Moldova: Maia Sandu on track to win presidential run-off
Her opponent, incumbent president Igor Dodon, lost despite Russia’s support
MOSCOW – A pro-European reformer won the presidential election in Moldova, beating a pro-Moscow opponent in a run-off run of economics, corruption and foreign policy.
After counting all the ballots, Maia Sandu, 48, a former prime minister and a pro-European integration economist at the World Bank, received just over 57 percent of the vote..
She became the first woman to be elected to this position..
In her election victory speech, Sandu thanked her supporters and pledged to do her best to win the trust of those who doubted her..
“I say to those who voted for my opponent – you did not lose, I will win your trust every day,” Sandu said..
“Moldova should be a good home for all citizens, regardless of their nationality and the language they speak,” she added..
Her opponent, incumbent President Igor Dodon, received 42 percent of the vote, despite Moscow’s backing and massive media campaign..
Although on the eve of the vote, both candidates accused each other of rigging, Dodon admitted defeat on Monday.
“The preliminary results showed that Maia Sandu won,” he told reporters.
Dodon insisted that his headquarters recorded “an unprecedented number of violations,” but urged his supporters to accept the results and continue the political struggle later..
“We have a duty to protect our country for future generations,” Dodon said.. – I will not Give Up “.
Observers have previously warned of possible violence after the vote.
The Moldovan elections are yet another challenge to Russian influence in this former Soviet republic.
Russian President Vladimir Putin openly supported Dodon and called on Moldovans to support his re-election bid. His headquarters were assisted by Russian political advisers from Moscow..
Sandu’s victory “will encourage Moscow to take a more pragmatic stance towards Chisinau,” tweeted Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center..
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