Moldova: Pro-Russian party leads without majority

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In near-final results, a pro-Russian party was several points ahead of pro-EU parties after Sunday’s election. The country on the eastern border of the European Union is facing an uncertain future.

Moldova’s pro-Russian opposition Socialist party claimed a narrow lead, but no majority, in the country’s national elections after almost all of the ballots had been counted on Monday win 31.35 percent of the vote.

The pro-European ACUM garnered 26.17 percent of Sunday’s ballots and the incumbent Democratic Party was in third place at 24 precent.

Between the EU and Russia

The Socialist Party and pro-EU Democratic Party are fighting over Moldova’s future.

Dodon has pledged to renegotiate a 2014 association agreement with the European Union if his party wins the vote. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, wants even closer ties to the bloc.

The Democratic Party-led coalition government has, however, lost support following a string of corruption scandals. It has also been accused of trying to rig the political system in its favor by introducing votes on direct mandates alongside votes on party lists.

Controversy ahead of election

Allegations of fraud, corruption and poisonings had marred the run-up to the vote, with Dodon describing the election campaign as “one of the dirtiest in our entire history.”

The president said an inconclusive result in Sunday’s vote could force fresh elections.

“If no one has a parliamentary majority, I think that there will be attempts to form it, but the risk is high that it could come to a snap election in the coming few months,” he said.

‘State captured by oligarchic interests’

Some 3.27 million people were eligible to vote on who would occupy the parliament’s 101 seats.

Moldova is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in Europe and only recently recovered from a devastating banking scandal in 2014. The European Parliament has declared it “a state captured by oligarchic interests.”

The landlocked country borders Ukraine to the east and EU-member Romania to the west.

amp/cmk (dpa, Reuters)

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