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Voronin To Resign As Acting Moldovan President

Has President Vladimir Voronin stepped down?
(RFE/RL) -- Moldova's President Vladimir Voronin has announced his intention to resign after eight years in power, RFE/RL's Moldova Service reports.

Voronin said in a statement posted on his party's website that "during this time of crisis for the country and our party -- I don't plan to remain in this ambiguous and doubtful position as the incumbent president."

Voronin leads the Communist Party and had been president since 2001.

With Voronin's resignation, the role of acting president would pass to the current speaker of parliament, Liberal Party leader Mihai Ghimpu, until a new presidential election could be held in parliament.

However, the new parliament's ability to hold that vote was contested on September 1 by the Communists at the Constitutional Court. The court was asked to rule quickly.

Vlad Filat, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, the main party in the Alliance for European Integration, told RFE/RL that the alliance is still open to dialogue with the Communists and will not force a vote on the makeup of parliamentary committees.

Four pro-Western parties won a combined 53 seats in the 101-seat parliament in a repeat election in July and have formed the Alliance for European Integration (AIE) in an attempt to take over from the Communists.

A simple majority is enough to elect a new government, but the country's president must be elected with a three-thirds majority, or 61 votes.