Moldovan Communists lead vote with 97% of ballots counted

Partial results gave Moldova's ruling Communist Party 45.1% of the vote in Wednesday's election with 97% of ballots counted, RIA-Novosti quoted the country's Central Election Commission member as saying on Thursday.

A Modovian votes at a poll station in the Chisinau capital of Moldova.

"As 97% of the vote are counted, the communists receive 45.1% of the vote (48 seats in parliament), the Liberal-Democratic Party of Moldova - 16.34% of the vote (17 seats), the Liberal Party - 14.4% (15 seats), the Democratic Party - 12.5% (13 seats) and the Our Moldova alliance with 7.4% (eight seats)," Valentin Vizant said.

The Communist Party won parliamentary polls in April with 49.91%, securing 60 seats in the parliament. The snap elections were forced when the Communists' candidate for president twice failed to get the 61 votes required amid an opposition boycott, causing the chamber to be dissolved.

The three opposition groups that won seats in the previous parliament have been joined by a fourth, the Democratic Party, which failed to get enough votes in the April 5 election but was boosted this time by the defection from the Communists of Marian Lupu, who was parliament speaker until May 2009.

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