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Moldovan Acting President Wants Communist Predecessor Tried

Former Moldova president and Communist Party leader Vladimir Voronin at a press conference in Chisinau on June 4.
CHISINAU -- Moldova's acting president says he will start legal proceedings to put his communist predecessor on trial for his role in quelling street riots last year that left at least one protester dead, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Speaking at a press conference, Mihai Ghimpu said ex-President Vladimir Voronin broke the law during the April 2009 antigovernment protests by "acting on his own" and failing to consult the national security council before ordering police to disperse the crowd.

Voronin currently leads the Communist-led opposition in parliament, and could only be tried if prosecutors asked that parliament lifted his immunity and legislators consented.

A fierce anticommunist, Ghimpu has often criticized the slow pace of the investigation into last year's riots, triggered by a disputed election that handed victory to the communists.

Ghimpu has also blamed the judiciary for its failure to shed light on what he has alleged is Voronin's illegally amassed family fortune.

But Ghimpu is running out of time. According to the Constitution, he will be forced to dissolve the parliament soon, because it has failed repeatedly to elect the country's president and will have to call for early elections, which could take place as early as November 21.