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Voronin Wins Second Term As Moldovan President

President Voronin (file photo) Chisinau, 4 April 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Moldova's parliament today reelected the Western-leaning Communist President Vladimir Voronin to a second term in office.

Voronin won 75 votes, 14 more than the 61 required to secure election. The communists hold 56 out of the 101 seats in the parliament following a 6 March parliamentary election.

Out of a total of 78 votes cast in today's secret ballot, two were annulled and one was in favor of the other candidate, Gheorghe Duca. Duca was also nominated by the communists.

The 23 deputies of the centrist Our Moldova) alliance did not participate in the ballot. Speaking before the vote, Voronin reaffirmed his determination to pursue European Union membership: "First of all, I want to highlight in particular that [Moldova's] European integration must be regarded not as an ordinary political slogan, but as a normal, steady, and irreversible process."

First elected four years ago on a platform of moving closer to Russia, Voronin now accuses the Kremlin of interfering in Moldova's affairs by refusing to pull troops out of its separatist Transdniester region.

(RFE/RL's Romania/Moldova Service/AFP/Reuters/Flux)

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