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Moldovan President Asks Government Officials To Take Polygraphs

Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin
Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin
Moldovan news agency Infotag reports that Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin has ordered most government officials to take a polygraph as part of a nationwide anticorruption campaign.

According to the presidential order, the lie-detector test would be mandatory for new employees in the police, intelligence services, customs, border patrol, military, and prosecutors' offices.

Serving officials with access to secret or privileged government information would also have to take the test, while other categories of public servants could take it "on a voluntary basis."

In Moldova, like in many other ex-Soviet bloc countries, the public regards most politicians and public servants as corrupt to the bone, and Voronin's communists, who have been in power for eight years, are probably trying to project a Mr. Clean image for the upcoming April 5 parliamentary elections.

Voronin, an ex-Soviet Interior Ministry general, told reporters at the signing ceremony that the measure was aimed at reducing the penetration of spies in the Moldovan government and at fighting corruption.

However, the president, whose flexible political principles sent him seesawing from East to West and back several times during his eight years in office, did not clarify one detail: whether he himself will take the polygraph test.

-- Eugen Tomiuc

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