Mon, 07 Mar 2005

From: AFP

Moldova votes for parliament

MOLDOVA: Moldova voted for a new parliament on Sunday with the election likely to place the impoverished nation firmly on a pro- European path, the third ex-Soviet republic to turn away from Moscow's influence in little over a year.

Under a chilly rain, voters in the tiny country chose deputies for a 101-seat chamber that will then elect the president of the nation sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, considered to be Europe's poorest with per capita gross national product barely US$600 (450 euros).

"It's not only an election of the parliament, the president and the government, but the choice of the future direction of the country," said Serafim Urechean, the mayor of Chisinau and leader of the Bloc for Democratic Moldova (BDM).

Led by President Vladimir Voronin, the Communist Party holds 71 seats in the outgoing chamber and is considered the frontrunner in a field of nine parties, two blocs and a dozen individual candidates. -- AFP