Four pro-Western parties that out-polled Moldova's governing Communists in recent elections agreed on a coalition deal to form a new government.

The four parties have pledged to bring the former Soviet republic closer to Europe after eight years of Communist Party rule. They say they will reform markets, guarantee media freedom and make the judicial system more independent.

"The citizens of Moldova must no longer be afraid. . . . The difference between us and the Communists is major. We will not blackmail the press as they did. We will resolve people's problems working with values," said Vlad Filat, who heads the Democratic Party.

The Communists have been accused of disregarding press freedom and interfering in the justice system.

The new coalition has 53 of the 101 seats in Parliament.

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