Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 67

Talks involving President Petru Lucinschi and leaders of the four parliamentary parties toward forming a possible governing coalition have run into serious difficulties. The March 22 parliamentary elections produced — as anticipated (see Monitor, March 20 and 24) — a fragmented parliament. The Communist party won forty seats; the "right-wing" Democratic Convention (DC) — an alliance of former President Mircea Snegur and the Romanian-oriented Popular Front — twenty-six seats; the pro-Lucinschi, "centrist" Bloc for a Democratic and Prosperous Moldova (BDPM), twenty-four; and the "rightist" party of Democratic Forces (PDF), eleven.

The three non-Communist parties rule out a coalition with the Communists, who won a plurality of the parliament’s seats. The only conceivable majority would be one formed by the three non-Communist parties. The three see eye-to-eye among themselves and with Lucinschi on relaunching reforms. A tripartite alliance, however, is difficult to achieve due to other differences, which essentially separate the Snegur-Popular Front alliance from the BDPM. The former seeks certain steps toward cultural and political "Romanization," which would be unacceptable to the BDPM.

The DC and the BDPM also vie for the post of chairman of parliament, a key redoubt from which the president can be effectively either supported or opposed. Snegur seeks that post. The BDPM is concerned that Snegur and the Front both may be bent on revanche after the defeats of recent years and would use parliamentary powers to undermine the president. BDPM claims the post of parliament chairman for its leader Dumitru Diacov while offering the DC the post of prime minister. The DC wants the reverse.

Some differences have also emerged between BDPM and its presumed sponsor, Lucinschi. As president, Lucinschi feels that he can not entirely ignore the Communist party for the simple reason that it gained the solid vote of Moldova’s ethnic minorities. The BDPM as a political party insists, however, on a clear demarcation from the Communists. Meanwhile, the PDF seeks to play a mediating role. If a viable coalition can not be formed in the following days, the presidency and BDPM are prepared to go ahead with a minority government that would have to form ad-hoc alliances for passing bills in parliament. (Flux, Basapress, Monitor interviews, April 4 and 6)

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