Tough coalition talks appear on the cards after no outright winner emerged in Moldova’s parliamentary elections.
With nearly 95 percent of the votes counted, the outcome in the former Soviet Republic looks almost certain to end in political deadlock.
The pro-West, pro-EU alliance of current Prime Minister Vlad Filat seems set to secure 57 seats, four short of the 61 required to push through its choice of president.
It means heavy horse-trading is now thought likely between Filat and current coalition partner Mihai Ghimpu to seek an agreement.
The Communist Party is on course to take 44 seats and it opposes any president who seeks a stronger alliance with the European Union.
The election of a full-time president – which is carried out by lawmakers in parliament and not by a national vote – is seen as vital for pushing forward reform in Moldova.
The country has been without a head of state for over a year as a result of the current political stalemate.