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|Print version. Published on site Rusnet.NL 26 April 2004
Acting president of the Republic of Moldova
A former bakery director, Mr Voronin was born in 1941. He rose through the ranks of the Communist Party and was briefly Soviet-era Moldovan interior minister at the end of the 1980s and prime minister at the end of the 1990s.
Mr Voronin became president after the Communists swept back to power in elections early in 2001, ending a decade of largely ineffectual reformist government.
He accused his predecessors of having reduced Moldova to dire poverty and pledged to introduce "professional and technocratic" government in which ability would count for more than political affiliation. He also promised to tackle corruption.
The president said he would avoid what he called "a central Asian regime of personality cults" and seek to build "modern socialism", forging closer ties with Russia and increasing the role of the state in the economy. The rebuilding of bridges with Moscow has since led to opposition protests as has the grinding poverty in which Moldovans continue to eke out an existence.