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Moldova Likely To Postpone Presidential Election

CHISINAU -- Moldova is likely to postpone the election by parliament of a new president after no candidates registered for the vote, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

The deadline for registration was November 14, and the vote was scheduled for Friday (November 18).

Tudor Deliu, who heads the parliamentary commission tasked with organizing the election, told RFE/RL on November 14 that the country's laws do not make provision for a situation where there are no presidential candidates.

Deliu said he assumes the election will have to be cancelled and "the whole process will start again from scratch."

The election was meant to end a deadlock which has kept Moldova without a full-time president for more than two years.

The opposition Communists, who were ousted from power in 2009, have blocked two attempts by the ruling Alliance for European Integration (AIE) to elect their candidate.

The president is elected by the parliament, rather than by direct popular vote. The AIE holds 59 seats in parliament, two short of the 61 votes needed.

This week's election looked more promising because three deputies from the Communist Party, including former Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii, defected earlier this month and held talks with the ruling parties about ways to break the impasse.

Their votes would have given the ruling parties the three-fifths majority needed to elect a president. But the defectors reportedly could not agree with the AIE on an acceptable candidate.

Under Moldovan law, the presidential election can be repeated only once. If the second attempt fails, the country must hold early parliamentary elections.