Eastern Europe

Moldova Finalizes Presidential Election With Sandu Declared Winner

Image by  Кабінет Міністрів України

Moldova has gone through many political extremes in recent years as different forces inside and outside the tiny country pull in different directions, from oligarchs, the EU, and the Russian Federation.

The recent presidential election has been a case in point with Russian-influenced Igor Dodon losing a runoff to EU-favored Maia Sandu.

Maia Sandu has won Moldova’s presidential election with 57.75% of the vote, while Igor Dodon gained 42.25% with 100% of ballots counted, according to the country’s Central Election Commission, reported Russian state news agency TASS. Dodon was in the Kremlin-influenced camp.

According to data published on the commission’s website, voter turnout was 52.78%.

Moldova held the second round of its presidential election on Sunday. The run-off pit leader of the pro-EU Party of Action and Solidarity Maia Sandu against incumbent President Igor Dodon, added TASS.

“We’ll build a country in which competent people hold key positions regardless of their ethnicity,” Sandu said. “We’ll build a genuinely balanced foreign policy based on Moldova’s national interests and a pragmatic dialogue with all countries,” Sandu declared while speaking in Russian as a conciliatory gesture to Moldova’s Russian-speaking population.

Moldova’s election offered a stark choice between competing geopolitical visions, and was widely viewed as a referendum over the country’s foreign policy. The incumbent, pro-Russian President Igor Dodon, has voiced admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and called for closer ties with Moscow; Sandu, who was prime minister for five months in 2019, ran on a bold anti-corruption platform and praised the European Union, wrote RFERL.

“I hope that your activity as head of state will foster the constructive development of relations between our countries,” a Kremlin statement quoted Putin as saying in the message.

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