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Moldovan Court Postpones Hearing On Election Recount

Moldovan students hold a sign saying "Europe Help Us" protest in front of the government building in Chisinau on April 10.
CHISINAU -- Moldova's Constitutional Court has postponed a hearing on a request for a recount of the vote in the April 5 parliamentary elections.

Court Chairman Dumitru Pulbere said it would consider President Vladimir Voronin's request on April 12, provided it received official results from election officials.

"We are trying to work as quickly as possible. There is no precedent of a recount in Moldova since independence in 1991," Reuters quoted Pulbere as saying. "In any case, we have 10 days to validate the election results."

Official results giving Voronin's Communist Party victory led to violent riots earlier this week. Opposition parties called a new rally for April 12 in the capital, Chisinau, to denounce what they described as arbitrary detentions and the mistreatment of demonstrators.

Vlad Filat, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, claimed that some 200 people are still being held since being detained after protests turned violent on April 7.

"Hundreds of citizens of the Republic of Moldova were illegally confined, kept in detention in inhuman conditions, beaten, ill-treated, and kept incommunicado and without any respect for legal procedures," Filat said.

In Brussels, European External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero Waldner hailed the calm that appears to have been restored in Moldova. But she also urged restraint and respect for fundamental liberties.

with agency reporting