Election Impasse Leads To Constitutional Debate

May 6, 2010, midnight

Acting President Mihai GHIMPU on Wednesday said he wanted a referendum on new constitutional provisions for electing Moldova's President. The country's Parliament has been unable to seat a President since elections in April 2009 awarded the ruling Communist Party (CPM) a 60-seat majority in the 101-seat Parliament. Under current rules, legislators must elect the President by 61 votes in a maximum of two rounds. Allegations of fraud in the April 2009 polls led to violent, anti-incumbent demonstrations, including the storming of government buildings. Moldova held snap elections on June 29, 2009, which reduced the CPM share to 48 seats, after its majority could not secure the one opposition vote needed to elect a candidate. Due to party-line voting, none of three successive Presidential ballots produced a President. CPM Deputies have proposed modifying current indirect election provisions, and they are calling for another round of snap legislative elections. The ruling Alliance for European Integration prefers direct Presidential elections and will seek a referendum in the absence of Parliamentary consensus.

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