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Moldovan Parliament Bans Communist Symbols

A student holds up a sign during an anticommunist demonstration in Chisinau in 2009.
Moldova's parliament has banned the use of communist symbols and condemned crimes committed by the communist regime in the former Soviet republic of Moldova.

The move means that the Communist Party will have to replace its Soviet-era hammer and sickle with a new emblem.

The Communist Party -- which has 36 deputies in parliament -- did not take part in the vote and walked out as a sign of protest.

Communist Party leader Vladimir Voronin said his party would challenge the law in the Constitutional Court.

The move could also complicate efforts to settle the long-running dispute with Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region, which continues to use communist-era symbols.

Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, and Interfax