Dhe citizens of the ex-Soviet republic of Moldova voted in an early parliamentary election for a pro-western orientation of their country. After the majority of the votes were counted, President Maia Sandu’s Action and Solidarity (PAS) party was clearly the strongest force with almost 48 percent, as shown by figures published by the central election commission on Monday night. Sandu had promised her crisis-ridden country a further rapprochement with the EU. So far, however, it has lacked the necessary government support.
According to the election commission, the pro-Russian communists and socialists around the former president Igor Dodon received around 31 percent of the vote, the Schor party almost 7 percent. Only three of the more than 20 approved parties have made it into parliament with its 101 seats. 3.3 million Moldovans were entitled to vote, but the turnout was only around 48 percent.
Russia continues to have great influence
Russian election observers judged the election to be largely fair. Only individual violations were found, but they did not call the result into question. Sandu had called the early vote after the pro-Russian forces had prevented their opponent Dodon from forming a new government for months.
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The Republic of Moldova, which borders the EU state Romania, has been torn between Russia and Europe since it declared independence 30 years ago. President Sandu described the election as pointing the way. The economist trained in the USA has declared war above all on corruption in her impoverished country.
Russia continues to have great influence in the small country that also borders Ukraine – especially in the Transnistria region, which breaks away from Moldova and where the Russian military has been stationed since the early 1990s. Almost 260,000 people from the separatist area were also entitled to vote in the election on Sunday. Most recently, the government in Moscow complained about “unprecedented interference” by the US and EU in Moldova’s internal affairs.