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Moldovan Parties Form Minority Government

Two pro-European parties have agreed to form a minority government in Moldova after months of negotiations following last year's parliamentary election.

Vlad Filat, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (PLDM), and Marian Lupu, the head of the Democratic Party (PDM), signed an agreement in Chisinau on January 23 saying that their parties "have decided to assume the responsibilities of governing."

Three pro-European parties -- the PLDM, PDM, and the Liberal Party (PL) -- obtained a combined total of 55 mandates in the 101-seat parliament in the November 30 poll.

Also on January 23, PDM deputy Andrian Candu was elected Parliament speaker.

The three parties had been trying to form a coalition for the past several weeks, but differences emerged between PLDM and PD on the one hand and the PL on the other hand.

PL, which holds 13 mandates, has accused the other two parties of being ready to govern with the support of the Communists, while the PLDM and PD said the PL was refusing to join a pro-European coalition unless it would be given certain positions in the government.

The pro-Russian Socialist Party and the slightly more moderate Communists, won a combined total of 38.8 percent -- short of the majority needed to form a goverment.

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