September 6, 2010 / 2:54 PM / 9 years ago

Moldova's rulers to call election after poll flop

CHISINAU, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Moldova’s pro-European leaders agreed on Monday to call new parliamentary elections to break political deadlock after a Sunday referendum they organised flopped due to a poor turnout.

“The situation ... means we must now go to the Constitutional Court for advice on dissolving parliament and announcing a date for new elections,” said acting president Mihai Ghimpu on behalf of the four leaders of the Alliance for European Integration.

The Alliance had called the referendum to win people’s approval for a plan to switch to presidential elections by popular vote rather than by parliament.

But turnout fell roughly three percentage points short of the 33 percent required for the referendum to be valid.

It amounted to a humiliating setback for Alliance leaders and a triumph for the opposition Communists, whom they ousted in July 2009 and who had called for people to boycott Sunday’s poll.

Writing by Richard Balmforth, editing by Mark Trevelyan

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