Former Moldovan PM Leanca hints at bid for presidency

Former Moldovan PM Leanca hints at bid for presidency
By bne IntelliNews July 13, 2016

The European Popular Party (PPE) could drop the idea of getting behind a single candidate representing the pro-EU parties for Moldova's October 30 presidential elections, former prime minister and PPE president Iurie Leanca said quoted by on July 12. The PPE will, however, back any pro-EU candidate in the second round of the elections, Leanca added.

Polls show Leanca is only the third strongest candidate from the pro-EU parties, but his support is critical for the success of single candidate from the platform.

Moldova’s Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) has already nominated its leader, former Education Minister Maia Sandu, as its candidate for the presidential elections, reported on July 4. However, PAS will continue negotiations with three other centre-right parties, PAS member Liliana Nicolaescu Onofrei said.

The negotiations for a single pro-EU candidate are "not sincere", Leanca said, singling out one of the major partners involved in the talks - Dignity and Truth (DA). “DA is criticising me on a daily basis […] there is a continuous attack against me being carried out by two TV stations,” Leanca complained.  

He added that his party’s leadership would make a decision on PPE’s presidential candidate next week.

The two major partners of a possible pro-EU platform are DA and PAS. A recent poll carried out by Fondul Opiniei Publice showed that Sandu is the second most popular candidate among voters, with 16.9% backing. Igor Dodon, the pro-Russian leader of the Moldovan Socialist Party (PSRM), tops the poll with 29% support. However, the aggregated support for Maia Sandu, Andrei Nastase (the head of DA), and Iurie Leanca is stronger than the support enjoyed by Dodon. Nastase would come third with 10.9% backing in the elections, while Leanca would take 8.1% of the votes, the poll has shown.

Leanca was appointed as interim prime minister in April 2013, after Vlad Filat was dismissed from the post amid an internal conflict within the ruling pro-EU coalition. In May 2013, he was endorsed as prime minister. He resigned ahead of the parliamentary elections in November 2014.

Leanca pulled out from Filat's Liberal Democratic Party (PLDM) to set up his party in February 2015, after he was designated to form a new cabinet, but his team was not endorsed by the parliament. He also resigned from country’s legislative body.

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