Moldovans are voting for a new parliament that will elect a replacement for current president Vladimir Voronin, the only remaining communist leader in Europe.
Voronin, in office since 2001, is barred from standing for a third term but he has made it clear he intends to take on another high-ranking government post following the election.
The latest opinion polls put his communists well ahead of the 15 other parties.
The opposition parties , which favour closer ties with Romania and the EU are trailing far behind.
Wedged between Ukraine and Romania the country has been involved in a long running conflict with Russian-speaking separatists Transdniestria.
Voronin has overseen a period of stability, despite the county being the poorest in Europe.