Moldova finally gets a president
An independent candidate, Nicolai Timofti was elected today as the new president of Moldova following a three year standoff between the Communist opposition and the centrist alliance of governing parties.
The problem of electing a president started on 5th April 2009 when the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) won the general election with 60 of the 101 seats in the Moldovan Parliament. That was one seat short of the number needed to elect a president.
Parliament must hold fresh elections if they are unable to elect a president and as a result the standoff led to a further election in July 2009, then another in November 2010. There has been a standoff every since, although the PCRM numbers dropped to 42 seats in 2010, the ruling coalition were unable to muster the required 61 votes.
The latest development came about because over recent months there has been seepage of PCRM members moving over to the government side. Recently three more members have defected from the PCRM and agreed to support an independent candidate without party affiliation; Mr Timofti emerged as that compromise candidate.
Nicolai Timofti is 64 years old and is a retired judge. Although the government has been able to pass legislation, without a president it has not been possible to sign it on to the statute book. With a new president that impasse has now been broken and government should be in a position to carry out its legislative programme.
The next scheduled parliamentary elections are in 2014.