Ruling party reacts to claims of Moldova democracy imperiled

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Moldova's governing party is acknowledging the democratic shortcomings laid out in a European Parliament report this week, but downplayed blame directed at the government. .

The report issued Tuesday said Moldova, a former Soviet republic, was backsliding on its path to democracy. It said the country's economy, state institutions and media were controlled by a handful of people.

Democratic Party spokesman Vitalie Gamurari allowed Thursday that the government hadn't moved fast enough to adopt some reforms. The party came to power in 2017.

In defense of its performance, Gamurari told Radio Chisinau the report "mostly" reflected unspecified "political aspects."

Moldova signed an association agreement with the European Union, the first step toward membership, in 2014.

Gamurari said: "It must be very clear that Moldova" wants "moral help, not just financial aid."