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Moldovan Communist Dismisses WikiLeaks 'Bribe Cables'

Vladimir Voronin, the former president of Moldova and head of the Communist Party
Vladimir Voronin, the former president of Moldova and head of the Communist Party
CHISINAU -- A leading Moldovan Communist Party member has dismissed as "fairy tales" WikiLeaks revelations published in the French daily "Le Monde" about an alleged attempted political bribe, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

"Le Monde" is one of four dailies worldwide given access to the U.S. diplomatic cable traffic obtained by WikiLeaks.

Citing cables sent from the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau, the paper on December 1 reported that in September 2009, Moldovan Communist Party Chairman Vladimir Voronin offered Democratic Party Chairman Marian Lupu $10 million if he agreed to form a center-left coalition that could have ended the constitutional deadlock resulting from the parliamentary elections in April and July.

"Le Monde" said Lupu rejected Voronin's offer and proposed a different deal, under which he would have become president, promising in exchange not to prosecute the country's former communist leaders, including Voronin and his family, for alleged dubious business deals.

Leading Communist Party member Mark Tkachuk told RFE/RL today that the WikiLeaks cables are "illogical" and "fairy tales." He expressed his dismay that a newspaper as prestigious as "Le Monde" should circulate such "low-life gossip."

Senior Democratic Party member Valeriu Lazar is similarly quoted by the Moldovan media as saying the WikiLeaks revelations are "untrue."

The proposed alliance between the Communists and the Democratic Party never materialized.

Moldova has had an acting president for the last year, with parliament failing twice to choose a successor to Voronin.

A September referendum on whether the president should be elected by popular vote failed due to low turnout. Results from parliamentary elections on November 28 showed the ruling pro-Europe coalition falling a few seats short of the 61 needed to elect a president.

"Le Monde" article in French here