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Local Activists Quit Moldovan Communist Party

CHISINAU -- Two activists in Moldova's ruling Communist Party have announced they are leaving the party, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Veaceslav Bastritchi, a sociologist, and Silvia Pargaruof, a former karate champion, both live in the small northern town of Sangerei.

They told reporters they are splitting from the party to emmulate their role model, former parliament speaker Marian Lupu, who made a much-publicized departure from the Communist Party last month and joined a centrist party to run in the July 29 parliamentary elections.

Communist Party official Vladimir Turcanu told RFE/RL in Chisinau that he has "never heard of the" two activists who are leaving his party.

Defections from the Communist Party are rare in Moldova as it is widely seen as the most disciplined party and the least democratic.