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Part of Romania during the interwar period, Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although the country has been independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Dniester River supporting a Transnistrian separatist region with a Slavic majority population of mostly Ukrainians and Russians. One of the poorest nations in Europe, Moldova became the first former Soviet state to elect a Communist, Vladimir VORONIN, as its president in 2001. VORONIN served as Moldova's president until he resigned in September 2009, following the opposition's gain of a narrow majority in July parliamentary elections and the Communist Party's (PCRM) subsequent inability to attract the three-fifths of parliamentary votes required to elect a president. Moldova's four opposition parties formed a new coalition, the Alliance for European Integration (AEI), which has acted as Moldova's governing coalition since. Moldova experienced significant political uncertainty between 2009 and early 2012, holding three general elections and numerous presidential ballots in parliament, all of which failed to secure a president. Following November 2010 parliamentary elections, a reconstituted AEI-coalition consisting of the Liberal Democratic Party, the Liberal Party, and the Democratic Party formed a government, and in March 2012 were finally able to elect an independent as president.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Moldova
Conventional short form Moldova
Local long form Republica Moldova
Local short form Moldova
Former
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type
Republic

Capital
Name
Chisinau in Romanian (Kishinev in Russian)
Note
Pronounced KEE-shee-now (KIH-shi-nyev)
Geographic coordinates 47 00 N, 28 51 E
Time difference
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions
32 raions (raioane, singular - raion), 3 municipalities (municipii, singular - municipiul), 1 autonomous territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala autonoma), and 1 territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala)
Raions
Anenii Noi, Basarabeasca, Briceni, Cahul, Cantemir, Calarasi, Causeni, Cimislia, Criuleni, Donduseni, Drochia, Dubasari, Edinet, Falesti, Floresti, Glodeni, Hincesti, Ialoveni, Leova, Nisporeni, Ocnita, Orhei, Rezina, Riscani, Singerei, Soldanesti, Soroca, Stefan-Voda, Straseni, Taraclia, Telenesti, Ungheni
Municipalities Balti, Bender, Chisinau
Autonomous territorial unit Gagauzia
Territorial unit
Stinga Nistrului (Transnistria)

Independence
27 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

Constitution
Adopted 29 July 1994; effective 27 August 1994; note - replaced 1979 Soviet Constitution

Legal system
Civil law system with Germanic law influences; Constitutional Court review of legislative acts

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Nicolae TIMOFTI (since 23 March 2012)
Head of government
Prime Minister Vladimir FILAT (since 25 September 2009); reelected/confirmed on 14 January 2011
Cabinet
Cabinet selected by president, subject to approval of Parliament
Elections
President elected by Parliament for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 16 March 2012 (next to be held in March 2016); note - prime minister designated by the president upon consultation with Parliament; within 15 days from designation, the prime minister-designate must request a vote of confidence from the Parliament regarding his/her work program and entire cabinet; prime minister (re)designated on 31 December 2010; the prime minister and cabinet received a vote of confidence 14 January 2011
Election results
Nicolae TIMOFTI elected president; parliamentary votes - 62 of 101 votes Vladimir FILAT (re)designated prime minister; parliamentary votes of confidence - 59 of 101

Legislative branch
Unicameral Parliament or Parlamentul (101 seats; members elected on an at-large basis by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections
Last held on 28 November 2010 (next to be held in 2014); note - this was the third parliamentary election in less than two years; the earlier parliaments (elected 5 April 2009 and 29 July 2009) were dissolved after they could not agree on a presidential candidate
Election results
Percent of vote by party - PCRM 39.3%, PLDM 29.4%, PD 12.7%, PL 10%, other 8.6%; seats by party - PCRM 42, PLDM 32, PD 15, PL 12; note - in March of 2012, 3 PCRM members defected to the PLDM, PD, and PL governing coalition - termed the Alliance for European Integration (AEI) - allowing the AEI to acquire 62 seats, the majority needed to elect a new president

Judicial branch
Supreme Court; Constitutional Court (the sole authority for constitutional judicature)

Political parties and leaders
Represented in Parliament
Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova or PCRM [Vladimir VORONIN]; Democratic Party or PD [Marian LUPU]; Liberal Democratic Party or PLDM [Vladimir FILAT]; Liberal Party or PL [Mihai GHIMPU]; Alliance for European Integration or AEI (coalition of the PD, PLDM, and PL)
Not represented in Parliament
Christian Democratic People's Party or PPCD [Iurie ROSCA]; Conservative Party or PC [Natalia NIRCA]; Ecological Party of Moldova "Green Alliance" or PEMAVE [Vladimir BRAGA]; European Action Movement or MAE [Veaceslav UNTILA]; For Nation and Country Party or PpNT [Sergiu MOCANU]; Humanist Party of Moldova or PUM [Valeriu PASAT]; Labor Party or PM [Gheorghe SIMA]; National Liberal Party or PNL [Vitalia PAVLICENKO]; Party of Socialists [Igor DODON]; Patriots of Moldova Party or PPM [Mihail GARBUZ]; Popular Republican Party or PPR [Nicolae ANDRONIC]; Republican Party of Moldova or PRM [Andrei STRATAN]; Roma Social Political Movement of the Republic of Moldova or MRRM [Ion BUCUR]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Victor SELIN]; Social Political Movement "Equality" or MR [Valeriy KLIMENCO]; United Moldova Party or PMUEM [Vladimir TURCAN]

Political pressure groups and leaders
NA

International organization participation
BSEC, CE, CEI, CIS, EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Igor MUNTEANU
Chancery
2101 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 667-1130
FAX [1] (202) 667-1204

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador William H. MOSER
Embassy
103 Mateevici Street, Chisinau MD-2009
Mailing address Use embassy street address
Telephone [373] (22) 40-8300
FAX [373] (22) 23-3044

Flag description
Three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red; emblem in center of flag is of a Roman eagle of gold outlined in black with a red beak and talons carrying a yellow cross in its beak and a green olive branch in its right talons and a yellow scepter in its left talons; on its breast is a shield divided horizontally red over blue with a stylized aurochs head, star, rose, and crescent all in black-outlined yellow; based on the color scheme of the flag of Romania - with which Moldova shares a history and culture - but Moldova's blue band is lighter; the reverse of the flag does not display any coat of arms
Note
One of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Paraguay and Saudi Arabia

National symbol(s)
Aurochs (a type of wild cattle)

National anthem
Name "Limba noastra" (Our Language)
Lyrics/music
Alexei MATEEVICI/Alexandru CRISTEA
Note Adopted 1994


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