Pro-EU coalition forms in Moldova
Moldova's Democratic Party, kingmakers after the country's November general election, has announced it is to join with two centrist parties to support a pro-EU coalition and block the Communist Party from taking power.
The new coalition, christened the Alliance for European Integration, brings together the Liberal Democrats of Prime Minister Vlad Filat and the Liberals, breaking the parliamentary deadlock resulting from the 28 November ballot, which had failed to produce a majority.
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The opposition Communist Party, with 42 deputies, had won the largest number of seats in the 101-seat chamber, but following negotiations, the Democrats' 15 deputies on Thursday (30 December) decided to ally themselves with the ruling pro-Western coalition instead.
The move however does not provide for the supermajority of 61 votes required to pick a president.
In the absence of a president, the parliament's speaker will take on the duties of the head of state.
Democratic leader Marian Lupu is to be temporarily appointed speaker.
European Parliament chief Jerzy Buzek was quick to congratulate Mr Filat by telephone on the formation of a governing coalition.
"I welcome this long-awaited agreement of the political forces in Moldova. This is the much needed prerequisite of political stability for the country and the continuity of important democratic reforms," he said in a statement.
"This is a good day for the people of Moldova and for the European Union."
"The European Union is strongly committed to Moldova. We stand by you," he added.