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Moldova's Communists Spurn Opposition Invite For Talks

The opposition has accused President Vladimir Voronin's Communists of fomenting instability.

The opposition has accused President Vladimir Voronin's Communists of fomenting instability.

CHISINAU -- Moldova's ruling Communists have shunned an invitation to talk with all the opposition parties at one time and announced they want to talk about the new government with each party separately, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

The leaders of four pro-European parties that won a combined majority in the new parliament waited in vain for Communist leader and outgoing Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin in downtown Chisinau and then issued a joint statement accusing the Communists of fomenting instability at a time when the country needs a strong government to lead it through a severe economic crisis.

At the same time, the Communist Party announced it will launch talks with each of the four opposition parties, separately, in what they called an attempt to form a "center-left" coalition.

Analysts in Chisinau see this as an effort by the Communists to break the opposition's unity by attracting the Democratic Party, which is led by Marian Lupu, a former high-ranking Communist official who left the party for the opposition in July.

Meanwhile, an opposition leader says that the ruling Communists are concerned they might be brought to trial for alleged "abuses" they committed during their eight years ruling the country.

Alexandru Tanase of the Liberal Democratic Party said that outgoing Voronin and his government are trying to preserve control of the intelligence services and the judiciary -- regardless of which new government comes to power -- in order to prevent investigations on corruption charges and to be able to continue dominating the country's economy.

Voronin, his son Oleg, and close friends of their family are believed to be among the richest people in Moldova. Many believe the president and some close friends have amassed illegal fortunes, though none of them has been investigated on economic or financial charges.

Moldova's ruling Communists lost their parliament majority during repeat elections on July 29, but have enough seats to block the election of a new president and thus could trigger yet another early parliamentary election.