The outgoing Moldovan president, Vladimir Voronin, has been elected speaker of parliament,in a move that critics see as an attempt to hold onto power.
The veteran Communist leader cannot stand for a third consecutive term, but had made it clear
he wants to retain influence in another senior post.
Voronin won 60 votes in the 101-seat assembly. Opposition parties boycotted the vote.
The Communists came first in last month’s general election but opponents claimed the ballot was rigged and the parliament was stormed amid violent protests.
The assembly is due to elect a president but the communists are one short of the 61 seats needed to ensure victory for their candidate.
Failure to elect a president could lead to a new general election.