Moldova faces further delay of presidential election as only candidate resigns

Acting President Marian Lupu (right) with President of the European Council Herman von Rompuy (left) © 2011 by President of the European Council

After having been without an elected president for more than two years and a failed ballot on December 16, 2011 the Republic of Moldova faces yet another delay in electing a new president. The only candidate, acting president Marian Lupu, declared last week that he would not be standing for election in the next round of elections in parliament scheduled for January 15.

Mr Lupu who is affiliated with the governing ‘Alliance for European Integration’ and  serves as acting president due to his office as speaker of parliament declared that he wanted “to open up new opportunities to elect a president and resolve the political crisis in Moldova.” It is yet unclear who will follow Lupu as government candidate for the presidency; parties will certainly weigh their choices cautiously as another failed election attempt would trigger snap elections.

A candidate needs to receive 61 votes in the 101-seats assembly in order to be elected president. Since the last snap elections held in November 2010, the government parties currently holds 58 seats and the Communist Party 40 seats. The three independent deputies who left the Communist Parties are therefore the feather that would break the balance but have until now shown only limited willingness to support the government in the presidential election without getting a ‘share of the pork’ (e.g. one of them, former prime minister Zinaida Greceanii, tried to push her own candidacy for the presidential office in exchange for the votes of the independents).

The assemblies failure to elect a new president also impedes Moldova’s ability to deal with its breakaway region Trans-Dniester which incidentally elected its presidents in popular election on December 25, 2011.

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