CHISINAU -- Former Moldovan parliament speaker Marian Lupu has announced that he is leaving the Communist Party
, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.
Lupu, 42, said that "for the moment" he will not join the opposition.
Lupu had served as parliament speaker from 2005 to May 2009 and was the Communist Party's candidate to be prime minister in the new government.
Parliament met on June 10 to approve an acting government until new elections are held.
Zinaida Greceanii will be the caretaker prime minister.
Acting President Vladimir Voronin is expected to dissolve parliament on June 10 and must announce the date for new elections in the coming weeks after consulting with the parliamentary parties.
Voronin told Moldovan media that Lupu left the party because he had not been nominated as a presidential candidate.
Communist Party Deputy Mark Tkaciuk, a former adviser to Voronin who led the Communists' election campaign, called Lupu's resignation "hysterical."No Opposition Embrace
For their part, the three main opposition parties welcomed Lupu's defection, but said they are still weighing its political impact and have not received a signal that he wants to join them.
Serafim Urecheanu, leader of the opposition Our Moldova Alliance, told RFE/RL that Lupu's defection "came as no surprise." He said he had warned Lupu that the Communists would try to get rid of him and that "the democratic forces won't need him."
Vlad Filat, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party, said he hopes Lupu's decision "was based on values" and was in protest of the government's tough response to the postelection violence on April 7.
But Mihai Ghimpu, who chairs the Liberal Party, said: "We'll have to see who made this decision. Was it Lupu, or Voronin?"
Some think Lupu may join one of the centrist parties that is not in parliament and help them in the elections and possibly form an alliance with his former colleagues, the Communists, who rule without any coalition partners.