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Moldovan Communists nominate 2nd presidential candidate


CHISINAU, May 22 (RIA Novosti) - Moldova's Communist Party on Friday nominated the country's ambassador to Russia, Andrei Neguta, as its new presidential candidate, with a vote in parliament scheduled for May 28.

The application was officially submitted to a special parliamentary commission earlier in the day.

Andrei Neguta, born in Moldova in 1952, is married and has two sons. He earlier served as a Communist lawmaker in the Moldovan parliament and as Moldova's envoy to the Council of Europe. In December 2008 he was appointed the country's ambassador to Russia.

Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii had been put forward again for next Thursday's second vote, having fallen one short of the 61 votes needed to get elected president in the first ballot on Wednesday. The 41 opposition members in the 101-seat parliament walked out of the chamber, boycotting the vote.

If the second vote fails, parliament must be dissolved and new parliamentary elections held.

The opposition, represented in parliament by the Liberal Party, the Liberal-Democratic Party and the Our Moldova alliance, has repeatedly stated its refusal to cooperate with the Communists inside or outside of parliament.

The Communists' victory in the April 5 parliamentary elections, which saw them gain 49.48% of the vote, sparked protests that turned violent in the capital, Chisinau.

Protests originally led by the opposition spiraled out of control when some 10,000 rioters broke into the presidential residence and parliament. Several hundred protesters and police were injured in the violence.

A number of opposition parties claimed major violations during the voting, alleging that some 400,000 people had been unlawfully registered to vote. However, observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe gave their overall endorsement to the polls.

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