Moldova's president reappoints Tarlev as prime minister

President Vladimir Voronin reappointed Vasile Tarlev as prime minister Friday, and urged him to assemble a Cabinet that will carry out wide-ranging reforms and crack down on corruption.

"In the next four years, the government needs to modernize Moldova," Voronin said.

Voronin, 64, was elected by Parliament earlier this week to a second term as president of the nation of 4.5 million people. He was inaugurated Thursday.

On Friday, he named Tarlev to the post of prime minister. Tarlev now has the task of assembling the new Cabinet.

Voronin said the new administration would reduce the number of civil servants by 70 percent and cut the number of ministries.

He also called on the new government to reduce corruption among police, the army and intelligence services; to boost the economy; to bring Moldova closer to the European Union, and to reform the education system.

Parliament, meanwhile, approved the nomination of Iurie Rosca, head of the center-right Popular Christian Democratic Party, as deputy to the speaker of Parliament.

Voronin has made a complete turnaround in foreign policy since 2001, when he advocated a union with Russia and Belarus. He now favors closer ties with the West and has vowed to modernize the former Soviet republic, and promote ethnic tolerance and a market economy

CORNELIU RUSNAC, Associated Press Writer

On the photo: Vasile Tarlev

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