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Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 16:40 UK

Moldova recount 'confirms result'

Ballot bags at beginning of recount - photo 15 April
The opposition alleged that many people voted more than once

A recount of votes cast in Moldova's election has confirmed an emphatic win by the ruling Communist Party, an election official has said.

Electoral Commission secretary Iurie Ciocan said no fraud had been found, despite opposition claims that the election was rigged.

Judges ordered a recount after a week of protests against the Communist win.

But the main opposition parties boycotted it, saying it was a "trick" to distract attention from fraud.

Mr Ciocan said the results were basically the same as in the previous count, with the Communists having 60 seats in the new parliament.

Of the centre-right opposition parties, the Liberal Party and Liberal Democratic Party would have 15 seats each while the Our Moldova Alliance would have 11, he said.

Romania blamed

The opposition parties had alleged that many people cast more than one ballot in the 5 April election, and that voter lists had included the names of 400,000 dead people and Moldovans living abroad.

They boycotted the recount, saying taking part would legitimise the original election results without opposition representatives being allowed to check electoral lists.

The results sparked unrest, which saw thousands of young protesters, some carrying Romanian flags and shouting "We are Romanians!", ransack the parliament building.

President Vladimir Voronin blamed the protests on Romania. He ordered that Romania's ambassador be expelled, recalled the Moldovan envoy from Bucharest, and said Romanians would in future need visas to enter.

Romania has denied any involvement, and called for a European inquiry into Moldova's "repression" of those who took part.

Romanian and other foreign journalists have been expelled or barred from entering the country and human rights groups have complained that dozens of young people have been detained, denied legal assistance and possibly beaten.



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