CHISINAU -- Defectors from Moldova's Communist Party have announced plans to set up a new leftist party, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.
Parliamentarians Vladimir Turcan, Victor Stepaniuc, Ludmila Belcencova, and Valentin Guznac -- who all left the Communists in December -- announced on January 13 that they were launching a party called United Moldova, which they described as "a leftist alternative to the Communist Party."
In an open letter to their former party colleagues, the four criticized what they said is the failure of the Communist Party to defend Moldova's statehood.
In Moldovan political jargon, defending the country's statehood usually means rejecting rapprochment with Romania, of which most of Moldova was part of until World War II.
The defectors' criticism of the Communist Party was dismissed today by Communist Deputy Mark Tkachuk, who is considered the party's main ideologist.
Tkachuk told RFE/RL the defectors have no chance of gaining popular support with their new party because the left-leaning electorate in Moldova is still
faithful to the Communists.