Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Romanian president hopes Moldova opposition wins

By ALISON MUTLER
Associated Press

Romania's president said Tuesday he hopes pro-Romanian opposition forces will prevail in Moldovan elections.Traian Basescu said in a meeting with foreign journalists that he wants the "democratic forces, the opposition to the current government to have better results after the election."

The ruling Communist Party that won the April 5 ballot in Moldova is generally seen as pro-Russian. Moldovan authorities have been criticized by diplomats and rights groups for mistreatment of protesters in anti-government rallies and a lack of press freedom.

Basescu's public remarks about the upcoming vote will likely irk Moldovan Communist leaders who have already accused Romania of backing violent ant-government protests after the elections. Romania strenuously denied the charges.

At least two people died in the protests in the Moldovan capital. The opposition says the elections were rigged. Protesters stormed the Parliament and president's offices and there were mass arrests. Rights groups said some protesters were beaten and forced to sign statements while under arrest.Relations between Romania and Moldova have deteriorated since then. Moldova imposed visa requirements on Romanians traveling to Moldova.

Moldova holds elections on July 29.

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