghimpu says he is confident that the opposition Communist Party will help end a political deadlock over the election of a president, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Ghimpu told RFE/RL on October 5 that electing a president is important in creating stability and attracting foreign aid.

Moldova's new pro-Western majority in parliament needs eight votes from Communist deputies in order to elect a new head of state. Failure to elect a president could lead to another round of early general elections next year.

The Communists have thus far said they will not vote for the pro-Western bloc's candidate for president, Marian Lupu, a former Communist Party member. But Ghimpu -- who as parliament speaker serves as acting president until a new one is elected -- told RFE/RL that he is "sure" there will be even more Communist votes for Lupu because they do not want early elections.

Ghimpu says such elections would further hurt the Communists "dwindling popularity." The constitutional deadline for electing a new head of state is November 11.

An International Monetary Fund delegation is due in Chisinau next week to discuss a possible loan agreement. Moldova needs foreign aid to rein in its large budget deficit, which is expected to top 12 percent of GDP this year. Foreign lenders and European bodies have urged Moldova's politicians to reach a compromise on a president to avoid political feuding in order to attract investment and carry out economic and democratic reforms.