Pro-Russian parties fail in upset bid at Moldova’s local elections
Pro-Moscow socialists came in third in the local elections on June 14 in Moldova, despite expectations it could ride a protest vote against the ruling pro-EU parties to strengthen its case for early parliamentary elections, but the party could still claim victory if it were to win the mayoral seat in capital city Chisinau.
Incumbent mayor Dorin Chirtoaca, running for a third consecutive term on the ticket of the pro-EU Liberal party, received 37.5 per cent of the votes, a narrow lead over socialist nominee Zinaida Greceanai, who got 35.7 per cent, the central electoral authority said on June 15.
Greceanai, a former prime minister, is one of several high-profile defectors from the communist party that went on to form the socialist party, which advocates scrapping the association agreement with the EU and joining the Moscow-led customs union.
Oazu Nantoi, who placed third with 10.2 per cent of the votes after running on the ticket of the pro-EU party set up by former prime minister Iurie Leanca, said that his team would discuss whether to formally back Chirtoaca, but ruled out any endorsement for Greceanai.
A total of 438 mayors were elected in the first round, with run-offs to be held on June 28 to decide a further 458 mayoral races. The two pro-EU parties in government, the Liberal-Democrats and Democrats, won 181 seats and 147 seats, respectively.
In terms of share of the votes won, the Liberal-Democrats placed first with 18.3 per cent, followed by the Democrats with 17.6 per cent, while the socialists got 16.6 per cent and the Liberals were fourth with 11.1 per cent, local news website Unimedia.md reported. Turnout was 49 per cent.