The Republic of Moldova at a crossroads

The Republic of Moldova will elect a new president on Sunday. Now, for the first time in 15 years, it will be the people who decide.

It was the constitutional court that cleared the way for a direct election of the Moldovan president. The court declared the previous method of election by a three-fifths majority in parliament to be unconstitutional. That, it seems, is the only novelty of the October 30 presidential vote. For, as has been the case since the former Soviet republic gained independence 25 years ago, the core question remains: Quo vadis Moldova? A strengthening of ties to Russia, or European integration.

The pro-Russian leader of the Socialist party, Igor Dodon, is leading all opinion polls. The pro-European camp is plagued with infighting, and parties were unable to agree on a common candidate until just a few days ahead of the vote. Ultimately, they tapped Maia Sandu, the former minister of education and one of those spearheading the fight against corruption and the dominance of oligarchs, as their candidate.

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