Times Wire Reports

Pro-Western parties said they will forge an alliance after winning a narrow lead in parliamentary elections, a stinging setback to Europe’s last communist-run government.

Preliminary results from a tightly contested parliamentary vote in the impoverished former Soviet republic gave four center-right opposition parties a slim lead over the Communist Party, which has ruled Moldova since 2001. Officials said the gap could grow as more ballots cast in the capital, Chisinau, were tallied.

An alliance among the four opposition parties raises the likelihood that Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest nations, may move out of Russia’s orbit and closer to the European Union.