Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin has agreed to a recount of a disputed election after violent protests by those who claim his communists rigged the results.
Voronin, the only Communist president in Europe, said the move would restore calm in the Republic. However, protestors and the opposition parties want a fresh vote. One protestor said: “ All the actions by the government, its intentions, arrests and intimidation prove that the current leaders are not suitable to lead our country into the future.” Voronin, in power since 2001, accused neighbouring Romania of trying to stage a coup as part of a plot to annex Moldova. He expelled its ambassador and denied entry to Romanian journalists. Following the announcement of the election outcome thousands of mainly young demonstrators looted and set fire to the parliament and presidential offices. There is a perceived split in the country between the Moldovan youth who want closer ties to Europe and the Communists who pull their support from the older generation and the tens of thousands of state employees.