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Former Moldovan President Warns Against Communist Return To Power

Former President Petru Lucinschi at a press conference in November
Former President Petru Lucinschi at a press conference in November
CHISINAU -- Former Moldovan President Petru Lucinschi says his country will be "thrown back into the past" if the Communist Party returns to power after recent inconclusive elections, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Lucinschi, president from 1997-2001, told RFE/RL today the period of Communist rule that began after his term and ended in 2009 was one of "stagnation" and "demagoguery" that should not be repeated.

His remarks came a day after about 1,000 people rallied in the capital, Chisinau, to demand a continuation of the pro-Western rule that lasted from 2009 until early elections were called because of parliament's repeated failure to elect a new head of state.

After the November 28 elections, the three non-Communist parties of the Alliance for European Integration (AIE) won enough parliamentary seats to form a majority coalition.

But one of those parties, led by Communist Party defector Marian Lupu, says it cannot rule out an alliance with the Communists to form a government.

Lupu, who left the Communists in 2009, is more pro-Russian than the other two AIE leaders and has been critical of their pro-European and pro-Romanian policies during the last year when the AIE was in power.

Lupu has warned repeatedly that the country should maintain good ties with Russia. His Democratic Party has signed a cooperation agreement with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party.

The four parties to be represented in the new parliament are currently in negotiations on forming a new government.

The EU has encouraged the three pro-European parties that form the AIE to continue their alliance.