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Sep 25, 2009 15:46 EEST
(adds details, background)</p>CHISINAU
September 25 (SeeNews) - Moldova's parliament endorsed on Friday a four-party coalition cabinet proposed by Prime Minister Vlad Filat, the leader of pro-West Liberal Democratic Party, PLDM.
The new cabinet was approved by 53 of the 101 members of parliament, with all the votes in its support coming from the four West-leaning parties that have teamed up in a government coalition.
The coalition includes PLDM, the Liberal Party, PL, the Democratic Party, PDM, and Our Moldova" Alliance, AMN. The four parties have enough support in the chamber to form a government but are short of the 61-seat majority needed to elect the country's next president.
"We have set a goal […] to govern Moldova without Communists. And now we aim to give prosperous life to all citizens," Filat told the chamber.
The 40-year old Filat added that the new cabinet's programme has five main goals: accession to the European Union, settlement of the conflict in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transdniestria, promotion of the rule of law, fighting the economic crisis in the country and decentralisation of power. He added that Moldova will target good relations with Romania, Ukraine, Russia and the United States.
The Communist Party, which has governed the ex-Soviet country since 2001, has 48 seats in the parliament elected in the July 29 snap vote.
The cabinet will have 16 ministers, two of which will also be Filat's deputies, and two deputy prime ministers without portfolio.
Veaceslav Negruta from PLDM will be the new Finance Minister, while the Economy Minister will be PDM member Valeriu Lazar. Lazar has been Moldova’s Economy Minister from April 2005 until September 2006, when he was dismissed by former President Vladimir Voronin.
Filat has cut two ministries, Reintegration and Local Administration, and has split the Education, Youth and Sports Ministry into two ministries - of education, and of youth and sports.
Parliament will now have to elect Moldova's new president. Parliament Speaker Mihai Ghimpu, from PL, has been acting president since Vladimir Voronin resigned earlier this month.
Moldova has been in political stalemate since the April 5 parliamentary elections, in which the Communist Party won 49.48% of the vote - not enough to elect the president on its own. The country held new parliamentary elections on July 29 after the new legislature failed to elect a new head of state in two attempts.
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