Moldova’s pro-Western leaders pondered their next move on Monday after a referendum designed to break a political deadlock in the ex-Soviet republic failed due to poor turnout, dealing them a humiliating setback.

As opposition Communists in the country of 3.5 million reveled, one leader in the ruling four-party Alliance for European Integration conceded that the referendum, called to decide on whether the country should switch to direct presidential elections, had been “a tactical error.” “Some of the members (of the Alliance) were too quick to believe results of opinion polls that showed that 60-70 percent of the electorate would take part,” Marian Lupu, a center-left leader in the Alliance, told Reuters. “It was a tactical error by the Alliance.” The Alliance took power just over a year ago after eight years of Communist rule, vowing to bring the country into the European mainstream. The failure of the referendum is a blow to that goal and the government’s ambitious objective of putting Moldova, a poor country sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania near the Black Sea, on track for European Union membership.

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Moldova poll fails, Alliance in trouble

Moldova’s pro-Western leaders pondered their next move on Monday after a referendum designed to break a political deadlock in the ex-Soviet republic failed due to poor turnout, dealing them a humiliating setback.

As opposition Communists in the country of 3.5 million reveled, one leader in the ruling four-party Alliance for European Integration conceded that the referendum, called to decide on whether the country should switch to direct presidential elections, had been “a tactical error.” “Some of the members (of the Alliance) were too quick to believe results of opinion polls that showed that 60-70 percent of the electorate would take part,” Marian Lupu, a center-left leader in the Alliance, told Reuters. “It was a tactical error by the Alliance.” The Alliance took power just over a year ago after eight years of Communist rule, vowing to bring the country into the European mainstream. The failure of the referendum is a blow to that goal and the government’s ambitious objective of putting Moldova, a poor country sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania near the Black Sea, on track for European Union membership.

Read the article on Today’s Zaman

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