Torn between EU and Russia, Moldova Votes for Parliament
Moldova is holding parliamentary elections on Sunday expected to decide whether the ex-Soviet country would maintain its recent course towards EU membership or turn back and move closer to Russia.
The central election committee declared the elections valid with turnout at 39.2% of voters as of 3:30 pm local time (1330 GMT).
Early results are expected around midnight local time (2200 GMT). No exit polls are planned.
According to the latest opinion surveys, Moldova's current pro-EU government coalition – plus the Liberal Party, which left the coalition last year but is backing course to EU accession – together have about 49% support.
The Socialist Party, which backs customs union with Russia, together with the disqualified pro-Russian Patria party, had polled about 22% support in opinion polls, while the traditionally Moscow-leaning Communist Party had polled 21%.
Moldova’s Appeals Court has banned Patria from running after the Central Election Commission asked for the pro-Russian party to be disqualified, claiming it had illegally used foreign financing for its election campaign. Patria’s leader, Renato Usatii, a Russian businessman of Moldovan origins, denied the allegation and fled to Russia earlier this week.
Moldovans are voting for members of the 101-seat parliament. The entry threshold is set at 6% of the vote. Some 78%of Moldova’s 3.6-million population is ethnic Romanian. Russians and Ukrainians account for about 14%.
A minimum turnout of at least one-third of eligible voters is needed to make the elections valid. As in previous elections, the Russian-backed breakaway region of Transdniestria isn’t voting.
With no party expected to win outright majority it is very difficult to predict what kind of ruling coalition might emerge from the elections in the country tucked between EU member Romania and Ukraine.
According to Vladimir Socor, an analyst with the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation, “for the first time in its 23 years of independence, Moldova has the opportunity to finally tear itself away from Russia and decisively and irreversibly turn in the direction of the West."
Since 2009, Moldova has been governed by coalitions of pro-EU parties. The country has signed an Association Agreement with the EU and has achieved a visa-free travel regime with the bloc. The EU is Moldova's largest trading partner with 45% followed by Russia at 25%.
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Poor you indeed Sashenka. Poor you who cannot go beyond the logic of the sieged stronghold. Poor you who cannot focus on ways to improve the life of people living in your huge country and instead focus on how to compel others to obey the Kremlin's rules...
Poor Russia - never going beyond the rule of the iron fist in the shadow of the "Man-of-steel"...
The Patria party headed by Renato Usatyi was disqualified from the election for 2 reasons:
1. Over 1 milion dollars funding from abroad (Russia) which is prohibited by Moldovan law
2. Relationships (together with the other pro Russian party the socialists) with ANTIFA a paramilitary youth organization sponsored and trained in Russia at whose members houses were found hundreads of weapons (including grenade launchers), hundreads of thousands of dollars and blueprints of the Electoral Center and National TV station. Some of the detained members already confessed or were recorded planning violent protests after the elections.
Renato Usatyi fled the country Yanucovich style to mother Russia. He is a nouveau rich in Russia right hand of some of Putin's henchmen in the Railways system and he is suspected of contract killings against business partners (German Gorbuntzov another Russian mafioso which was shot 8 times in London but survived)
Even if Patria/Usatyi would have participated in the elections together with the socialists would have got 15-25 % of the vote (roughly the percentage of minorities in Moldova). The rest of the parties will continue the pro EU course.
The Russian FSB propaganda machine as usually is funny and hardly competent: images of a large crowd of pro-russian "voters" unhappy with the election process in the Moldovan embassy in Moscow and vocally pro-Russian were posted on the 29th of Nov, one day before the actual elections :)
So huge article, so much attention to Moldova ;-) Btw, dearest Novinite, unless disqualifying "pro-Russian Patria party", the Socialists-Communists-Patria coalition would form the Parliamentary majority. How to allow it, right?
And the shameful, under the laughable pretext, disqualification of Patria is enforced by the de facto ban to vote for~1mln moldovans who work in Russia. Such shameful, i.e. purely democratic, methods will ensure indeed the "irreversible turn of Moldova in the direction of the West." True democracy and rotten methods can't live without each other, right, dear Novinite? ;-)