Pro-Western candidate wins Moldovan presidential election

Maia Sandu, a former World Bank economist who favors closer ties with the European Union, won presidential runoff elections in Moldova, decisively defeating the staunchly pro-Russian incumbent

Via AP news wire
Monday 16 November 2020 09:47
Moldova Presidential Elections
Moldova Presidential Elections

Maia Sandu a former World Bank economist who favors closer ties with the European Union, has won Moldova's presidential runoff vote, decisively defeating the staunchly pro-Russian incumbent, according to preliminary results released Monday.

Sandu captured over 57% of the vote, leaving the incumbent, Igor Dodon behind by over 15 points, according to preliminary data from the Central Election Commission, CEC, that said nearly 100% of the vote has been counted.

“Preliminary results indicate that my opponent Maia Sandu is the winner, and I want to preliminary congratulate her,” Dodon said after the results were published. “I call for calm and peace, absolutely no disturbances or protests, we must not allow any destabilization of the country."

Sunday's election was seen as a referendum on two divergent visions for the future of the small Eastern European nation sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania.

The current pro-Russian government controls only 51 of 101 seats in the parliament and the new president can dissolve parliament if the prime minister resigns and there are two failed attempts to find a successor.

Sandu and Dodon, who Russian President Vladimir Putin identified as his preferred candidate have been rivals since he narrowly defeated her in the 2016 presidential race.

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