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Moldova Court Says Won't Order Poll Recount

Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin's Communist Party is the largest party in parliament
CHISINAU (Reuters) -- Moldova's Constitutional Court said on August 4 it would not order a recount of last week's parliamentary vote in which pro-Western opposition parties gained an upper hand over the ruling Communists.

The Christian National Democratic Party, a small party that won no seats in the poll, had requested a recount on August 3 arguing election violations could have skewed the result.

"The court has declined the request because its authors did not present concrete incidents of violations of the Moldovan election codex," the court said in a statement.

Opposition parties, including the Democratic Party led by Communist defector Marian Lupu, have begun talks on forming a new coalition which would break months of political deadlock and may turn the ex-Soviet state away from Russia towards Europe.

Independent observers said the election met most international norms although there were instances of bias in the media, some voter intimidation and administrative irregularities.

Incumbent President Vladimir Voronin was forced to call last week's snap poll after a parliament elected in April twice failed to approve his handpicked successor as president.

The Communists remain the largest party in the country -- winning 48 seats in the 101-seat parliament against the combined opposition tally of 53 -- and are unlikely to be ignored given that 61 seats are needed to elect a new president.

Moldova's election commission is due to hand over the final vote count to the court by August 5. The court then has 10 days to confirm the results and name a date for the first sitting of parliament, expected by the end of this month.