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Moldova recount confirms ruling party landslide

Published on 22/04/2009

Chisinau — A recount of legislative elections in Moldova marred by bloody rioting confirmed the ruling Communist Party’s landslide victory, the country’s election commission said Tuesday.

"The recount of ballots in Moldova’s parliamentary elections had no effect on the distribution of seats in the country’s future parliament," said Central Elections Commission Secretary Iurie Ciocan at a meeting.

The results of the April 5 election gave President Vladimir Voronin’s Communist Party 60 out of 101 seats in parliament, just one short of the 61 needed for the party to fully control the selection of the next president.

But three on the nine-member elections commission, who had protested the initial election tally, again wrote a letter opposing the results of the recount, said one of the dissenting commission members, Nicolae Gribu.

The recount was initiated by the president in a bid to restore confidence after the announcement of the first set of results prompted riots that led to hundreds of arrests and dozens of injuries, as well as the death in custody of one protester.

On Tuesday Moldova’s liberal opposition parties declared they would lodge an appeal in the country’s highest court, claiming fraud in the vote count in a standoff that threatens to prolong political turmoil in Europe’s poorest country.

"We will appeal the results of the recount. We see here the same fraud as during the first vote count," said Nicolae Railean, the head of the Our Moldova Alliance, which won 11 parliamentary seats.

"We know that electoral lists were falsified and ghost voters were counted. We will present our evidence to the courts," he added.

In Moldova, the parliament elects the president and that selection should take place before Voronin — the country’s strongman leader over the last eight years — leaves office on June 8 after the maximum two terms.