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Moldovan Premier Hints At Possible Run For President

Vlad Filat (file photo)
CHISINAU -- Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat has not ruled out a possible run for president if voters decide to change the election rules in an upcoming referendum, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Under the current law, the parliament elects the president, but Filat's ruling Alliance for European Integration wants a direct vote by the people. Polls show a vast majority of Moldovans would endorse that change in a referendum scheduled for September 5.

Filat said at a press briefing in Chisinau today that if people vote for a direct election, a presidential election should be held on November 14.

Filat, 41, said his own Liberal Democratic Party will select a presidential candidate at an upcoming congress. He added that he is "tired" of listening to other parties in Moldova's ruling alliance say "what place he should have" in the next government.

The three junior partners in Filat's ruling coalition have suggested he should stay on as prime minister and let former Communist Party member Marian Lupu, the current head of the Democratic Party, run for president as a joint candidate of the four-party alliance.

Former Defense Minister Valeriu Pasat, who wants to make Orthodox Christianity classes mandatory in schools, is the only person who has formally declared his intention to run for president.