Moldovans are voting again, less than four months after the last ballot ended in riots. The snap parliamentary election pits the ruling pro-Kremlin Communists against the opposition liberal and centrist parties, who are seeking closer ties with the West.
The new vote is being staged in an attempt to end months of political paralysis because out-going Communist President Vladimir Voronin failed to get Moldova’s parliament to elect his hand-picked successor.
Last April’s disputed vote saw the Communists way in front with 50 percent of the vote. This time however, things look set to be much tighter with polls putting them on around 30 percent.
The three opposition parties are also predicted to tally around 30 percent in an ill-tempered election campaign.
‘‘I always vote and I am voting today for peace between people and for an end to the conflict between them,’‘ one voter said.
The pro-Western Liberals, who have been openly backed by neighbouring Romania, have accused the Communists of dirty tricks leading up to today’s vote – something the Communists deny.
The last poll saw widespread unrest with thousands of opposition protesters ransacking the President’s office and parliament.
Mostly young and from urban Moldova, they have little in common with Communist voters – they are from ethic minorities and impoverished rural areas in Europe’s poorest country.