December 16, 2010 / Russian gas could bring Communists back to power in Moldova / Russian gas could bring Communists back to power in Moldova
13.12.2010 @ 09:16 CET
Ballots cast in the Moldovan parliamentary elections on 28 November are being recounted after the constitutional court accepted a complaint filed on 6 December by the Communist Party of Moldova.
Vladimir Voronin, Communist party leader and a former president, claimed there were "massive irregularities," such as multiple voting, even though international observers have called the voting largely fair and free. More than 300 monitors sent by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) supervised the election.

Behind the scenes politicians from various parties are trying to form a coalition. The Communists won 42 out of 101 seats in the Moldovan Parliament. Three parties from the governing pro-Western Alliance for European Integration (AIE) won 59 seats, higher than they received in the July 2009 polls but two short of the 61 needed to elect a new president.
Prime Minister Vlad Filat's Liberal Democratic Party ran second with 32 seats, followed by the Democratic Party with 15 and the Liberal Party with 12. One party from the four-party coalition, the Our Moldova Alliance, failed to pick up the five percent needed to enter the new legislature.
The Communist Party has adopted obstructionist tactics since it lost its parliamentary majority in the July 2009 elections. It boycotted the legislature and refused to participate in efforts to elect a successor to Mr Voronin.
Intense negotiations are now taking place behind the scenes between the winning parties, with leftist politician Marian Lupu being courted by pro-Western and Communist leaders alike.

The three Alliance partners – Filat's Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Party and the Liberal Party of acting president Mihai Ghimpu – are currently set on building a new coalition, which might seek to buy over possible defectors from the Communists in order to reach the threshold of 61 votes.
Besides Mr Filat and Mr Voronin, one important potential presidential candidate is Mr Lupu, the leader of the Democratic Party, who could benefit from Moscow's discreet backing.
Some observers do not rule out the possibility of a last-minute alliance between Marian Lupu's Democratic Party and Vladimir Voronin's Communists. It was only Mr Voronin's personal dislike for the person of Mr Lupu, a former defector from the Communist party and a rival in getting Moscow's ear, that prevented this so far, but a discreet intervention from the Kremlin would certainly facilitate a speedy reconciliation.
This intervention seems to have taken place already, with the chief of the Russian presidential administration, Sergey Nariskin, travelling to Chisinau last week. He promised a reduction in the price of Russian gas and other commercial facilities in exchange for an alliance between the Communists and Mr Lupu's party.
In this case, the new alliance would get 57 seats in parliament, after which they could try to oust four opposition deputies in order to obtain the quorum for the nomination of the future president.