Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Wednesday, 3 June 2009 11:48 UK

New poll in prospect for Moldova

Zinaida Greceanii, left, and Vladimir Voronin
Outgoing President Vladimir Voronin backed a long-time ally to replace him

Moldova faces a new general election after the parliament failed to elect a president for the second time.

Opposition parties again boycotted the vote, leaving the ruling Communists one vote short of electing their candidate, Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii.

Ms Greceanii received 60 votes, one below the three-fifths majority needed.

The opposition has been demanding a re-run of April's election, claiming they were rigged. At least two people died in violent protests following the poll.

Under Moldova's constitution, the second election failure means parliament must be dissolved and new elections called, although there is flexibility in the timing.

"We take note that there are now circumstances for dissolving parliament," outgoing President Vladimir Voronin was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Mr Voronin, leader of the ruling Communist Party and newly-elected speaker of the 101-seat parliament, was backing Ms Greceanii's candidacy in the hope of holding on to power through his long-time ally.

Mr Voronin is stepping down as he has served the maximum two terms as president.

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