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Moldovan Communists Could Back Independent President

Outgoing President Vladimir Voronin (left) with Vladimir Turcanu during the presidential vote in parliament in May
CHISINAU -- Moldova's ruling Communist Party, which lost its parliament majority in last month's elections, has suggested it may consider an opposition-backed candidate to replace the country's outgoing president, Communist Vladimir Voronin.

Vladimir Turcanu, a leading Communist Party official, told RFE/RL's Moldovan Service that his party could support a non-Communist candidate if he/she is not a member of any parliamentary party.

Turcanu said there are some "other conditions," but refused to elaborate.

Four pro-Western parties -- the Liberals, Liberal Democrats, Democrats, and the Our Moldova Alliance -- will hold a majority of seats in Moldova's new parliament but will need at least eight Communist Party votes to elect the new president.

The four parties are currently discussing a possible coalition that could end eight years of Communist rule in Moldova.

Analysts in Chisinau say the opposition is divided over who should be its candidate for president.

According to the constitution, if no president is elected by the new parliament, Moldova could head into another early election, possibly next year.

The parliament elected in the controversial April 5 vote was unable to elect a president after two attempts, forcing the recent election that gave the oppositon parties the majority.