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Moldovan Leaders Talk Compromise On President

Acting President Marian Lupu casts his vote during a presidential election in parliament in Chisinau on December 16.
CHISINAU -- The leaders of Moldova's main political parties say they are willing to nominate a presidential candidate acceptable to all parties in order to end a crisis that has left the country without a full-time head of state since 2009, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Acting President Marian Lupu, who has run unsuccessfully for president three times and leads one of the three parties in the ruling coalition, told RFE/RL that the government needed to talk "to all of the opposition or parts of the opposition" to find a candidate who can get the necessary 61 of parliament's 101 votes in the January 15 election to become president.

Lupu made those remarks hours after he announced on December 28 that he would not run in that election. On December 16, Lupu fell several votes short of the required three-fifths majority.

It's believed that Moldova's parliament will not be able to elect a new president without getting several votes from the opposition Communist Party, which is led by the country's last full-time president, Vladimir Voronin, and has refused to support Lupu in the elections.

Lupu is a former member of the Communist Party.

Voronin told RFE/RL on December 28 that his party is willing to put an end to the crisis by voting for a nonpartisan candidate, "someone who is not from parliament."

He said his party was ready to negotiate such a solution with the ruling coalition before the January 15 election.

The Communists have been calling for a "politically neutral" candidate for several months but have never publicly suggested someone specific.