Pro-Europe Communists sweep Moldova vote: official

CHISINAU - The pro-European Communist Party of Moldova has won an absolute majority in the ex-Soviet republic`s parliamentary elections, with 49.92 percent of the vote, officials said Monday.

The Moldovan Communist Party (PCM) headed by President Vladimir Voronin was followed by the Liberal Party with 12.9 percent of the vote and the Liberal Democrats (LPDM) with 12.24 percent, election officials announced.

The election result puts the Communist Party in a position to determine the landlocked country`s next president.

Voronin is barred by the constitution from running for a third term. The Communists came to power in 2001 and were reelected in 2005.

The PCM was once pro-Russian but changed course dramatically in 2005 and now seeks closer ties with the European Union, while maintaining good relations with Russia, on which it depends for, among other things, gas supplies.

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